OPNFV is offering service providers a new way to have a voice in its open source efforts without the cost of a full membership and the need to send developers to its meetings. (See OPNFV Forms End-User Advisory Group.)
Those two things have been barriers to participation for some carriers, says Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. Director Heather Kirksey, and that's one reason the organization has created its End-User Advisory Group, announced yesterday. Among the initial participants are non-member companies such as Cox Communications Inc. , Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), Fidelity, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and Telefónica .
"There are some operators who have been interested in providing requirements to OPNFV who have had trouble justifying membership," Kirksey tells Light Reading. "This is a place for just the operators to kind of talk amongst themselves about what their deployment challenges are with each other and be able to frankly discuss their pain points. It is a more straightforward way to coalesce requirements with operators, without them feeling they need to bring developers."
That information can then be fed into the OPNFV process, she notes.
As the number of open source groups has proliferated, telecom service providers have spoken up about the challenge of being engaged in multiple groups, especially when it comes to devoting their developers' time to such efforts.
"Some operators don't have a large developer work force," Kirksey says. "And everyone is strapped for technical talent."
There is also value in letting operators converse separately from their vendors, and this gives them the venue for those conversations, she says. "We are hoping we can get a little more into operational challenges that folks are seeing, as they start to deploy."
There is general acknowledgement among operators -- even though many compete with each other -- that infrastructure and operations issues need to be resolved across the industry, Kirksey adds.
"Once they get those ironed out, they can move on to the revenue-generating services, which is where they want to differentiate themselves," she says.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading