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OSS Is Key to SDN, NFV Strategies

Ray Le Maistre
10/1/2014

For any network operator planning to introduce SDN and NFV capabilities in an effort to become more efficient and agile, their starting point on the journey to a more virtualized working environment should be their staff and their OSS and BSS capabilities.

Addressing the cultural implications of SDN, NFV and the cloud services environment is critical. No longer can the network operations, IT and marketing teams work independently: They need to be working as an integrated unit and all to the same gameplan. The CTO, CIO and CMO need to become best buddies: If they don't, then the journey to a next-generation business is going to be either very slow and painful -- or impossible.

Light Reading has been encouraging operators to "bridge the chasm" for years, and it's clear that some operators, including XO Communications Inc. in the US, see the benefits or a revamp in their organizational structure and culture. (See SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network and Bridging the Chasm: A Manifesto.)

That corporate cultural challenge is a tough one. Equally tough is figuring out how the introduction of SDN applications and virtualized functions will affect the back office -- the OSS and BSS. Can existing management and business tools cope with a hybrid network comprising legacy network elements and virtualized/programmable functions? If not, what new management, billing, security and business continuity tools are needed, and where will they come from?


Need to know more about the management of network assets and applications in an SDN and NFV environment? Then check out the agenda for OSS in the Era of SDN & NFV: Evolution vs Revolution, November 6, at the Thistle Marble Arch Hotel in London.


Such questions are so important that Light Reading is gathering together a group of experts in London on November 6 for a one-day conference, OSS in the Era of SDN & NFV, to address and answer them. Leading industry analysts from Heavy Reading , including Caroline Chappell and Gabriel Brown, will be joined by OSS and networking specialists from BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Comptel Corp. (Nasdaq, Helsinki: CTL1V), Netcracker Technology Corp. , Tail-f Systems (now part of Cisco), UBiqube Plc and others to analyze and debate the challenges facing network operators and their options.

Some of those companies already have real-world experience to share: Deutsche Telekom has long talked about the need for a new OSS strategy for its TeraStream network architecture, with Netconf and Yang at the heart of its approach. (See Netconf & Yang Go Mainstream, Deutsche Telekom: A Software-Defined Operator and Nothing Is Sacred, DT's Clauberg Tells BTE .)

Colt, meanwhile, has been forging ahead with its plans to capitalize on the benefits of both SDN and NFV. (See Colt Targets Network Virtualization in the Data Center and Beyond.)

Both of those operators will have unrivaled insights and experience to share at the London conference.

SDN and NFV are game changers, and that means they'll have a significant impact on every part of a telco's business, starting with the staff and the OSS. And given the rate of change in the communications networking sector these days, the time to take the first steps is right now.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
10/3/2014 | 2:48:55 PM
Re: Essential
That's almost the definition of a mature market, isn't it? Revenue does not increase. Until somebody throws a brick through the window and then it's an immature market again. 
Yulot
Yulot
10/2/2014 | 9:51:36 AM
Re: Essential
I dont totally agree (even if I do not disagree either). I would say: they only invest in technologies that explicitly prove they reduce costs, or increase revenue, or do both. But the key here is "explicitly". It is often easier to explicitly demonstrate a cost reduction, than a real revenue increase. My statement is particularly centred on telco operators: since, in mature markets, they have failed to increase revenue for as long as they have been mature - except through mergers & acquisition - and in non mature markets, they are growing naturally, so they are not yet thinking about cost reductions and dont need to really go out of their way to grab the low hanging fruits.

But as a vendor, if you can prove both, you are the alchemist.
CChappell
CChappell
10/2/2014 | 7:51:58 AM
Re: I love a good game of Yang
Thank you for the vote of confidence, Carol! I'm not sure I can 'explain' it at all since so many there are so many pieces to the next gen network management puzzle but I'm happy to ask the awkward questions in the interests of stimulating debate and getting people to think more deeply about what needs to change, how and when. I hope this conference will be a good opportunity to move the dial on our understanding, not just of management practices for SDN and NFV-enabled networks but perhaps more importantly of better ways to manage existing network infrastructure to reduce cost and boost service agility.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
10/1/2014 | 5:21:17 PM
Essential
Connecting SDN and NFV to OSS is essential to generating additional revenue from virtualized networks. And generating revenue is the only way SDN and NFV will work. Companies tend not to invest in improvements that just reduce costs. 
cnwedit
cnwedit
10/1/2014 | 3:09:05 PM
I love a good game of Yang
Oh wait, that's Yahtzee. 

I'm looking forward to this because of how crucial the OSS piece of virtualization is - and how well Caroline Chappell explains it all. 
sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
10/1/2014 | 1:38:54 PM
WIT too
I am really excited for this show! We are hosting our second Women in Telecom breakfast ahead of it too: http://www.cvent.com/events/oss-in-the-era-of-sdn-nfv/custom-18-cd7863e69f08451084f9b0bae9ec7f80.aspx  Hope to see everyone at both!
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