Earlier this month, the InfoVista team attended TM Forum Live! in Nice, France. Looking back at the event, there was no shortage of interesting conversations with customers, press and analysts and industry peers about how the telecommunications industry must transform to keep up with the future requirements of the digital world.
Specifically, there were three key things that I took away from TM Forum Live! most of all:
CSPs' Role in the Digitalization of the Economy
We now live in a digitally connected society. In some markets, connectivity has become as critical to societies as electricity and other utilities. Any significant degradation in connection quality can inhibit the day-to-day lives of connected citizens who have come to expect continuous, high-quality service, or potentially even impact the growth of countries like India, in which mobile contributed to 65 percent of the country's Internet traffic as of May 2015.
That pressure means that communications service providers (CSPs) have to constantly monitor and improve the quality of their services to meet subscriber expectations. As was echoed by Fabio Pellegrini, head of M2M products and operations at Mobistar during a TM Forum Live! talk, it's connectivity that will be the key to realizing a new digital society. Further, operators have a responsibility to both offer this to users and invest in operating and growing the network.
It's with a holistic network performance strategy that CSPs will be able to really succeed as the backbone of the digital economy and ensure end user needs are met.
TM Forum Catalyst Program: Fostering NFV and Other Innovation
TM Forum events have also become showcases for innovative proof-of-concept initiatives called Catalysts. These Catalysts are presented by CSPs and other ecosystem players, and are aimed at addressing specific industry problems. Our Catalyst, “Zero Touch Network-as-a-Service: Agile, Assured and Orchestrated with NFV,” presented an end-to-end design blueprint that CSPs could adopt in order to deliver network services over SDN- and NFV-enabled infrastructure, while achieving service agility and assurance, as well as a simplified user experience and self-service connectivity.
This particular Catalyst was inspired by the MEF's Third Network Vision. InfoVista worked specifically on the assurance aspect, showing how real-time customer care and performance management reporting could not only be achieved end-to-end, but made to be fully synchronized with dynamic network changes and aligned with real-time customer requests.
Other Catalyst projects championed by companies like AT&T and China Unicom demonstrated ways to reap the full business agility benefits of NFV and multi-cloud services.
Opinions Offered Up on Ipanema
In early April, InfoVista announced its acquisition of Ipanema Technologies, an industry leader in guaranteeing application performance across enterprises' large and complex networks. Ipanema technology allows innovative CSPs to offer application prioritization (control) and hybrid networking services to their end customers. This move was important to our strategy in that we are now able to fully orchestrate customers' network and application performance.
TM Forum Live! was the first major event InfoVista attended following the acquisition, and we were pleased with the positive responses and conversations we had with CSPs, press and analysts about the acquisition's relevance. In particular, the acquisition resonated well with CSPs who now have a one-stop-shop solution provider to differentiate their business services.
Great catching up with old friends and new at TM Forum Live! If you are interested in following the progress of our Catalyst initiative, in particular, stay tuned to the blog. We'll be expanding upon our work with Oracle and Juniper, among others, at GEN15, taking place November 16-19, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.