Light Reading
Metaswitch CEO advises telco customers to transform their business plans along with their networks and become software companies

Metaswitch: Telcos Must Get Soft to Survive

Carol Wilson
5/13/2014
50%
50%

NEW ORLEANS Metaswitch Forum 2014 Telecom service providers need to think of themselves as software companies and behave accordingly, Metaswitch CEO John Lazar told his company's invited audience of service providers here this morning.

A few minutes later, Lazar began to sketch out a few details of how Metaswitch Networks intends to help its customers move forward to a cloud-based, software-centric, all-IP future at the pace they themselves set. But more on that later, as the news trickles out here.

Moving to a software-centric approach is important for getting new services to market more quickly and thus addressing the revenue crunch telcos face today, Lazar noted. Those aren't new themes for the Metaswitch crowd, which includes many smaller telcos who have watched their voice revenues erode and pressure to support greater bandwidth for data increase exponentially without any real revenues attached.

Some of those listening may have been more intrigued by what Lazar said next: that thinking and behaving like software companies in the way they address network transformation and business plans will also help telcos become more valuable and potentially attract more investment.

"You only have to look at Whatsapp, which sold for, what, $19 billion," Lazar pointed out. "Investors both private and public like companies that use software smarts to cut costs, increase revenues, drive innovation, and become more open and agile. So it's not just about the technology in the network; it's about your value."

That's interesting thinking for a market that has been battered by the loss of federal subsidies, in addition to the loss of traditional revenues. The message may be intended to get the attention of telcos who might think the current transition to virtualization through SDN and NFV isn't yet relevant for them. Because it is.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(16)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Kevin Mitchell
50%
50%
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Lightning
5/15/2014 | 7:42:40 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
Seven,

I'm not sure I see your point. Some networks functions lend themselves to virtualization in the network or outright cloud sourcing to another provider.

Voice is an app, abstracted from other parts of the network. It's not an all or nothing approach for cloud. I agree that some functions don't yield to virtualization (today or maybe ever).

POTS line you don't virtualize. That's hardwire stuff. It's dead. Voice is bits and packets delivered from a cloud platform running on x86 servers connected to an IP network and delivered to a device over any broadband network.

Cloud Voice Platform

 

 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/15/2014 | 6:53:48 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
Kevin,

So how do you offer Dark Fiber service over that network?

See the point?  You are taking a single slice of the network and saying "Hey NFV me."  What I pondering is that this may yield little for a carrier.  They still have a whole ton of things to virtualize and some of them don't yield to virtualization.  Hard to virtualize a POTS line.

Which is VERY different than in the IT infrastructure which is essentially x86 based computers connected over Ethernet/IP/TCP networks.  So, most if not all functions are VMed or VMable.

So, not sure how you virtualize a Media Gateway with POTS on one side of it.  But have at it!

seven

 
Kevin Mitchell
50%
50%
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Lightning
5/15/2014 | 4:36:55 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
@brookseven

We say don't just virtualize the media gateway (which vendors want to still sell you as hardware anyway), VAPORIZE the network. Use the cloud for Voice Network as a Service (i.e., the cloud voice platform).

Alianza isn't the only company pushing this way. Look at BroadSoft with BroadCloud and GENBAND with Nuvia as box selling vendors moving to a SaaS model.

Most vendors want you to buy their new something (all software nowadays). Well, given what's available, some networks just don't need to be rebuilt. They should be cloud sourced.

Momentum for Cloud Voice Platforms in 2013

Next Generation Voice Platform – Leaping From Network to Cloud

Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/15/2014 | 2:07:30 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
Oh, I agree others will follow suit. And what we saw in the IT industry is that the other companies tear themselves apart in the effort to try to follow the leader. For them, the cultural change doesnt help; it simply accelerates their decline. Leaders seeking change inside the company fight against others looking to preserve the status quo. 
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 9:04:52 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
You are right @Phil and @Mitch as well.  This will be a monumental change for these organizations but it will either be evolve or go the way of the dinosaurs.  I am not one to suggest throwing away the baby with the bathwater so evolution may be slow and deliberate but it still must happen.  The end result will still be some sort of hybrid of dedicated hardware and general purpose, software controlled hardware but it still must happen.
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 4:38:09 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
I agree it's hard to pull off -- just ask the several companies that failed because they didn't make cultural shifts to stay relevant. I'm just saying that it only takes one company to make such a shift and succeed, and others will try to follow suit.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/14/2014 | 3:46:13 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
Phil Britt - That kind of cultural shift is hard to pull off. It's deep in the company's internal organs and DNA. Even failing companies that see competitors succeed with a changed culture have difficulty making the change. 

Companies are comprised of individual people. And a company's top executive ranks are by definition comprised of individuals who have succeeded under the status quo
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 12:03:54 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
Carol,

In the spirit of debate, I would like to challenge your statement.  Mostly to see if we can liven this up and get Phil to jump in with a Metaswitch counterpoint.

So, if you are switching to NFV for something you already do then I have to ask a question:  Does the VM version of the product replace exactly the existing solution? 

Let's use Metaswitch as an example:  Can I Virtualize the Media Gateway (of course not)?  From a carrier standpoint, this means that like any other solution there are both gains and losses from the conversion to VMs.

I would propose a different way of looking at this.  The reason that VMs work so well in the Web world is that there is a set of Universal Languages.  HTTP, URLs, TCP/IP, etc.  End systems source these languages and the network processes them.  

In the data center world, everything is connected via TCP/IP over Ethernet (of some form or another).

If this is going to work, I think we need to think of all things as exchanged in these basic format.  The challenge is that this means that things like MPLS networks need not apply (just as an example). 

I think this is going to be really challenging for telcos as they try to bridge their silos between their different businesses.  One or more will adopt separate NFV/SDN implementations for different purposes.  And the silos will continue and that any gain is minmized.

seven

 
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 11:24:33 AM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
You're right about the cultural shift that would need to be made -- something telecom companies have had a hard time doing for several years. But these companies are largely "me, too." Once one announces a sharing plan, they all have it. Once one offers unlimited data, they all have it. Once one raises or lowers prices, they all do it.

So once one adopts this type of culture -- and is successful with it -- they all will.
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/13/2014 | 1:47:05 PM
Re: Switching me softly for a song
I've heard this exhortation to become software-focused at least once before. It seems to be a popular theme at carrier conferences. The shift requires a deep and fundamental cultural change from hardware-focused to software-focused, which will prove overwhelming to many organizations. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Rewired
There's a lot happening at the network's edge, and it's worth watching.
As promised earlier this month, Verizon is letting businesses turn up network and security services on a per-workload basis.
Cloud provider backs off M&A plans, but is that the last word?
The ONF is developing standards that will let you go to school on SDN and then test for certification to prove what you know.
In the mid-80s, there were hot debates about how to power phones over non-copper lines. Guess what? Those debates are back.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Zayo Zooms Out of the IPO Gate
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 10/17/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed