Here’s another of "those were the good, old days" stories... or perhaps I should say, a statement of non-compliance when looking at what’s going on, and wrong, in our industry.
It seems that most of the mega trends that have flourished within the telecoms community during the last years have a couple of things in common: 1) they don't work for the vendor community and 2) they have questionable value for service providers. But since they are fashionable, they keep on ruling both headlines and board room conversations. Here are just a few examples:
Where's the way out, and who is the winner? Well I’m not sure there is one.
The concepts of both ultimate openness and disaggregation work in terms of a business model only as long as service providers ignore the total cost of ownership. Yes, there are savings on the hardware, but what they save there they now pay more for the adaptation and hardening of the open software and the integration of hardware pieces that were never meant to work together. Unfortunately, the impact on network operations, while difficult to measure, is for sure huge... and costly.
The real winners so far are system integrators and software companies... and service providers who understand that the magic is still in the right balance between proven, practical and sophisticated, and those who are paying attention to the total cost of ownership. OpenROADM is a great example… at their OFC booth, you could even see OTN switches ready for interworking with other proven devices.
So last but not least, among the winners will be telecommunication vendors which are able to deliver exactly that... cutting edge solutions based on great technology with open interfaces for building multivendor networks, and embedded automation for making our customers life easier. Over time, we will all go down the same road, but in the form of result and value oriented progress rather than driven by the hype, I hope. So maybe there is a business model yet...🙂
With more than 25 years of experience in working in the telecoms market, Andreas is ECI's Head of Product and Corporate Marketing. He has made a career of advocating, explaining and selling the values of telecommunication solutions.