Light Reading

The SPIT Manifesto 2.0

Ray Le Maistre

So what are these elements? In a nutshell:

OSS and BSS (operations and business support system) software
At Light Reading, we've broken down this part of the market into a number of categories:

  • Advanced analytics
  • Billing systems
  • Business intelligence
  • Charging systems
  • Configuration management
  • Contract management and settlement
  • Customer relationship management
  • Customer care/self care
  • Customer experience management
  • Data integrity
  • Data mediation
  • Data warehousing
  • Element management systems
  • Fault management
  • Mediation systems
  • Middleware
  • Network analytics
  • Network inventory management
  • Network planning tools
  • Network provisioning
  • Order management
  • Performance management
  • Policy management
  • Product catalog
  • Revenue assurance and fraud management
  • Service activation
  • Service management
  • Service quality management
  • Subscriber data management

    Notable names in this sector (in which hundreds of companies are active) include Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), CA Technologies (Nasdaq: CA), Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI), Convergys Corp. (NYSE: CVG), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) (Telcordia), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) (NetCracker), Nokia Networks and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL).

    Service-Oriented Platforms
    These platforms, which comprise a collection of standard and specialized IT components, have grown in importance as CSPs, most notably mobile operators, have sought to: create more nimble and efficient ways of making new services available to customers; more effectively manage the utilization of network assets; and ensure customer and partner access to the appropriate network and application assets.

  • App store platforms
  • Application servers
  • Cloud service brokerage
  • Deep packet inspection (DPI)
  • Diameter routing products
  • M2M management platforms
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Policy servers (PCRF)
  • Service brokers
  • Service delivery platforms/network exposure gateways Notable names in this sector include Accenture , Aepona Ltd. , Alcatel-Lucent, Allot Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), Amdocs, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), CA, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR), Ericsson, F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), GetJar Networks Inc. , HP, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia Siemens, Sandvine Inc. (London: SAND; Toronto: SVC) and Tekelec .

    Cloud service enablement technologies
    It's very early for carrier cloud developments, and there are many generic IT systems that are used in the cloud. But several specific technologies are helping the CSPs get their foot in the cloud door:

  • Application acceleration (including WAN acceleration tools)
  • Cloud automation platforms (also known as cloud operating systems)
  • Content delivery systems/caching platforms
  • Telco-grade storage/server systems
  • Unified cloud management (bringing cloud and network management under one system)

    Currently, VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), shared storage specialist NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) and Cisco have emerged as notable specialist technology providers and partners to the telecom world's cloud enthusiasts. Some of the traditional telecom network vendors, most notably Alcatel-Lucent, are also unveiling carrier-cloud systems tailored to the needs of CSPs.

    Security tools/platforms
    This category includes user authentication and URL filtering (closely linked to policy control), firewalls, and denial-of-service defenses. These tools are particularly relevant here because they are being used to provide hosted services for service provider customers (security as a service) as well as to protect the service provider and its customers. In addition, mobile network security is becoming a much bigger deal as operators deploy LTE networks, which lack the extended in-built security of 3G.

  • Anti-virus tools
  • Denial of service defense tools
  • Encryption devices
  • Firewalls
  • URL filtering
  • User authentication

    Many companies supply security tools to CSPs, though Arbor Networks Inc. is well known for its carrier deployments. It's also notable that Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has made a big push in mobile network security.

    Mobile transaction platforms
    Mobile commerce, mobile banking and mobile money transfer are set to be major services in mature as well as emerging markets, so CSPs are preparing to manage those transactions with systems of their own as well as through partnerships with financial institutions.

  • Banking platform
  • Coupon management
  • Payments management

    IMS elements
    We're including the control plane and service plane components of IMS, including next-generation IN platforms and the Home Subscriber Server (HSS) subscriber management systems. IMS deployments can also include the Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) and charging platforms, but these are often deployed outside IMS environments and so have been included in other SPIT zones.

  • Next-gen IN platforms
  • Subscriber management (HSS) Managed services platforms
    This isn't so much a technology category as an integrated SPIT deployment scenario, but it's worth mentioning. Managed services, whether offered by service providers or vendors, not only involve the coordinated deployment of a number of elements from the categories above but also include specific tools for enabling self-service monitoring and provisioning and, using portals, the ability to create real-time views of service and network performance.

    Next page: Industry Trends & the SPIT Connection

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    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?

    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. 

    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?

    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! ;-) 

    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.  

    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.

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

    SPIT... lol

    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."

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