Pieter Veenstra, Senior Manager, Product Development, Security and Routing, NetNumber
This past month, I attended the SDN NFV World Congress 2018 and APIdays Amsterdam. Although the topics of both events were very distinct, I found there to be a close resemblance as both discussed revolutionary changes in the Telco industry and nicely complemented each other:
- The implementation of the Agile DevOps way of working forced by the new technology
- In-house development of software products and the lack of skills and appropriate processes
- Use of fully automated cloud-native platforms empowered by Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Here are highlights from both events.
SDN NFV World Congress
- Absolute highlight was receiving the “Best Marketing Campaign” award for our Private LTE campaign.
- This year, there seemed to be less excitement and more stories about how operators are struggling to get the real benefits out of SDN and NFV. Keynote speakers shared their frustrations with how long it takes to get this new technology in production and over-doing initial experiments with fake virtualization:
- The network technology is ready but still major challenges to get cloud-native automation in production
- Agile working implies major reorganizational changes and a radical cultural turnaround and the lack of skilled personnel
- Few operators report first successes, most are stocked-in-the-middle with organizational/cultural changes
- Most discussed technology element was Kubernetes as orchestration system for Docker containers.
- Operators seem to be shifting from open source software to vendor controlled eco-systems like the new Nokia’s DevOps solution around CloudBand
- This even continues to be the world’s leading SDN and NFV event, but attendee count seems to be down perhaps due to vendor acquisitions, maturing technology and more regional SDN and NFV events.
- Traditional operators like KPN and LGI have implemented platforms for programmable Telco services targeting new opportunities in the enterprise market.
- Alternative player Twilio is already very successful in the VoIP enterprise market, and now broadening its portfolio with acquisition of SendGrid (leading email API provider)
- The market is now ready to make use of Telco APIs with the recent innovations of cost saving calling/chatting robots enabled by the latest ML and AI capabilities and solutions for Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS)
- Apple has embraced WebRTC and is actively supporting the new AV1 codec initiative. This may gear up the WebRTC market like voice assistants in real-time
- This conference was full of excitement, and well attended by 350 people providing good opportunities for networking across the industry.
If you attended either event, I hope you’ll share your perspective below.