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Service Provider Cloud

DZS pact with Plume to extend its cloud to the home network

DZS has forged a partnership with Plume that, it believes, will enable the company to support a broad range of orchestrated, cloud-based services that stretch from the core and access network to the in-home network.

Work is underway to integrate Plume's software-as-a-service platform – used by a wide range of telco and cable operator partners around the world – with the DZS Cloud and DZS Helix Edge Access products. The resulting offering, called DZS Xperience, will initially focus on DZS's existing base of customers while also seeking adoption among new customers that are in the DZS queue.

DZS's connection with Plume starts with OpenSync, which drives communications between the cloud and the customer premises equipment (CPE). It also extends to a range of products from Plume that are underpinned by OpenSync, including HomePass (whole-home adaptive Wi-Fi for residential broadband customers), WorkPass (a version adapted for small business), and Haystack (a backend data analytics suite).

The idea is to put DZS in position to analyze, manage and orchestrate the core and access network – the company's traditional focus – as well as the in-home network.

Extending DZS's cloud-based orchestration and automation systems to the home or business Wi-Fi network "is pretty transformative for us," said Charlie Vogt, DZS's president and CEO.

"It's all about network orchestration, software automation and [the ability] to optimize the overall network that can ultimately give subscribers a better experience," he added. "For us, it's an incremental revenue opportunity and gets us closer to being in the recurring revenue business from a true software license from both network-as-a-service and software-as-a-service."

He also sees the Plume connection as a way to provide DZS customers with more optionality and the ability to boost average revenues per user (ARPU) with premium, whole-home Wi-Fi services.

Though DZS is largely known for access gear and its relatively new DZS Cloud offering, the company also sells in-home gateways that will soon be tied into Plume. The current plan is for DZS to integrate Plume's OpenSync software in its gateways and connect those to its core OLTs (optical line terminals) in January 2022. That timing will also sync up with DZS's plans to start shipping a new lineup of Wi-Fi 6 CPE early next year.

Vogt estimates that DZS has about 20 million residential gateways deployed worldwide.

"We've got an opportunity to go to our existing, installed base and layer on to that existing infrastructure with this new software attribute," he said. DZS, Vogt added, is already working with a number of those customers with the company's orchestration and software automation elements from the network side. "Now we can add the software tools and the software enhancements inside the [customer's] house that gives us an incremental sales opportunity," he explained.

In addition to filling an in-premises gap in DZS's cloud services and management repertoire, the Plume connection will also help DZS on the competitive side with other suppliers, such as Calix and Adtran, that have connected home strategies and products.

The deal will have some obvious benefits to Plume. If DZS is successful, Plume will gain more exposure and adoption among DZS operator customers and expand on a base of communications service providers that have deployed Plume's technology to about 35 million locations worldwide.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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