Vendors Hold Service Creation Love-In

ATLANTA -- Supercomm -- Yet another industry forum was announced today. Called the “Service Creation Community,” it aims to “speed the deployment of new content and communication services,” according to the group’s press release (see Service Creation Community Launched).

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

pabernstein 12/4/2012 | 10:18:22 PM
re: Vendors Hold Service Creation Love-In While I am accurately quoted about how difficult it is to get fierce competitors to collaborate, it was unfortunate that my latter quote about the need for the industry to make the attempt is crucial to it ability to survive and prosper. Indeed, if there was a theme to SuperComm at all it is that if the vendors can't create easily and rapidly deployable compelling experience (services) that users are willing to pay a premium for, than all of us are going to be in big trouble for a very long period of time.

The SCC, because it is going to involve hard work and possibly some changes in attitude and behavior, is the best effort around to redress many of the industry challenges.

It is a shame the reporter chose not to make this the focus of his sotry.

Peter Bernstein, President
Infonautics Consulting, Inc.
Ulysses 12/4/2012 | 10:18:22 PM
re: Vendors Hold Service Creation Love-In
Where are the service providers?

Where are the vendors with ILEC customers?

Seems like a last ditch attempt to save a herd of lost sheep.

gtownsend 12/4/2012 | 10:17:03 PM
re: Vendors Hold Service Creation Love-In Good article - asked the right questions. Other then Bert Whyte's "personality" - where's the beef. Same story as last year, almost the same partners and a two year old demo all wrapped in better PR. Still no customers. The overarching story to bring viability to the service creation concept is missing linkages of commonality among vendors to bring a product to service providers that THEY want to sell and THEIR customers want to buy. Otherwise it's mom and apple pie. Maybe next year.
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