Light Reading

In the Cloud, Repurposed BSS Won't Cut It

Caroline Chappell
12/10/2013
50%
50%

The recent acquisition of startup cloud services enablement vendor ServiceMesh by leading IT services company Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) (NYSE: CSC) may not be typical Light Reading fare, but it caught my eye, as ServiceMesh is a company I’ve been following for some time now. (See CSC Gains Cloud Management Capabilities With ServiceMesh.)

Not only is its Agility Platform a leading example of a new wave of hybrid cloud orchestration and management systems that have hit the enterprise market in past five years, but ServiceMesh stood out as one of the few startups in this area to be interested in the telecom industry. It turned up at TM Forum's Management World in Nice this year where it participated in a Catalyst, and counts telcos with enterprise cloud plays among its customers: Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is quoted in the CSC acquisition press release.

In a recent market survey I conducted on telco plans for enterprise cloud services, most telcos said they want to reuse as many BSS and OSS systems as possible for managing enterprise cloud services. But just as current OSS installations don't provide the orchestration and management capabilities needed for NFV, operators' existing "heavy" BSS suites, designed to support order-to-cash processes for enterprise communications services with their long timescales for fulfillment, are ill-suited to support dynamic, provisioned-on-demand, enterprise cloud services.

And enterprise customers are beginning to expect from cloud service providers the management capabilities and interfaces available in the tools they are using in their private clouds. This is the advanced functionality provided by a growing number of companies, including: ServiceMesh and its rivals, including RightScale and interesting (but as yet little known) Gravitant; UK startups Flexiant and Abiquo; and mainstreamers Dell and VMware, with its vCAC (pronounced vCake).

Such enterprise customer requirements have been pushing leading telco cloud providers such as CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) towards the realization that they need a new management and orchestration layer rather than merely repurposing existing BSS; they also explain why BSS vendors have had limited success to date selling into operators' enterprise cloud services environments.

Among its competitors, ServiceMesh was one of the few enterprise-grade cloud orchestration and management product vendors with the ability and desire to support cloud service providers -- a strategy vindicated by CSC's purchase. There are plenty of enterprise-grade cloud management tools out there but few that address the scale and multi-tenancy needs of telcos. Response to this opportunity from traditional BSS and OSS vendors has been weak. Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) bought Nimbula, which seems to have dropped into a company black hole and is certainly not surfacing on the Communications side of the business (I keep asking). Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has taken a small stake in Parallels Inc. .

But the situation may be changing. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has a BSS re-engineering initiative for cloud underway with its Business Enablement Suite. And Ericsson AB has re-engineered Telcordia and ConceptWave assets for the cloud: At a recent analyst event, the demo of its coming Cloud Manager looked like a proper cloud management and orchestration system, with the added benefit of carrier-grade features that enterprise tools can't provide.

However, Ericsson has yet to make it entirely clear that operators will need to implement Cloud Manager separately from their traditional Telcordia/ConceptWave systems. Ericsson's move confirms that repurposing existing systems for cloud services won't work. Other BSS vendors should take note.

And expect more acquisitions along the lines of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and SoftLayer; Centurylink and Tier 3; and CSC and ServiceMesh, as IT and telco cloud service providers square up in the growing market for hybrid cloud. (See IBM Puts SoftLayer At New Cloud Unit's Core and CenturyLink Shows Cloud Is Still Critical.)

— Caroline Chappell, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 3:29:59 PM
Re: Does any legacy BSS have legs?
Seven, I actually asked Ericsson specifically about TIRKS at the recent TM Forum Digital Disruption event in San Jose and was told they have a way of extracting the information they need from it and using that info in creating virtualized services so that it isn't replaced but it doesn't slow down the virtualization process. 

I don't have your depth of understanding (well, duh) but it sounded to me like TIRKS continues to do what it's done for existing assets but isn't used going forward. 

I've always assumed TIRKS would be around for years after I stopped writing about telecom. 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/11/2013 | 10:56:48 AM
Re: Does any legacy BSS have legs?
I guess the thing I always think about is TIRKS.

Even in FiOS they kept TIRKS and did the rest all from scratch.  Wonder how you do link NFV and TIRKS.

I guess that is what I think about.  Instead of looking at the mountain and going OMG.  How about we look at 1 function and see if we can figure out how to handle Cloud based inventory managment.

seven

 
C Chappell
50%
50%
C Chappell,
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 4:43:41 AM
Re: Does any legacy BSS have legs?
Well, they'll last for a long time yet - nothing is retired in telco, right? But I think it's becoming clear that for cloud-based service delivery, state of the art orchestration systems are not based on existing BSS. Some would argue that this has been the case for some time -  it's just that many telcos had hoped it wasn't.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 1:20:28 AM
Does any legacy BSS have legs?
It would appear that cloud/SDN/NFV all need new approaches to OSS and BSS and so far it doesn't appear to be coming from the traditional set of suppliers (if anywhere) -- will traditional telco BSS and OSS be redundant in a few years' time?
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Alcatel-Lucent is close to taking carrier Ethernet switch/router market-share leadership away from Cisco.
Communications network operators need to formulate an IoT strategy and decide if Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology has a place in those plans.
The industry faces a learning curve over the next five years. And as NFV and SDN take root in telecom networks, technology suppliers that establish strong partnerships and ecosystems will be in the best position to emerge as NFV/SDN market leaders.
LTE-based public-safety networks are more likely to come about piecemeal.
While the big vendors most closely follow the ETSI's standards for network functions virtualization (NFV), they may not be the big winners in the market.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Beach Petroleum on eLTE & Mining

4|8|15   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


Network systems integrator Jeremy Hamlyn explains how Huawei's secure packet-based trunking communications system, eLTE, can help remote communities and companies in the mining, oil and gas sectors, deploy efficient communications networks that are perfect for video and data as well as voice.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
Can WiFi Calling Find Its Voice?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/13/2015
Senator Proposes New 'Title X' for Net Neutrality
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/13/2015
Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent in Merger Talks
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/14/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.