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Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
9/26/2013 | 3:51:08 PM
Re: Contrarians matter
Joe,

Thanks for weighing in with such a detailed response. I think you are raising some excellent points.

I also think this goes back to what Dan O'Shea said at the beginning of the thread - it's important to remember that different network operators come at these trends from very different places, and at a different pace and level of interest. 
joe.cumello
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joe.cumello,
User Rank: Lightning
9/26/2013 | 3:36:27 PM
Re: Contrarians matter
When it comes to SDN and NFV, I think there are three key issues at play as to whether or they're likley to engage in the discussion or pursue the technology.

1. Ability to React/Limited Capex: Many of these operators have become very efficient at driving maximum revenue out of limited capex resources. Additionally, because of these constraints, they wait until incumbent vendors can provide the technology or until the larger operators have vetted it/tested it first to limit risk.

2. Customers-base: If you're a regional service provider connected to major financial customers, content players, and data centers (or have aspirations to), it's likely that you are dealing with customers that are familiar with elastic compute, cloud services, and virtualization and these customers are looking for that same efficiency and flexibility from their network services. Operators who mainly derive revenue from wholesale or from triple play/residential may not be feeling the same customer pressure for the service types SDN and NFV enable.

3. Business/Revenue Model Simplicity: Related to #2, NFV assumes that the service provider is offering many different service types, hardware, or technologies that need to be virtualized in order to realize the capex and opex reduction promised by this technology. But if you're a small provider that has a simple product porfolio (fiber-based services, or just triple play services) you may not have many functions that need to be virtualized, and as a result, may not see the value yet. 

Speaking from experience, the entry point for Cyan to start SDN conversations in this market is usually in multi-vendor management, visibility, and orchestration of services - which solves a tangible pain-point by simplifying their current operations. 

 

 

   
Dredgie
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Dredgie,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/26/2013 | 2:32:24 PM
Re: Contrarians matter
Yeah – and in all fairness, this might not be on the radar for smaller players... though it should be! Big or small, network operators should all have a 'software telco' mindset.  
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
9/26/2013 | 12:30:16 PM
Re: Contrarians matter
You also have to remember that most of the guys at Comptel are there to buy and sell services from each other - so they are not necessarily talking technology at all. 

Having said that, most are techno-savvy. I think for them, the SDN/NFV discussion is at the point where they've heard a lot about it but aren't convinced it's happening in the near-term. 

I would agree with you on needing public financial models and Project Clearwater is a good example. 
Dredgie
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Dredgie,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/26/2013 | 12:27:46 PM
Re: Contrarians matter
Must admit - I was sorta stunned by this as well, given the 26? more? or so carriers driving NFV, (in one example). But if these guys were suits, that's not so surprising. I think the techies have seen the business model in their heads and are driving ahead as if it's obvious to everyone. What we need is more public financial models like the one created by the Project Clearwater community. Yes – it's simple... but powerful. http://www.projectclearwater.org/technical/clearwater-performance/
TeleWRTRLiz
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TeleWRTRLiz,
User Rank: Lightning
9/26/2013 | 10:33:10 AM
Re: Contrarians matter
Very. I've already passed this article onto my colleague who is running a NFV member workshop on Monday. 
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
9/26/2013 | 10:30:09 AM
Re: Contrarians matter
Liz, 

I was genuinely stunned by the number of blank looks and sheepish smiles I got from CLEC execs who clearly knew of the trend, but don't see it as something they have to understand just yet. Now these were the business guys, not the techies. 

But it was a good reality check, for sure.
TeleWRTRLiz
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TeleWRTRLiz,
User Rank: Lightning
9/26/2013 | 10:27:45 AM
Re: Contrarians matter
Considering the hype around SDN and NFV, that section of your article really puts things into perspective.
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
9/26/2013 | 9:43:33 AM
Re: Contrarians matter
Dan, well-said and I agree. That's one of the fun things about Comptel is talking to folks who speak their mind even it if bucks conventional wisdom. I always learn stuff from people like that. 

 
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
9/26/2013 | 9:35:59 AM
Contrarians matter
These are important opinions, and we need these kinds of perspectives more often when massive hype builds around new technologies. It's a reminder that innovation isn't one-size-fits-all, and different carriers have different needs--their disinterest should not necessarily be viewed as a failure to understand. In fact, maybe they're seeing something the rest of us don't see, or don't want to see, at any rate.


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