NFV, SDN, SON, VFN, SD WAN… Networking Cloud Alphabet Soup

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NFV, SDN, SON, VFN, SDN; these things are confusingly complicated but point to one common and very simple future. A future leveraging the power of the cloud. A future where the user receives the benefit of new features and applications at a much faster rate, much cheaper, and with some level of customization so that every user experience can be unique. Moreover, with cloud oriented networks security can be increased so online and mobile transactions can be better monitored to ensure the identity of the user or purchaser.

Why these various technologies? Well, first, I’m moderating a couple of panels and IT Expo in the MSP EXP (Managed Service Provider) co-located conference. “So, You Want to Build a Successful Hosted Cloud Communications Business” is on hosted communications which I believe is an interesting subject and fairly well accepted as a business practice. Basically, it is about offering business services that are do not require on premise equipment. The panel is discussing how businesses can establish themselves as hosted Communications providers. A good topic but not as forward-looking as the alphabet soup mentioned above.

The second topic is “How Network Function Virtualization is Reshaping Managed Services in the 21st Century”. This blog does not attempt to explain what Network Function Virtualization is but rather addresses what we should be saying about it. For the providers moving to the cloud, the aforementioned alphabet soup results in reduced costs, scalability, reliability, future-proofing of technology and accelerating the time to market or the ability to deploy new services and features faster.

The questions for the service provider and the user are “What will they get out of it? What features are going to be new for the user? What applications are going to be developed by different companies? Who will excel at creating a different telecom or mobile experience? The service provider is exploring these new features because ultimately, they must generate new revenue to justify the tremendous expenditure required to migrate or transform existing network infrastructures with software-defined/cloud infrastructures. Users don’t care about the strategic side of the decision. Their view is more of “Great! We’re glad that you have gotten with the program and are in the cloud”. They are much more interested in the new services, features and cost.

So, as I travel this week and have discussions with people about the Internet and Telecom related topics, I hope to both learn and comment upon the role of marketing for the next generation telecom and mobile networks. Look forward to seeing you at IT Expo in Fort Lauderdale.

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