When Genband gathered together its service provider and vendor troops in Orlando for Perspectives16 this week, the event had a decidedly sci-fi flavor.
From a Star Wars-inspired introduction to the appearance of Princess Leia on an IBM video and a concert by the band Starship, Genband painted a picture of traditional telecommunications service providers pitted in a battle against an Evil Empire of over the top companies. Instead of light sabers and rocket ships, operators should equip themselves with software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), new value-added services and a continued focus on customer service, Genband executives said.
"NFV, SDN, there's no stopping it. It's just a question of when and who's going to lead the charge. How do I participate in moving it forward rather than being in the back seat or the trunk?" said David Walsh, Genband president and CEO, in his keynote. "SDN and NFV, fifth-generation networks, a lot of this is being driven by the carriers, their engineering and operations people, who want to be more efficient, they want better utilization of opex, they want to streamline operations. Essentially they want to get more bang for their buck from suppliers. They want to react quicker. They want to move from supplier to supplier quicker."
Change is afoot for all service providers, large and small, said Ray Carey, CEO of NeoNova.
"Historically the idea was to buy something with other people's money. Now you use OPI -- other people's infrastructure," he said of today's cloud and virtualization model.
Click on the first image to view the slideshow and read more about Perspectives16.
The Circle Is Now Complete
Genband began its first full day of Perspectives16 with a video that took its inspiration from Star Wars.
— Alison Diana, editor, The New IP
. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana