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NFV Strategies

BT: Aiming for a Virtualization App Store

One of the things that surprised me at our recent NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver was the emphasis service providers were placing on using virtualization to drive new service revenues.

That probably shouldn't be a surprise -- delivering new services faster was certainly an early goal for network functions virtualization, in particular. But the industry then got rapidly immersed in the challenges around operations and automation, and getting services to market seemed to take a back seat. The rise of SD-WAN would seem to signal a shift in perspective back to services -- and it is -- but many early SD-WAN services are appliance-based, and not real virtualization success stories just yet.

It might be a sign of maturity in the virtualization space, however, that service providers are once again talking about how they are using these technologies in the market and the imperative to do so more often.



Jim Sabey, head of connect and compute sales specialists for BT in the US, points out multiple ways that on-demand, cloud-based and virtualized services are coming to market, including in BT's own app store.

And interestingly, he finds customers are also starting to get excited about what's possible with virtualization, including delivering services that are entirely cloud-based, with nothing on the customer premises.

The final real surprise? Even BT's lawyers have to understand the transition to virtualized services in what Sabey says is a top-down change throughout the company.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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