Q: Why should my company get involved in yet another industry organization?
A: Five (5) reasons:
1. It’s the Right Thing for the Industry
We are living in extraordinary times. The world is on the brink of an economic revolution, one that is driven by communications technology. Planes, cars, industrial equipment, even our own bodies will become nodes on the network. For the leading companies in our industry, helping to create the digital economy is not simply a job, it is a mission – one that has the potential to improve the lives of every person on the planet. No one company, no matter how large or successful, can drive this mission on its own. To succeed, individual industry players must collaborate with each other at a level of openness and intensity that is unprecedented and goes beyond individual corporate agendas or P&L sheets. The NIA’s function is to facilitate and accelerate that collaboration.
2. Problem Solving
NIA is a unique proposition in that it does not seek to make standards, but rather to create awareness of the entire ecosystem of standards in order to facilitate a dialectic that will result in better specifications, and a faster path to market for the products and services that implement them.
The benefits to your company’s reputation in our industry are obvious. Participating in NIA positions your company as a proponent of the open standards process; a leading protagonist in the mission to enable a global digital economy; a proactive problem solver, helping to prevent interoperability problems for service provider and enterprise customers before they hit their networks. (And not joining will single your company out, in the minds of customers, as part of the proprietary problem, rather than a key proponent of the open industry solution.)
4. Increased Efficiency, Reduced Costs
Service providers and equipment vendors interviewed by Light Reading this year say that the job of sending staff to multiple meetings hosted by multiple different standards groups is becoming impractically onerous. By providing both comprehensive information about what the standards bodies are doing, as well as online facilities to discuss their work, NIA reduces the number of meetings that companies have to attend in person, saves them from having to do their own research into which orgs are doing what, allows them to prioritize their human resources and enables them to identify more easily/quickly which industry organizations are the ones best aligned with their strategies. All of this saves them money and time.
5. Influencer Opportunity
NIA will be the leading body to democratize and orchestrate activities among the standards groups driving future direction of the industry. Joining NIA is an opportunity to make your voice heard in the process. This is particularly valuable for small companies and startups lacking the resources to join and monitor every standards group out there, but who want – and deserve! – their say in the future.
Q: What is the NIA?
A: A not-for-profit, independent industry initiative designed to support and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, advanced, virtualized IP networks by providing information, education, analysis, community services and testing.
Q: Is NIA a standards body?
A: No. NIA does not develop standards or make standards recommendations. It is antidote to the confusion caused by the surfeit of standards activity in our industry.
Q: What do the letters NIA stand for?
A: New IP Agency.
Q: When did the NIA launch?
A: January 2016.
Q: Will there be events?
A: NIA will hold meetings alongside existing industry events.
Q: Is NIA a part of Light Reading?
A: No. NIA is a completely separate entity and will be incorporated as a 501(c)6not-for-profit (pending IRS approval).
Q: Why is Light Reading helping to launch the NIA as a not-for-profit organization rather than making it part of its commercial activities?
A: The NIA can only fulfill its mandate if it is set as a truly independent entity, separate from the commercial or “for-profit” activities of LR llc.
Q: How is NIA funded?
A: The organization is funded via membership dues, which support the operational management of the NIA.
Q: Why was NIA conducting interoperability evaluations prior to its launch in January 2016?
A: With the support of Light Reading, LLC members of the NIA participated in a conceptual interoperability evaluation prior to the formal launch of the NIA. This initial evaluation helped launch the NIA by demonstrating the industry’s willingness to partake in multi-vendor interoperability evaluations.
Q: How was the pre-launch funded in 2015?
A: During the pre-launch phase in 2015, the cost of developing NIA was covered by Light Reading llc and its partners.
Q: What benefits do companies that pay for membership in NIA receive?
A: Participation in the NIA interoperability testing program (details to be announced in Q3 2015); Access to value-added information and research not publicly available on the NIA website; Sponsorship of NIA activities; Free admission to NIA events.
Q: How is the NIA governed?
A: The NIA is governed by a Board of Directors, featuring 10 delegates from leading solutions companies and service providers
Q: What is the cost of membership?
A: Membership dues are based upon company revenues and range between $9,000 and $50,000 depending on a company’s revenue.
Q: Will Light Reading sell marketing services to NIA?
A: Yes, for the first calendar year, Light Reading will provide marketing, content, event and market research services to NIA. However, it is not the exclusive provider of these services and the NIA board may vote to select other partners, in addition to or instead of LR, solely at its discretion.
Q: Doesn’t that mean LR could end up not playing a role in an organization it helped launch?
A: Yes. If the board of NIA felt that there was another publisher that served its needs better we would accept the decision without umbrage. The NIA mission is bigger than any one company.
Q: Which standards will NIA concern itself with?
A: Initially the focus of NIA is on virtualization (SDN, NFV, MANO, etc.). Its remit will broaden to cover other technologies, such as IoT, at a later time.
Q: Does NIA believe that everything should be standardized on next-gen networks?
A: No. Individual companies will always add value to their customer networks using proprietary functions – that is the nature of our industry. But it is essential that some specific functions (SDN controllers, orchestrators, IE) are both standardized and interoperable.
Q: What and when was the first test conducted by NIA?
A: The first test was run by Light Reading prior to the launch of NIA, as an example or “proof point” of the kind of work that NIA will perform. It evaluated NFVi-to-VNF interoperability and was completed in November 2015 – see ‘Light Reading Publishes Unique NFV Interoperability Test Report’.
Q: Who can I talk to if I want more information about NIA?
A: Please contact Jeff Hannah, Director, NIA (firstname.lastname@example.org).