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NFV: The Freedom to Fail - Faster With Lower Risk and Cost Exposure


Yesterday’s panel discussion at TMF’s Digital Disruption Conference in San Jose created both debate and agreement between Jeff Edlund, CMS, CTO, HP Enterprise Services; James Feger, VP, Network Strategy and Development, CenturyLink; and Farid Feisullin, Senior Network Architect, CTO Office, Sprint. Together the panel explored the real impact Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) will have on Communication Service Providers. Sebastiano Tevarotto,  Board of Directors,  Minerva Networks, moderated the panel.






For me, there were 3 primary takeaways.

  1. The primary interest carriers have in NFV is its ability to drive new revenue streams and create new businesses. These businesses currently can’t be supported by today’s proprietary and cumbersome architecture.
  2. No one is waiting for standards to be completely “inked” before trying things out.
  3. The cost of trial and error will be considerably reduced, and the carrier will be liberated to quickly set up and try new services/networks without significant penalty when they fail.  


Jeff Edlund summed up NFV by saying, “NFV will give carriers the  agility benefit OTT providers have experienced for a while.”


It’s not about CAPEX, it is about the business opportunity

Probably the most interesting debate between audience and panel was regarding the relative importance the panel placed (or didn’t) on the CAPEX benefit of NFV. Most in our industry have heard about the cost-saving benefits of NFV.  But this panel felt that the real value was less about improving  CAPEX and more about creating service velocity, improving OPEX and ultimate impact. This caused a bit of a stir in the audience as an attendee asked if that is how their management, and other C-level executives saw it.  While reiterating that yes indeed, CAPEX will ultimately be impacted, it isn’t how anyone on the panel captured the real potential and value of NFV. They felt the opportunity to compress time, increase velocity and release OPEX were the real NFV attributes that will propel this movement forward.


Freedom to Fail

Jeff Edlund asked the CenturyLink and Sprint executives if, “They believed with NFV there is less risk for failure.” Both overwhelmingly agreed that that was the case. Feger specifically said you can now “Fail fast and not worry about it, wheras in a capital-limited environment, you don’t have that kind of luxury.” He added “It is now just a software play, and if it fails we just move on.”


Standards Won’t Slow Carriers Down

While all were in full support of standards organizations working on propelling industry approach to this new environment, no one on the panel was waiting for the ink to dry on standards documentation to trial various use cases. Recognizing that the Telco industry in particular is often slow and burdened by standards initiatives and efforts, all on panel indicated they WERE NOT going to let standards slow down their pursuit of getting to the revenue opportunities NFV will help them realize. European Telecom Standards Institute (ETSI) was recognized as driving tremendous value accelerating the industry’s ability to execute NFV and breaking down barriers between vendors and the overall emerging ecosystem replete with new players.



The discussion will continue Thursday as Silicon Valley Telcom Council sponsors a carrier executive lunch on the topic with representation from HP, Orange and others to continue the dialog.

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About the Author
Julia Mason-Ochinero is WW CME Marketing Lead, HP Enterprise Marketing. In this role, Julia is responsible for driving dialog with CSPs on h...
About the Author(s)
  • Alain Decartes has over three decades experience working in the Telecommunication and IT Sector. Here he has had roles in a variety of sectors including the Value Added Service, Cloud Services and Apps Store market worldwide. He has strong skills in international sales, marketing and business development. Alain is HP Software’s worldwide Industry Solution Marketing Lead for the Communications, Media and Entertainment (CME) industry and sub-segments. In the past, Alain has held senior roles with Unisys, Comverse and Prodata Belgium. He is a popular speaker, moderator or chair at worldwide industry conferences. Alain has been a Board member at the International Association for Enhanced Voice Services. He has also won a number of Industry accolades including The Messaging Industry Association Special Recognition Award. Alain received a Civil Engineer in Telecommunications degree from the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons in Belgium.
  • Sigge Andreasson is Worldwide Solutions Marketing Manager for OSS Transformation, CMS at HP. Sigge has more than 25 years of experience in the telecom and software industries, and has held a number of different positions during his career with HP, spanning telecom engineering, pre-sales and marketing. Sigge holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
  • Julia Mason-Ochinero is WW CME Marketing Lead, HP Enterprise Marketing. In this role, Julia is responsible for driving dialog with CSPs on how they can transition to sustainable, profitable business models and enter into co-opetition with over-the-top (OTT) content providers who are changing this industry’s landscape. She joined HP in 2010 from Accel Partners (where she worked as a consultant.) Prior to Accel, Julia held marketing leadership positions with companies including Adobe, Nuance, OpenWave, Novell, Nuance Communications and RealNetworks. She began her career in Chicago working with organizations including AT Kearney, Andersen Consulting and Ameritech. She currently resides in Silicon Valley.
  • Marco has over 15 years’ experience working on strategy and innovation projects for major clients in the Telecom and Media Industries. He helps clients to improve their business performance through the adoption of strategically-driven technology solutions.
  • Marie-Sophie Masselot is bringing her thought leadership in business transformation in the telecom arena, thanks to her latest role as the marketing lead for the HP Solution Consulting Services practice worldwide. She is coming with a technical background as computer sciences engineer, having held different positions from software development through supply chain or sales support in telecom companies.
  • Michel Ferachoglou has over 20 years in IT and Communications, holding senior Product Management, Business Development, and Marketing positions with HP, as well as held various people management, strategic and business planning roles. Today, Michel is leading the NFV marketing program for CMS, along with a number of cross-portfolio activities within HP CMS Solution Enablement team.
  • Marie-Paule Odini is a seasoned HP executive, bring over 25 years of telecom experience. She has deep expertise in both the networking and IT environments, bridging voice and data. Marie-Paule is the HP CTO for Europe, responsible for the Communication and Media Solution organization, focused on customer innovation and emerging trends. She leads the technology discussions for M2M, Analytics and Cloud. She seats on ETSI and other standard bodies. She is a frequent industry speaker and editor in professional magazines, blogs on HP Telecom IQ and tweets on CMS twitter account. Marie-Paule’s prior responsibilities include managing HP’s worldwide VoIP program, HP’s wireless LAN program, and HP’s Service Delivery program. Since joining HP in 1987, she has held positions in technical consulting, sales development and marketing in Europe and in the Americas. Those roles have focused on strategic and operational responsibility for Networking, IT and operations. Marie-Paule holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Utah State University and business education from INSEAD, Paris. Prior to joining HP, Marie-Paule spent five years with France-Telecom/Orange research and development labs, defining architecture and value-added services launch for corporate customers. She also worked with standard bodies and industry forums at that time. She enjoys skiing and outdoors in general.
  • Oded Ringer overlooks HP's worldwide marketing strategy for Actionable Customer Intelligence (ACI) solutions. With many years in the Telecom industry, at companies like Alcatel-Lucent and TTI-Telecom, Oded focuses on Go-To-Market strategies bringing together Products, Business, Operations, Sales and Marketing.
  • Richard Arthur has enjoyed the last two decades of the wild ride that has been the communications industry since deregulation. He is currently leading the Services and Solutions Marketing team in HP’s Communication and Media Solutions business unit. This role embraces transformative telecom solutions including telecom cloud services, outsourcing, solution lifecycle services, OSS/BSS and network platforms. Richard is also managing the CloudSystem Service Provider Program in HP.
  • Grace has initiated and implemented in last decade the first support contracts for large Telecom operators like France Telecom, Vodafone, BT...Today she is in charge of developping support services which are maturing with a shift from reactive break/fix models to more-proactive and enhanced offerings that add business value.

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