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Michelle
Michelle
10/24/2017 | 8:16:48 PM
Watch out
This sounds like pretty good advice. I think #1 is especially good.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
10/25/2017 | 9:45:51 AM
Perverse disincentives
All well put -- esp. the point about stockholders -- a fact of life that I've long criticized about publicly held companies who are perversely disincentivized from long-term innovation projects.

As for the rest of it, it's a little like jumping off a bridge just because everybody else is. But in this case, if you're the last to jump off the bridge, the sky falls on you.

Or something like that. It's a bit early for analogies when I haven't finished my first dose of caffeine.
mendyk
mendyk
10/25/2017 | 9:51:19 AM
Re: Perverse disincentives
Thanks, Joe. Re the jumping off, CSPs are going to be forced to make a decision -- take the leap and hope all this transformation/automation stuff really works in their favor, or play it safe and stay on the bridge, knowing that eventually -- and that eventuality may be a couple of decades away -- the bridge will collapse of its own accord.
Sterling Perrin
Sterling Perrin
10/25/2017 | 10:54:17 AM
Re: Perverse disincentives
Bill Walker from CenturyLink made a very interesting general point about capex/opex savings that applies to automation. Talking specifically about SDN/NFV he said that when you save the company X dollars in a year, then the CFO cuts your budget by X dollars the next year. It becomes a one-time benefit to your organization, because year 2 that money has breen removed from your budget.

The process/business structure becomes a disincentive to investing in the opex savings side of automation - not just for the C-level executives but for the network planners as well. 

Sterling
mendyk
mendyk
10/25/2017 | 11:33:19 AM
Re: Perverse disincentives
Yes, the reward for doing a good job often is a shot to the nuggets. That's why smart folks make sure to get bonuses and such to compensate for making their lives miserable.
brooks7
brooks7
10/25/2017 | 1:10:44 PM
Re: Perverse disincentives
 

I would argue that this exchange (Dennis/Sterling) is exactly why NFV will go nowhere anytime soon.  In the eyes of the CTL exec, Budget = Power.  Thus, I can not go with something that would ultimately lower my Budget...even if it is the best thing for the company.

seven
Duh!
Duh!
10/25/2017 | 1:41:04 PM
Re: Perverse disincentives
... that's also why smart CEOs tie individual performance goals to corporate goals like "Reduce opex by x-percent".
mendyk
mendyk
10/25/2017 | 1:58:35 PM
Re: Perverse disincentives
I wonder how many CEOs -- smart or otherwise -- actually drill down into the "how" when it comes to setting or approving performance targets.
Duh!
Duh!
10/25/2017 | 1:59:06 PM
One of those industry buzz-words
"Automation" is one of those nebulous things that everybody "gets" - differently.

Rhetorical question: where is the "automation" line-item in next year's capital budget? Answer: there are line items for things like capitalized software (MANO, analytics, VNFs, etc), servers, fabric switches, white boxes, robotic fiber frames and all the capitalized software that goes with them. Automation is simply a byproduct of the architecture that these things comprise.

To oversimplify: it just falls out of the new architecture.

Or am I missing something?
mendyk
mendyk
10/25/2017 | 2:04:12 PM
Re: One of those industry buzz-words
I don't think you're missing anything. That's going to be a big challenge. "Automation" is a pretty vague end-concept for CSPs, one that involves overhauling just about every part of their business. For the Webscale companies, automation, as some would say, is baked into their DNA. One way this logically plays out is if the Web guys just buy up the Tier 1 CSPs. That would clear up any vagueness.
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