Comarch supports creation of the IoT Ecosystem for SCSK

Comarch Supports Creation of the IoT Ecosystem for Japanese Enterprises on Behalf of SCSK.

The SCSK Corporation, one of the largest system integrators in Japan, has chosen Comarch as a partner to enrich its portfolio with IoT device management and monetization capabilities. Comarch will deliver elements of its IoT ecosystem offer, and related solutions, in order to accelerate SCSK’s Internet of Things’ business in Japan.

SCSK insisted on obtaining an end-to-end, open IoT platform to facilitate a variety of future use cases in the different market segments addressed by the company. Comarch is going to deploy a number of solutions as well as its IoT devices, including:

Comarch IoT Enablement Platform – a scalable, modular and flexible, device-management platform supporting all major connectivity standards (Wifi, BLE, Thread, RFID, NB-IoT, LoRa and Sigfox). The solution’s main function will be the management of devices enabling asset tracking and other location-based services (LBS) – Comarch IoT Hub, Comarch Beacon, and Comarch NB-IoT Button.
Comarch IoT Solution Management – set of functionalities to support the overall sales process in the IoT area. The solution boosts automation from the point of onboarding existing and prospective customers to the final purchase.
“SCSK looks forward to exploring market possibilities offered by the IoT ecosystem, and intends to evaluate possible synergies related to cooperation with Comarch in other product areas”, says Atsushi Watanabe, Managing Executive Officer and General Manager of the Distribution and Media Systems Business Group at SCSK Corporation.

The solution is expected to facilitate sales support, design, quoting, and the creation of IoT-related service agreements. With the support of Comarch IoT devices, the platform will enable scenarios such as asset tracking, indoor navigation and presence detection.

The project commenced in October 2018.

“This is an important step in expanding Comarch’s presence in Japan. Not only have we teamed up with a leading IT technology player there, but the cooperation also pertains to one of the hottest topics on the IT landscape – the enterprise Internet of Things”, says Pawel Kleczek, Managing Director at Comarch Japan. “The platform will enable SCSK to flexibly develop new applications on top of the provided IoT ecosystem as required.”

Accenture to offer ONAP-aaS

Accenture Extends Collaboration with ONAP to Help Communications Industry Accelerate Transformation to Software-Based Networks.

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has extended its collaboration with LF Networking (LFN) — which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open networking projects, including the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) — upgrading its membership to Gold level status as part of its strategy to build a comprehensive “as-a-service” solution for the software-defined ecosystem.

As part of the LFN family of projects, ONAP provides a comprehensive platform for real-time, policy-driven orchestration and automation of physical and virtual network functions that will enable software, network, information technology and cloud providers and developers to rapidly automate new services and support complete lifecycle management.

Accenture is bringing a comprehensive ONAP-as-a-service solution to market to enable communications service providers (CSPs) and network equipment providers to fully leverage and operationalize the industry-leading open source platform. Providing integration, customization and managed services to support companies’ digital transformations, the as-a-service solution will include a hardened ONAP community release based on Accenture assets:

  • A digital customer portal;
  • A multi-vendor virtual network function (VNF) test and certification portal and platform;
  • Continuous integration and delivery automation cartridges for ONAP components;
  • A service assurance and resource-management solution for network function virtualization infrastructure and VNFs;
  • ONAP integration packs for leading software-defined wide area network vendors; and
  • A flexible cross-industry and vendor-neutral platform framework that enables faster build and deployment of VNFs as cloud-native applications.

“While progress is being made in the shift from a hardware- to a software-based network, there is still a need to accelerate the transformation, and as a Gold member of LF Networking, we can provide a solution that will benefit the ONAP community,” said Amol Phadke, a managing director at Accenture who leads its Network Strategy and Network portfolio of services. “ONAP enables the industry to evolve more rapidly toward programmable network platform architecture.”

Accenture’s participation in ONAP reaffirms its commitment to carrier network transformation and innovation, helping CSPs build next-generation platforms to move from legacy to new business models, develop and launch new services rapidly and at scale, and create and manage real-time operations.

“We are excited that Accenture has chosen to invest further in LFN and ONAP,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking at The Linux Foundation. “Their support adds to our strong roster of organizations across the globe, and their experience co-innovating across large, diverse ecosystems will help drive open-source networking efforts forward.”

Juniper signs $325m deal with IBM

IBM Services Strikes Agreement with Juniper Networks to Speed its Journey to the Cloud.

IBM Services announced a $325 million agreement with Juniper Networks in which IBM will assist the network technology giant in managing its existing infrastructure, applications and IT services to help reduce costs and enhance their journey to the cloud.

According to a recent report from IBM’s Institute for Business Value, nearly all companies surveyed said they are using some form of cloud computing today, with 85 percent using more than one cloud environment.

As part of the seven-year agreement, IBM will use the IBM Services Platform with Watson to help manage the Sunnyvale, Calif. based company’s support systems including data centers, help desks and data and voice networks.

“A key element of our digital transformation is to manage the complexities of our global operation and to get the most out of our current investments,” said Bob Worrall, Chief Information Officer, Juniper Networks. “In working with IBM Services, we will be able to collaborate with them on innovative solutions for our cloud-first business model.”

In addition, this agreement will allow Juniper Networks to leverage IBM’s cognitive technologies to create an agile IT environment. IBM will introduce the “Factory Development” concept for application management, using automation and cognitive tools, designed to help Juniper drive efficiency, cost savings and assist Juniper Networks toward achieving a cloud-native landscape.

“Our work with thousands of enterprises globally has led us to the firm belief that a ‘one-cloud-fits-all’ approach doesn’t work and companies are choosing multiple cloud environments to best meet their needs,” said Martin Jetter, Senior Vice President of IBM Global Technology Services. “Working with Juniper, we are integrating cloud solutions with their existing IT investments via the IBM Service Platform with Watson. This gives them the opportunity to generate more value from existing infrastructure, along with helping them manage strategic services that are critical to their business.”

IBM Unveils World’s First Quantum Computing System

IBM Unveils World’s First Integrated Quantum Computing System for Commercial Use.

At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled IBM Q System One™, the world’s first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use. IBM also announced plans to open its first IBM Q Quantum Computation Center for commercial clients in Poughkeepsie, New York in 2019.

IBM Q systems are designed to one day tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical systems to handle. Future applications of quantum computing may include finding new ways to model financial data and isolating key global risk factors to make better investments, or finding the optimal path across global systems for ultra-efficient logistics and optimizing fleet operations for deliveries.

Designed by IBM scientists, systems engineers and industrial designers, IBM Q System One has a sophisticated, modular and compact design optimized for stability, reliability and continuous commercial use. For the first time ever, IBM Q System One enables universal approximate superconducting quantum computers to operate beyond the confines of the research lab.

Much as classical computers combine multiple components into an integrated architecture optimized to work together, IBM is applying the same approach to quantum computing with the first integrated universal quantum computing system. IBM Q System One is comprised of a number of custom components that work together to serve as the most advanced cloud-based quantum computing program available, including:

  • Quantum hardware designed to be stable and auto-calibrated to give repeatable and predictable high-quality qubits;
  • Cryogenic engineering that delivers a continuous cold and isolated quantum environment;
  • High precision electronics in compact form factors to tightly control large numbers of qubits;
  • Quantum firmware to manage the system health and enable system upgrades without downtime for users; and
  • Classical computation to provide secure cloud access and hybrid execution of quantum algorithms.

The IBM Q Quantum Computation Center

The IBM Q Quantum Computation Center opening later this year in Poughkeepsie, New York, will expand the IBM Q Network commercial quantum computing program, which already includes systems at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown, New York. This new center will house some of the world’s most advanced cloud-based quantum computing systems, which will be accessible to members of the IBM Q Network, a worldwide community of leading Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions, and national research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science.

IBM Poughkeepsie’s unique history in computing stretches back to the development of IBM’s first line of production business computers in the 1950s, the IBM 700 series, and the IBM System/360 in the 1960s, which revolutionized the world by changing the way businesses thought about computer hardware. Now home to one of the world’s most-powerful classical system, the IBM mainframe, IBM Poughkeepsie is positioned to be one of the few places in the world with the technical capabilities, infrastructure and expertise to run a quantum computation center, including access to high performance computing systems and a high availability data center needed to work alongside quantum computers.

“The IBM Q System One is a major step forward in the commercialization of quantum computing,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research. “This new system is critical in expanding quantum computing beyond the walls of the research lab as we work to develop practical quantum applications for business and science.”

IBM assembled a world-class team of industrial designers, architects, and manufacturers to work alongside IBM Research scientists and systems engineers to design IBM Q System One, including UK industrial and interior design studios Map Project Office and Universal Design Studio, and Goppion, a Milan-based manufacturer of high-end museum display cases that protect some of the world’s most precious art including the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

Together these collaborators designed the first quantum system to consolidate thousands of components into a glass-enclosed, air-tight environment built specifically for business use, a milestone in the evolution of commercial quantum computers.

This integrated system aims to address one of the most challenging aspects of quantum computing: continuously maintaining the quality of qubits used to perform quantum computations. Powerful yet delicate, qubits quickly lose their special quantum properties, typically within 100 microseconds (for state-of-the-art superconducting qubits), due in part to the interconnected machinery’s ambient noise of vibrations, temperature fluctuations, and electromagnetic waves. Protection from this interference is one of many reasons why quantum computers and their components require careful engineering and isolation.

The design of IBM Q System One includes a nine-foot-tall, nine-foot-wide case of half-inch thick borosilicate glass forming a sealed, airtight enclosure that opens effortlessly using “roto-translation,” a motor-driven rotation around two displaced axes engineered to simplify the system’s maintenance and upgrade process while minimizing downtime – another innovative trait that makes the IBM Q System One suited to reliable commercial use.

A series of independent aluminum and steel frames unify, but also decouple the system’s cryostat, control electronics, and exterior casing, helping to avoid potential vibration interference that leads to “phase jitter” and qubit decoherence.

What to read from a simple little OSS job advertisement from AWS

Not sure if you noticed, but AWS posted this job advertisement on LinkedIn a couple of days ago – Business Portfolio Leader – Telecom OSS/BSS Solutions.

The advertisement includes the following text:
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is leading the next paradigm shift in computing and is looking for a world class candidate to manage an elite portfolio of strategic AWS technology partners focused on the Operation support System (OSS) and Business Support System (BSS) applications within telecommunications segment. Your job will be to use these strategic partners to develop OSS and BSS applications on AWS infrastructure and platform.”

How do you read this advertisement? I have a few different perspectives to pose to you:

I can’t predict AWS’ future success with this initiative, but I’m assuming they’re creating the role because they see a big opportunity that they wish to capture. They have plenty of places they could otherwise invest, so they must believe the opportunity is big (eg the industry of OSS suppliers selling to CSPs is worth multi-billions of dollars and is waiting to be disrupted).

OSS/BSS are typically seen by CSPs as a very expensive (and risky) cost of doing business. I’m certain there’s a business model for any organisation (possibly AWS and its tech partners) that can significantly improve the OSS/BSS delivery costs/risks for CSPs.

The ad identifies CSPs (specifically the term, “major telecom infrastructure providers”) as the target customer. You could pose the concept that the CSPs won’t want to support a competitor in AWS. The CSPs I’m dealing with can’t get close to matching AWS cost structures so are partnering with AWS etc. Not just for private cloud, but also public and hybrid cloud too. The clip-the-ticket / partnership selling model appears to be becoming more common for telcos globally, so the fear-of-competition barrier “seems” to be coming down a little.

The other big challenge facing the role is network and data security. What’s surprised me most are core network services like directory services (used for internal authentication/AAA purposes). I never thought I’d see these outsourced to third-party cloud providers, but have seen the beginnings of it recently. If CSPs consume those, then OSS/BSS must be up for grabs at some CSPs too. For example, I’d imagine that OSS/BSS tools were amongst the 1,000 business apps that Verizon is moving to AWS.

The really interesting future consideration could be the advanced innovation that AWS et al could bring to the OSS space, and in ways that the telcos and OSS suppliers simply can’t. This recent post showed Google’s intent to bring AI to network operations. It could revolutionise the OSS/BSS industry. Not just for CSPs, but for their customers as well (eg their enterprise-grade OSS). Could it even represent another small step towards the OSS Doomsday Scenario posed here?

And just who are the “strategic partners” that AWS is referring to? I assume this old link might give at least one clue.

I’m certainly no Nostradamus, so I’d love to get your opinions on what ramifications this strategic hire will have on the OSS/BSS industry we know today.

Accenture helps Telefónica with CX

Accenture Helps Telefónica Transform the Customer Experience.

Accenture has helped Telefónica, one of the world’s largest private telecommunications companies, transform its customer experience with a complete overhaul of its digital experience for customers in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Spain and the U.K.

To acquire and retain new customers, Telefónica had to rethink its commercial focus and create a new, seamless and personalized omnichannel experience. Accenture Interactive helped the company innovate and transform its digital sales capabilities by designing and developing an online sales funnel, a search engine optimization capability and a search engine marketing capability.

Accenture Interactive and its design and innovation consultancy, Fjord, also reimagined Telefónica’s website design and digital marketing experience, creating a holistic customer experience across all touchpoints and providing content customized for the individual customer.

Accenture also helped Telefónica introduce analytics across all digital channels and call centers to enable a better understanding of the customer throughout the entire digital journey, giving the company the ability to make highly personalized offers and accelerate sales.

“Customers make most of their buying decisions through digital channels, so it was critical that we transform our digital sales capabilities and the overall experience to remain relevant,” said Mariano De Beer, chief commercial and digital officer at Telefónica. “A major part of the transformation was to create a digital ecosystem, enabling us to offer a highly personalized experience with the flexibility to respond quickly to changing customer and market demands. Accenture’s deep digital experience, combined with its world-class marketing and design expertise, made them the obvious choice to help us make this journey.”

To date, the transformation has given Telefónica more efficient, hyper-relevant and more flexible customer-support capabilities, enabling the company to not only improve the experience for millions of customers across five countries but also accelerate sales.

“Telecommunications is an industry where service providers constantly face the risk of losing customers — and, with them, revenue — if they fail to maintain customer relevance,” said Nerea Idirin, a managing director in Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology practice. “Telefónica is a very forward-thinking company and has the courage to continuously innovate, which enables them to maintain their relevance in consumers’ daily digital routines and in turn, their leading position in the market. Our collaboration with Telefónica was designed to help them evolve into a Living Business, enabling them to thrive by continuously adapting to changing customer preferences and market conditions with speed and at scale.”

MYCOM OSI acquired by Inflexion

MYCOM OSI acquired to accelerate cloud-based service assurance leadership.

MYCOM OSI, provider of Assurance, Automation and Analytics solutions to the world’s largest Communications Service Providers (CSPs), announced that it has been acquired by leading private equity firm Inflexion, to fuel its growth and capitalize on its leadership position in a market that is transforming from 30 years of traditional legacy OSS solutions to state-of-the art cloud-based solutions.
MYCOM OSI provides the industry’s first cloud-native service assurance solution – available on private and public clouds – that has been commercially deployed at scale at Tier 1 CSPs, including at Three UK, where MYCOM OSI is assuring the world’s first end-to-end Telco Cloud network, and at one of the top 5 largest CSPs globally, where MYCOM OSI is automating up to 95% of its network quality management operations. MYCOM OSI’s solutions are also used to manage the world’s fastest mobile network, the world’s largest 4G network and the world’s largest VoLTE service.

Along with its cloud-native technology, MYCOM OSI has also successfully introduced an innovative subscription-based commercial model option that provides increased flexibility and time-to-market, and leads the industry in its transition towards a SaaS (software as a service) model.

Inflexion acquired MYCOM OSI due to the significant business growth opportunity, as CSPs seek to transform to Digital Service Providers (DSPs), monetize digital, IoT and 5G services, and adopt intelligent solutions that automate network management to reduce operational and capital costs.

Dr Payam Taaghol, CEO at MYCOM OSI, commented: “We’ve had a great journey through several telecom generations, and have now transformed our company in to a leadership position for the next digital era based on IoT, 5G, automation and AI. We are confident Inflexion’s international footprint, combined with their strong digital skills, make them an excellent partner for us as we embark on our next stage of growth.”

Simon Turner, Managing Partner of Inflexion, commented: “The team at MYCOM OSI have built up an excellent global client base and re-architected their technology and the company to address the global trend of digital transformation that is underway. With our support, the firm plans to continue to evolve their offering and expand their global footprint. We look forward to working together to continue to grow this exciting business.”

President and CTO of MYCOM OSI, Mounir Ladki, added: “We anticipated the telecoms industry’s transformation towards on-demand digital services using IoT and 5G and have rebuilt our portfolio in preparation using the very latest cloud-based technologies. As this transformation gathers pace, Inflexion’s first-class support will allow us to further expand in the Telco and Enterprise markets and accelerate our roadmap plans to further embed automation and AI to deliver the brain of the autonomic network.”

MYCOM OSI’s Assurance Cloud™ visualizes, automates and optimizes digital experiences as well as service and network quality across hybrid physical/virtual telco and IT networks by integrating real time assurance with closed loop automation and analytics driven by Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.

Powered by MYCOM OSI’s Experience Assurance and Analytics™ (EAA) suite of applications, it governs global digital experience as well as service and network quality with an intelligence platform that monitors, detects and heals by leveraging local orchestrators, driving digital transformation initiatives towards autonomic network management.

RCN & Grande expand with Netcracker

RCN & Grande Expand Use of Netcracker Digital BSS With Active Mediation Deployment.

Netcracker Technology announced that RCN & Grande Communications, U.S.-based telecommunications service providers, have expanded their BSS relationship with Netcracker and have gone live with Netcracker’s Active Mediation solution. The expanded BSS capabilities will enhance RCN’s & Grande’s existing use of Netcracker’s Revenue Management solution.

RCN & Grande are leading, competitive cable providers focused largely on key markets across the U.S., including New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and other areas of Texas. Both deliver high-speed internet, all-digital TV and telephony services to residential, small business and enterprise customers.

With Netcracker’s enhanced Active Mediation offering, RCN & Grande now have a pre-integrated BSS solution and a common platform for mediation and usage-based rating across all services from its acquired companies. As a result, RCN & Grande have greater visibility and more control over its services, enabling it to deliver top-rated customer experience.

“As we continue to grow and deliver a wider range of services across more and more markets, it is important that we enable consistent and consolidated billing management capabilities,” said Rob Roeder, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer at RCN. “Netcracker’s Revenue Management solution has proven its ability to support our billing operations for years, which is why we continue to leverage the platform as we expand and grow.”

“The U.S. cable market is in a highly volatile state, as it experiences acquisitions and mergers amidst the demanding digital economy,” said Rohit Aggarwal, General Manager North America at Netcracker. “We are proud to work with forward-thinking operators like RCN, which understands the need for a strategic partner that can support its continued growth and success as it navigates through constant change.”

Comarch selected by Orange Spain

X by Orange, the Ecosystem of Cloud Services for SMEs Launched by Orange Spain, to Implement the Comarch Billing Solution.

Comarch has been selected by Orange Spain to implement a comprehensive BSS solution covering the full chain of billing, charging, and revenue functionalities. It will streamline the processes spanning from network data mining, through rating and charging, to delivery of financial documents and clearing payments.

The Comarch BSS system will help X by Orange, a subsidiary of Orange Spain, to provide a platform of digital services in the cloud for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Numerous partners are involved in the project, which entails extensive integration efforts.

Our system is well tailored to the needs of telecom clients requiring cloud-based billing and working with multiple partners – and was therefore an excellent fit for X by Orange – said Dorota Zimny, Managing Director – Iberia at Comarch.

José María San José, CTIO at X by Orange, added: X by Orange required a billing system that would facilitate revenue management for new services based on very specific demands of SMEs. Functionalities such as real-time charging, support for the development of new business models with partners and effective monetization are now key in expanding a telco business in the digital world, and we were impressed with the capabilities of Comarch BSS in that regard.

Comarch was selected by Orange Spain at the beginning of 2018, and the service powered by Comarch BSS was successfully launched within a few months, in September 2018. This is only the latest project carried out by Comarch within the Orange Group, as the company is already cooperating with Orange affiliates in Poland and Luxembourg.

The X by Orange ecosystem’s offer will include three key areas: cybersecurity, to grant protection against attacks on computers and devices with the help of virtual networks, digitization, to help with the rapid introduction of new services through the cloud, and collaboration, to streamline enterprise communication thanks to easy videoconferencing and a cloud-based switchboard. Announced as a “the easy cloud to boost your company”, X by Orange’s ecosystem will help bring to SME’s services that had only been available to the largest corporations until recently.

Are you heading to Digital Transformation Asia (the new name for TM Forum Live Asia!)?

DTA – TM Forum’s Digital Transformation Asia event (https://dta.tmforum.org/) is almost upon us already. Held in Kuala Lumpur from 13-15 November, there are some really interesting looking talks on the agenda (https://dta.tmforum.org/agenda). I’m looking forward to being overwhelmed by the collective genius that is sure to be in attendance.

Will you be making an appearance?

IBM acquires Red Hat for $34B

IBM TO ACQUIRE RED HAT, COMPLETELY CHANGING THE CLOUD LANDSCAPE AND BECOMING WORLD’S #1 HYBRID CLOUD PROVIDER.

IBM and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source cloud software, announced today that the companies have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion.

“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “IBM will become the world’s #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.

“Most companies today are only 20 percent along their cloud journey, renting compute power to cut costs,” she said. “The next 80 percent is about unlocking real business value and driving growth. This is the next chapter of the cloud. It requires shifting business applications to hybrid cloud, extracting more data and optimizing every part of the business, from supply chains to sales.”

“Open source is the default choice for modern IT solutions, and I’m incredibly proud of the role Red Hat has played in making that a reality in the enterprise,” said Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, Red Hat. “Joining forces with IBM will provide us with a greater level of scale, resources and capabilities to accelerate the impact of open source as the basis for digital transformation and bring Red Hat to an even wider audience – all while preserving our unique culture and unwavering commitment to open source innovation.”

This acquisition brings together the best-in-class hybrid cloud providers and will enable companies to securely move all business applications to the cloud. Companies today are already using multiple clouds. However, research shows that 80 percent of business workloads have yet to move to the cloud, held back by the proprietary nature of today’s cloud market. This prevents portability of data and applications across multiple clouds, data security in a multi-cloud environment and consistent cloud management.

IBM and Red Hat will be strongly positioned to address this issue and accelerate hybrid multi-cloud adoption. Together, they will help clients create cloud-native business applications faster, drive greater portability and security of data and applications across multiple public and private clouds, all with consistent cloud management. In doing so, they will draw on their shared leadership in key technologies, such as Linux, containers, Kubernetes, multi-cloud management, and cloud management and automation.

IBM’s and Red Hat’s partnership has spanned 20 years, with IBM serving as an early supporter of Linux, collaborating with Red Hat to help develop and grow enterprise-grade Linux and more recently to bring enterprise Kubernetes and hybrid cloud solutions to customers. These innovations have become core technologies within IBM’s $19 billion hybrid cloud business. Between them, IBM and Red Hat have contributed more to the open source community than any other organization.

“Today’s announcement is the evolution of our long-standing partnership,” said Rometty. “This includes our joint Hybrid Cloud collaboration announcement in May, a key precursor in our journey to this day.”

With this acquisition, IBM will remain committed to Red Hat’s open governance, open source contributions, participation in the open source community and development model, and fostering its widespread developer ecosystem. In addition, IBM and Red Hat will remain committed to the continued freedom of open source, via such efforts as Patent Promise, GPL Cooperation Commitment, the Open Invention Network and the LOT Network.

IBM and Red Hat also will continue to build and enhance Red Hat partnerships, including those with major cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba and more, in addition to the IBM Cloud. At the same time, Red Hat will benefit from IBM’s hybrid cloud and enterprise IT scale in helping expand their open source technology portfolio to businesses globally.

“IBM is committed to being an authentic multi-cloud provider, and we will prioritize the use of Red Hat technology across multiple clouds” said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Hybrid Cloud. “In doing so, IBM will support open source technology wherever it runs, allowing it to scale significantly within commercial settings around the world.”

Upon closing of the acquisition, Red Hat will join IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team as a distinct unit, preserving the independence and neutrality of Red Hat’s open source development heritage and commitment, current product portfolio and go-to-market strategy, and unique development culture. Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat’s current management team. Jim Whitehurst also will join IBM’s senior management team and report to Ginni Rometty. IBM intends to maintain Red Hat’s headquarters, facilities, brands and practices.

“IBM’s commitment to keeping the things that have made Red Hat successful – always thinking about the customer and the open source community first – make this a tremendous opportunity for not only Red Hat but also open source more broadly,” said Paul Cormier, President, Products and Technologies, Red Hat. “Since the day we decided to bring open source to the enterprise, our mission has remained unchanged. And now, one of the biggest enterprise technology companies on the planet has agreed to partner with us to scale and accelerate our efforts, bringing open source innovation to an even greater swath of the enterprise.”

Global OSS/BSS Market to surpass $50bn by 2024

Global OSS/BSS Market to surpass $50bn by 2024: predicts Global Market Insights, Inc.

OSS/BSS Market share is estimated to cross USD 50 billion by 2024, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. The OSS/BSS market is propelled by the increasing trend of outsourcing services in the telecom industry. As telecommunication service providers grapple with the increasing amount of data, they also need to focus on providing innovative services that will aid them in retaining customers.

Numerous companies are willing to outsource their OSS/BSS functions so that they can concentrate on next-generation products and services. By outsourcing OSS/BSS workflows to an independent service provider, telecom companies are achieving an improved level of customer service assurance. The independent OSS BSS partners offer specialized expertise and deliver services with defined KPIs including hosting, support services, application operation/administration along with the responsibility for the adoption of new network technologies.

The growing adoption of cloud services among the Communication Service Providers (CSPs) is also augmenting the demand for the OSS/BSS system. The growing demand among organizations for the scalability and flexibility along with the rising need to reduce the cost of operation is encouraging CSPs to opt for alternative delivery models. Cloud computing significantly reduces the software and hardware requirements of networks and platforms. Cloud allows the operators to provide an infrastructure on demand and scales the computing capacity. Such elasticity allows rapid solution deployment and enables service providers to improve time-to-market by scaling hardware and software resources.

Service assurance segment in operations support system/business support system (OSS/BSS) market is anticipated to attain the growth rate of over 8% during the forecast timeline. The market is driven by the rising needs among enterprises to provide enhanced customer experience. As the customers are becoming more empowered due to rapid digitalization and easy availability of information, organizations start to focus more on improving enhanced customer experience to boost their churn rate.

Cloud deployment is projected to grow at a CAGR of about 10% during the projected period. Cloud models allow organizations to benefit from best practices, document operational procedures, and are well-proven business models. The cloud model also offers flexible configuration and re-usability, which simplifies the process of launching a new service. Moreover, the model also enables organizations to streamline their business process.

Browse key industry insights spread across 210 pages with 356 market data tables & 28 figures & charts from the 2018 report OSS/BSS Market in detail along with the table of contents:

BFSI sector emerged as the major end-user of the OSS BSS market. It is estimated to grow at the CAGR of more than 11% during the forecast period. As the BFSI sector is moving more toward digitalization and automation, it is looking for more advanced solutions to analyze the information from numerous areas to develop its own competitiveness. The OSS/BSS system allows the organization to analyze the data and financial situation of an organization. The system also enables financial institutes to streamline their operations, scale up their operation, and develop more effective marketing strategies while keeping the cost of the operations low.

The Asia Pacific operations support system/business support system (OSS/BSS) market is estimated to attain a noteworthy growth at a CAGR of over 10% during the forecast timeline. The increasing penetration of the internet and 4G network among the emerging economies including India and China is the primary factor driving the market growth. The rapid deployment of cloud computing services among the SMBs in China and India also augments the demand for the OSS BSS system in the region.

The market is characterized to be highly competitive due to the presence of several multinational and regional players. Some of the prominent vendors in the OSS/BSS market are Amdocs, Accenture, HP Enterprises, CSG Systems, Ericsson, Netcracker, Redknee, Microsoft, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Oracle, and IBM.

PLDT signs with Amdocs

PLDT, AMDOCS SIGN NEW AGREEMENT TO TRANSFORM PLDT AND SMART’S IT INFRASTRUCTURE.

The six-year managed IT infrastructure deal is in addition to the seven-year master transformation service agreement Amdocs signed with PLDT and Smart in Jan 2018
Leading telecommunications and digital service provider PLDT, and Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies, announced that they are expanding their strategic partnership under a six -year service agreement.

Earlier this year, PLDT, Smart and Amdocs signed a $300m, seven-year Master Transformation Agreement to undertake modernization of IT applications and introduction of digital technologies. Such state-of –the-art digital capabilities will deliver compelling customer experiences for PLDT’s wide range of telecommunications and digital services across fixed line and mobile networks.

Under the new agreement, Amdocs will consolidate, modernize and manage PLDT and Smart’s IT Infrastructure. This will entail introducing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, and robotics to their operations. With advanced automation, PLDT and Smart will be able to implement predictive and zero touch operations, auto resolutions of errors, and self-healing of systems. With fully automated operations, PLDT and Smart will be able to prepare for their journey to the cloud, while reducing their operational costs, and engaging their customers with innovative services and compelling experience.

“Our successful collaboration with Amdocs gets stronger as we continue our digital journey,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, President and CEO of PLDT. “This agreement will further boost our efforts to enhance customer experience and engagement. With Amdocs running and automating our IT operations, we will be better equipped to quickly launch innovative products and services to deliver a compelling digital experience to our customers.”

“We are committed to expedite PLDT’s digital journey, and together we have achieved significant milestones in the last nine months,” said Gary Miles, chief marketing officer at Amdocs. “With Amdocs Intelligent Operations, PLDT will be able to inject intelligence and automation into their entire operations, enabling them to become more efficient and take smart product and service decisions. This will help them accelerate innovation to further enhance the superior experience they deliver to their customers, while increasing engagement, loyalty and affinity to their brand.”

Ciena to acquire DonRiver

Ciena announces intent to acquire DonRiver.

Ciena Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held DonRiver, a global software and services company specializing in federated network and service inventory management solutions within the service provider Operational Support Systems (OSS) environment.

DonRiver will bring new capabilities to Ciena’s Blue Planet software and services portfolio that significantly enhance the company’s ability to deliver on its Adaptive Network vision through intelligent, closed-loop automation. Specifically, with the addition of DonRiver’s federated network and service inventory management solutions, Ciena’s Blue Planet capabilities will extend beyond network orchestration and control to also provide a unified inventory view of all elements across a provider’s network. Additionally, the DonRiver team of specialized OSS software, integration and consulting experts will complement and scale the Blue Planet organization to form a truly unique and specialized services group that is able to manage modernization projects across both IT and network operations.

“The combination of Blue Planet and DonRiver will enhance our ability to deliver closed loop automation of network services and the underlying operational processes across IT/operations and the network,” said Rick Hamilton, senior vice president of Global Software and Services at Ciena. “With this new set of technology and expertise, we can help customers realize the full benefits of network automation by helping them move away from highly complex and fragmented OSS environments to those that accurately reflect the real-time state and utilization of network resources.”

The transaction is expected to close during Ciena’s fiscal fourth quarter 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

LG U+ (Korea) signs with Comarch

Comarch to Help Korean LG U+ to Launch One of the First 5G Networks Worldwide.

Comarch and LG U+ have signed a major contract in a bid to completely revamp the Korean operator’s network resource and service management, covering Operations Support & Readiness, Fulfilment and Assurance domains, in preparation for the operator’s planned big scale 5G rollout.

The upcoming implementation will allow LG U+ to migrate from its old in-house solution to a modern and comprehensive telco ecosystem.

Comarch will oversee the implementation of a complete stack of solutions consolidating the existing tools landscape into one unified, scalable platform in the areas of mobile and fixed networks. LG U+ goals in the project are to optimize internal company processes, and to improve the overall end-user experience.

The planned OSS stack overhaul will also be instrumental in the Korean operator’s plans to launch one of the first commercial 5G networks. While supporting the operator in pursuing the latest network technology, the Comarch system will also serve 3G, 4G and fixed network domains.

The solution delivered by Comarch will help LG U+ break IT architecture silos, prepare for efficient fulfilment of modern, 5G-based services, increase network management effectiveness and cut its costs through automation. It will also provide the tools to create logical connectivity layers in a unified format, support network virtualization, and handle the monitoring of network, service and customer layers. Comarch OSS will also empower LG U+ Intelligent Assurance & Analytics including an embedded machine learning engine.

The LG U+ contract is an important milestone for Comarch. Supporting one of the first deployments of a commercial 5G network, puts our company at the true forefront of innovation. The delivery of our OSS platform, which comprises close to 20 modules, will bring our customer a world-class, integrated solution enabling the efficient management of services delivered via mobile and fixed networks. Additionally, a major implementation for a key Korean mobile carrier will definitely help us expand our presence on the Asian markets – noted Jacek Lonc, EVP Sales Telco Division at Comarch.

At LG U+ we currently use an in-house developed OSS stack. As the current IT architecture is silo-based, we experience a number of challenges regarding the introduction of new technologies such as 5G and network virtualization. The successful implementation of Comarch’s comprehensive platform will enable us to achieve a competitive advantage and increase business process efficiency – noted Hokyung Kwon, NMS Development Team Leader at LGU+.

Ericsson to acquire CENX

Ericsson to acquire CENX to boost network automation capability.

Ericsson has agreed to acquire 100 percent of the shares in CENX, boosting Ericsson’s Operations Support Systems (OSS) portfolio with vendor-agnostic service assurance and closed-loop automation capability. Ericsson has held a minority stake in CENX since 2012.

Ericsson has a market leading position in NFV and orchestration. This capability will be further enhanced with CENX’s closed-loop automation and service assurance capabilities. To unleash the potential of 5G, telecom operators need to leverage network virtualization and orchestrate and automate network slices to serve the needs of enterprise customers towards their digital transformation – all while reducing operational costs.

Mats Karlsson, Head of Solution Area OSS, Ericsson, says: “Dynamic orchestration is crucial in 5G-ready virtualized networks. By bringing CENX into Ericsson, we can continue to build upon the strong competitive advantage we have started as partners. I look forward to meeting and welcoming our new colleagues into Ericsson.”

Closed-loop automation ensures Ericsson can offer its service provider customers an orchestration solution that is optimised for 5G use cases like network slicing, taking full advantage of Ericsson’s distributed cloud offering. Ericsson’s global sales and delivery presence – along with its strong R&D – will also create economies of scale in the CENX portfolio and help Ericsson to offer in-house solutions for OSS automation and assurance.

Ed Kennedy CEO, CENX says: “Ericsson has been a great partner – and for us to take the step to fully join Ericsson gives us the best possible worldwide platform to realize CENX’s ultimate goal – autonomous networking for all. Our closed-loop service assurance automation capability complements Ericsson’s existing portfolio very well. We look forward to seeing our joint capability add great value to the transformation of both Ericsson and its customers.”

CENX, founded in 2009, is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. The company achieved significant year-over-year revenue growth in the fiscal year that ended December 31, 2017. CENX employs 185 people.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals

Telstra hosts “OSS & Networks for the Future architecture” tomorrow

I’m looking forward to dropping in on a “OSS & Networks for the Future architecture” seminar being hosted by Telstra tomorrow. Hope to see you there.

The agenda is as follows:
8:30 Welcome & registration | Johanne Mayer – Moderator (Global evangelist NaaS 2020, Telstra)
9:00 Introduction | Gary Traver (Director Media Product Engineering, Telstra)
9:15 TMF Open Digital Architecture Update |Ken Dilbeck (VP, Collaborative R&D, TM Forum)
10:00 TMF Open API Rel 18.0 | Pierre Gauthier (Chief API architecture, TM Forum)
11:00 Break
11:15 NaaS API Component Suite & Operational Domain Manager (ODM) | Corey Clinger (OSS Expert, Telstra)
11:45 Service Modeling and Exposure | Raman Bhalla (Chief architect NaaS, Telstra)
12:30 Lunch & onsite demo
13:30 MEF Update | Dan Pitt (Senior VP, MEF)
14:15 Closed-Loop Assurance across domains | Paula Rujak (Head of Architecture, Network 2020, Telstra)
14:45 Telstra NaaS Transformation Learning | Guy Lupo (GM, Head of NaaS 2020, Telstra)
15:30 Break
15:45 ETSI ZSM Update | Klaus Martiny (Deutsche Telekom and ETSI ZSM chair)
16:30 Futurism: Who will be Driving your Network? | Guy Lupo (GM, Head of NaaS 2020, Telstra)

Please send us an email if you’d like to get a summary of the event.

Celcom selects Huawei cloud OSS

Celcom Partners with Huawei to Apply a Cloud-Based Platform for Digitized Network Operations.

Celcom Axiata Berhad inked an agreement with Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. to apply the Cloud-based Digitized Operation Platform, Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

Celcom will be the first in the country to adopt a full suite cloud-based Operation Support Service (OSS) system to accelerate agility in their automation and the intelligence of network management, and to pave the way for their journey towards becoming a digital company.

The Digitized Operation Platform brings together Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning technology powered by Huawei’s award-winning Operation Web Services (OWS) platform, to enhance Celcom’s capabilities in managing increasingly complex networks and services. It also enables Celcom to transform their daily operations from reactive to proactive and predictive, and further solidify their relentless drive to achieve excellence in customer experience.

The agreement to acquire the platform for Celcom’s network operation was signed by Amandeep Singh, Chief Technology Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad and Baker Zhouxin, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., and also witnessed by Bassaharil Mohd Yusop, Head of Procurement, Celcom Axiata Berhad and Tang Qibing, President of Global Technical Service Department, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Through this partnership, Huawei aims to leverage its Digitized Operation AUTomation & INtelligence Services Solution (AUTIN™), and share global experience with Celcom to achieve a visualised, automated and intelligent network operation.

Amandeep Singh, Chief Technology Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad, said that the partnership signifies Celcom’s ongoing commitment in delivering the best network experience to the customers.

“Celcom will constantly continue the evolution of its network with the latest technologies to bring an awesome experience for Malaysians. It is critical that we explore the capabilities of new generation technology with global partners like Huawei.”

“The Digitized Operation Platform will increase Celcom’s efficacy in managing our daily operations, readiness in managing potential issues and continuous improvements in our network,” he said.

Huawei Global Technical Services President Tang Qibing said, “I’m pleased that Celcom chose Huawei as a partner in its digital transformation journey. We certainly believe that Huawei’s AUTIN™ solution will accelerate Celcom’s transition from traditional operations with repetitive manual processes into automated operations. Our vision is to build an ecosystem with strategic partners like Celcom, third parties and other industries to unlock incredible value through new services and innovations, which will ultimately benefit everyone in the telecommunications industry.”

VMware to acquire Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite

VMware to Acquire Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite.

VMware, Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire the technology and team of Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite – software spanning network health, performance monitoring and root cause analysis for communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers – from Dell EMC. The addition of the Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite technology to the VMware Telco NFV portfolio equips CSPs with the ability to maintain operational reliability in their core network, cloud, and IT domains across physical and virtual infrastructure—enabling them to operationalize competitive new services faster.

As customers bridge current services from 4G to 5G, service assurance becomes critical. The Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite provides automated capabilities to operators via accurate root cause analysis management. VMware, a leader in network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure, will leverage the Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite to help customers accelerate their virtual network function deployments with end-to-end service assurance once the deal closes.

The Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite team adds a deep bench of talent with engineering expertise and 10+ years of customer relationships. The core Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite offering is already well known to CSPs for its superior troubleshooting capabilities. More than 50 CSPs worldwide, including many Tier 1 operators, leverage Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite capabilities to enable new services for a range of customers, including enterprises, federal and local governments. Upon the deal closing, VMware plans to invest in growing the capabilities of the platform as a key component in the Telco NFV portfolio and focusing on modernization and intelligent automation. After the deal closes, Dell EMC customers will continue to have access to the Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite’s solutions pursuant to a commercial reseller agreement in place between VMware and Dell EMC.

Faced with top-line and bottom-line pressures, operators are moving from a packaged hardware approach to an NFV-driven, software-defined approach for their core network environments. While this move is critical to operators’ ability to deliver agile services and capitalize upon new opportunities, their capacity to virtualize quickly is hampered by a lack of effective root cause analysis. This is an increasingly important area of focus, given the rapid changes happening in operator networks as they deploy 4G services like Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) and prepare for 5G-driven advanced applications supporting IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality.

The Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite provides assurance capabilities to deliver service impact and root-cause analysis with visibility across physical and virtual networks, and cloud environments, to identify how resources are being consumed and whether service level agreements are being met. This transparency enables CSPs to visualize, analyze and optimize their environments to enable faster resolution times; proactive identification of issues is proven to provide better return on NFV and IT investments. The Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite is complemented by leading VMware technologies, including VMware vCloud NFV, VMware vRealize Operations, VMware vRealize Network Insight, Wavefront by VMware and VMware NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud.

This acquisition demonstrates VMware’s growing commitment to the telecommunications industry. It also reinforces the “better together” synergy between VMware and Dell EMC. Additionally, CSP customers will benefit from the combination of VMware and Dell EMC solutions.

“As carriers are readying for 5G, they are increasingly virtualizing edge and core networks with network functions virtualization, or NFV. Service assurance is a critical need for any network. The Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite’s established software and services capabilities, combined with VMware’s trademark innovation, will empower CSPs to modernize and accelerate the transformation of their networks through NFV upon closing,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president, Strategy and Corporate Development and General Manager Telco NFV Group, VMware. “The Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite team is primed to accelerate our NFV business and help drive it forward with unprecedented service assurance.”