Light Reading

The SPIT Manifesto 2.0

Ray Le Maistre
3/26/2012
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On Feb. 10, 2010, an earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter Scale shook Chicago and the northern Illinois area.

By coincidence (or was it?), the foundations of our industry were gently rocked that very same day as Light Reading introduced the term Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) to an unsuspecting communications industry, through the publication of our initial SPIT Manifesto. (See Putting SPIT in Focus and Analysts: SPIT Is Hot Stuff.)

The move elicited a variety of responses, ranging from the complimentary, because we had identified a key shift in market dynamics, to disbelief/slight revulsion, because we actually used the term SPIT and then commissioned the appropriate artwork.



Two years on, our initial premise has been mirrored by market developments. The key message of the original Manifesto was that the communications services market had changed -- driven largely by the growth of mobile data services, video traffic and the competitive crunch of Web services and OTT giants -- and that in turn was driving a shift in the operational and technological requirements of communications service providers (CSPs).

That shift was generating a greater requirement for IT and data-networking technologies -- tools to aid in the creation, management, delivery, and monetization of next-generation communications services while also providing greater insight into operational and customer-centric indicators. And that, in turn, was driving a rethink about the human resources requirements of CSPs, acting as a catalyst for the growing importance of the CIO role within traditional network operators and leading carriers to bring their networks and IT teams closer together, a trend we are calling Bridging the Chasm. (See Bridging the Chasm: A Manifesto.)

Those IT-oriented systems are identified in detail later in this updated Manifesto. We're talking about technologies such as policy control and charging engines, service brokers, cloud services enablement platforms, new generation OSS and BSS systems, mobile commerce platforms and security tools.

This isn't just a case of nice-to-haves, though. Our contention was, and still is, that a well defined SPIT strategy is absolutely vital to the key goals that all service providers have today: developing and monetizing new services and applications; cutting costs; migrating to next-generation networks; and improving customer care and the customer's experience.

In addition, we believe the decisions CSPs make about their SPIT strategies could unleash unprecedented value and help them toward that shared goal of greater revenues and margins. But a poorly constructed and executed SPIT strategy (or the lack of one at all), could put them years behind their competitors, jeopardizing billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

:-0 as the kids would "say."

Another important point we made, which still holds true, is that while SPIT technologies are becoming much more important to the strategies and day-to-day operations of the CSPs, the importance of their physical networks is in no way diminished. This is not a case of SPIT becoming more important than the networks but of SPIT capabilities becoming equally as key as the physical infrastructure that connects each CSP's paying customers.

Indeed, what has become clearer since we published the initial Manifesto is that the combination of a well-run, low-latency network with the judicious deployment of a select number of SPIT technologies and a new service mentality could be unbeatable in one of the most key growth sectors in the global communications market -- cloud services.

So, let's get down to the nitty gritty and take a closer look at what SPIT is and how it is having an impact on our industry.

Next page: The SPIT Elements

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tpoulos
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tpoulos,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 5:37:54 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


Ray, nothing wrong with your 'manifesto', it's a truly memorable effort, but I have to take task with your terminology. Even after two years of blessing us with the unpalatable anagram SPIT, and its associated graphic in green, I believe you are the only person regularly using the term. I suspect many, like myself, find it rather demeaning to an industry sector that has been so instrumental in the advances made in telco technology. Surely you can come up with something a bit more suitable? How about asking your readers to make suggestions?

digits
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digits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:54 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


Oh, and very rude of me not to say "thank you" for the compliment on the manifesto.


I am hoping that, even if only in a small way, it will help to generate greater interest in the back office efforts of the service providers and their partners/suppliers. 

digits
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digits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:54 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


Ah well, you know, I am a stubborn old bird...


There is always the option to say


Service Provider IT, which we often do and which would be more palatable to those with sensitive taste buds.


But for us, SPIT Is It. Green splashes and all!


Always happy to hear from anyone with an opinion on this or anything else.


And demeaning? That would be a very subjective take on it.... look on the bright side -- we are attracting attention to a side of the industry often seen as dull and inpenetrable.


Let's look at the glass half full angle (whatever that glass is half full of), yeah?

tpoulos
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tpoulos,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 5:37:46 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


LOL, but saying IT is "seen as dull and inpenetrable"? It's the most exciting place to be in these days, with never a dull moment. Transformation abounds, and the satisfaction and joy of working with business and marketing departments provides everyone in IT with stimulating challenges hard to find anywhere else! ;-) 

digits
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digits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:46 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


No matter what you and I think, the back office IT functions at telcos are regarded by many as inpenetrable and, especially in terms of OSS tools, dull, especially when compared with sexy, shiny new handsets, Android apps etc


Of course, it's not dull and inpenetrable to those that spend their whole time immersed in it and I would contend that in the realm of what Light Reading refers to as Service Provider IT there are some of the most innovative developments in the whole industry, esp in terms of service creation platforms that enable apps mash-ups, self-care mobile subscriber tools for social media, advanced analytics for marketing professionals etc


But that's me, and you Tony. But for many it's the unknown and talk of the NOC and business/operations support tools is greeted with glazed eyes. That's why we are trying to draw attention to the dynamism and importance of service provider IT.  

rsgaines
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rsgaines,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:39 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


I agree that SPIT is an unfortunate choice because a side effect is that many find it disgusting, including me.

metroradio1
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metroradio1,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:36 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


SPIT... lol


http://www.nec.co.jp/techrep/en/journal/g06/n02/060226.html

digits
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digits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:35 PM
re: The SPIT Manifesto 2.0


Yes, metroradio1 -- and we LOLed about it 2 years ago too!! 


I refer you to the SPIT Manifesto V1, from Feb 2010:


"We also need to note two things. First, that SPIT is already a term used by a sub-section of our industry, where it stands for SPAM over Internet Telephony. We don't foresee any confusion.


Second, for those of you who have become attached to Light Reading's very own Larry the Monkey over the years – don't worry, he's not being replaced by Spit, the Dog."


http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=187395

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