By Daniel Tyrode, Strategic Product Manager, Comptel
Comptel has been closely following the development of both network function virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) through multiple forums, events and initiatives. As my colleague Stephen Lacey wrote recently, we decided to lend our voice to NFV and SDN standardisation by joining the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) NFV specialisation group in 2014.
At the same time, we explored an industry-led initiative to contribute to NFV and SDN’s future, with the idea of accelerating innovation. The Intel Network Builders (INB) program looked to be a perfect fit, and we are pleased to share that late last year, Comptel officially became an INB member organisation.
Why the INB?
INB serves as a cross-industry platform for collaboration between more than 100 communications service providers (CSPs), software vendors and hardware manufacturers within the NFV and SDN ecosystem. The INB’s goal is to leverage the collective experience of its member organisations, to identify ways to make NFV and SDN infrastructure easier to build and operate.
A key advantage for the INB is that its members are able to innovate and find solutions much more quickly than a typical standardisation body. The INB’s work is intended to support – and not negate – the efforts of organisations like ETSI by implementing short- and mid-term solutions that may later influence hard-and-fast standards.
Our interest in joining INB stemmed from recognition that new market pressures are changing telecommunications faster than the industry can manage. Competition is coming from all sides, including major cloud vendors who are edging their way into the market and putting pressure on traditional telecoms players to innovate.
We knew there was an opportunity for Comptel to contribute solutions, as we have a unique view of NFV and SDN infrastructure challenges that few others possess.
How Comptel Contributes
Comptel’s innovative service orchestration stack offers a complete end-to-end view of NFV and SDN, which provides an important foundation to orchestrate and manage end-to-end services. While many in INB focus on finding solutions to back-end infrastructure challenges, few focus on how NFV and SDN will impact the customer experience at the same time.
Comptel has an interesting value proposition for both sides of the equation. On the back end, our order management, mediation, analytics and policy control solutions can all be run as network functions on virtualised hardware, while our Service Orchestration (SO) Configure Price Quote (CPQ) interface work gives us a perspective into how customers will order and provision the new services that software-based functions will enable.
This holistic view and the strength of our proven, end-to-end product portfolio is what appealed to INB organisers when we showed our interest in membership.
The Advantage for Operators
We are excited to develop partnerships with our peer INB groups and have identified a number of intriguing proofs-of-concept that we believe offer potential for NFV innovation, particularly in the area of service orchestration automation.
Comptel customers should likewise be excited, because collaborative efforts like INB are a boon to operators that desire faster access to flexible and cost-efficient solutions. No one company has all the answers, but through the INB framework, key players in the telco market have an opportunity to drive some of the blueprints for NFV and SDN implementation. Better still, the INB enables quicker speed-to-market for the type of innovative solutions that will change the industry forever.
Visit our SDN/NFV Resource Library to learn more about how cloud and virtualisation technology helps operators unlock cost savings, enable flexible networks and compete on a higher playing field.