Vendors Hold Service Creation Love-In
It’s hard not to dismiss this effort as just another talking shop, because its membership is entirely made up of vendors; not one single service provider has joined up so far.
All the same, Christopher Parsons, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Business Development at BellSouth Corp., is quoted saying some positive things in the press release.
The founding members of the Service Creation Community (SCC) also include some heavyweights -- ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Siemens Information and Communications Networks Inc., and Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com).
And the SCC is staging a “proof of concept” multivendor demonstration of what it can achieve today -- user-controlled video on demand -- at net.com’s Supercomm booth, number 21524.
At a launch press conference at Supercomm 2002 Tuesday, the case for the SCC was laid out by net.com president and CEO Bert Whyte, a bit of an industry character.
"This is a collaboration milestone for vendors, integrators, and service and content providers," he gushed. "This will not only benefit carriers. This will help users get real benefit and business value out of the network. We have pilot services and real solutions at [net.com's] stand. And it's more than just putting services onto the network, it's about managing, billing, and invoicing for those services," Whyte said (more than once). "And this is not a next-generation network proposition. This is all about services for the existing networks. We are trying to stimulate the industry."
So why haven't any service providers signed on? "We have US and international carriers involved, including major incumbents, so watch this space," Whyte spluttered.
Asked whether there were any particular areas, or types of networks, on which the SCC would focus, Whyte was soon back in full preach mode. "The community doesn't discriminate," he bellowed, laughing and wagging his index finger at the same time (a true multitasker). "A network is a network is a network, whether it's mobile, or cable, or anything else. When I was a boy, there was only one type of network. Now there are many."
But while the SCC obviously has the best of intentions, are its members going to be able to make it work? Peter Bernstein, president of Infonautics Consulting Inc. (no web site) and a member of the SCC, admitted to Light Reading that it's one thing to talk about collaboration and quite another thing to actually achieve it. "It's going to be hard work. We've all sat through these types of [partnership] announcements at trade shows and then a year later wondered what happened to them. It's a challenge just to get everyone in the same place at the same time and decide on the wording of a press release.”
Although the SCC claims to be an independent collective with a common goal, each company obviously has its own products and services to sell. The representatives from ADC, Microsoft, and Accenture brazenly plugged their own lines of business under the guise of explaining the aims of the SCC.
Another challenge will be to agree on stuff. "One of the most amazing things about the communications industry is how bad it is at communicating," stated Bernstein from the podium.
"That's not true, Peter!" came a shout from behind him. No prizes for guessing from whom.
— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
http://www.unstrung.com For more information on Supercomm 2002, please visit: Supercomm Special