NICE, France -- TM Forum Live! -- Service providers are facing "dramatic disruptions" to their business that will require sweeping cultural and organizational change and likely threaten most of current industry practices and processes, TM Forum VP-Strategy Ken Dilbeck warns here today.
"What is required is a radical, disruptive approach to [operations and business support systems] and orchestration," Dilbeck says, kicking off an NFV Workshop prior to the opening of the TM Forum 's annual event.
The primary goal is to be able to develop new services and capabilities rapidly, but that will require "relooking at all of our infrastructure top to bottom and determining what has to change, what has to be more flexible and more dynamic," Dilbeck says.
But network operators must also be willing to undergo sweeping internal changes that fundamentally change their culture and organizational structure, even though that process will be painful and difficult.
Converging network and IT resources into a single set of on-demand capabilities will "produce power and political struggles within corporate infrastructure because boundaries will have to be broken down," Dilbeck warns. He cites one immediate example: Lengthy, costly procurement processes that take years and cost millions will be replaced by a phone call to Best Buy, using a credit card, or outsourcing of the entire process to a specialty vendor.
Network operators also must learn to succeed as part of a solution or ecosystem and not necessarily be the partner in charge, he adds.
"There will be an evolution into a value fabric, and you might not be the center of the chain-delivering service, from the SLA perspective," Dilbeck says. "In the future, you will be in a different role. In some cases, you will have the customer relationship but in others, you won't. "
Dilbeck says the TM Forum is stepping up through its Project Zoom to enable all of this change and to exploit the collective intelligence of not only the telecom industry but other industries such as IT and the Internet players. (See TM Forum Tries ZOOMing to NFV.)
Promising to "be radical," Dilbeck says Project Zoom will set a target for all of this transformation and define the migration path from where carriers are today to the target point. Along the way, he says, Project Zoom will not reinvent the wheel, but will re-use best practices from the computing industry and elsewhere and take a real-world practical approach to enabling transformation that must happen for service providers to succeed.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading