Self-serve building blocks

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
Isaac Asimov
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Last week I brought some of Tom Nolle’s ideas to your attention in a blog about building blocks.

The benefits of this ambitious, but I believe inevitable, approach are multi-dimensional. It reduces complexity and promotes increased repeatability at many levels of a CSP‘s org chart. Improved repeatability and a reduced number of variants (in processes and services) means that automation becomes easier to implement and manage through its life-cycle.

And automation leads towards one of the OSS industry’s holy grails – customer self service or flow-through provisioning. Even more exciting (for me at least) is that graphical customer self-serve network / service design tools become more viable. This is something I’ve envisaged and even prototyped since the early 2000’s. This concept is described in more detail in an earlier blog entitled “The end of network engineers.” NFV and intent networking are mechanisms that should also facilitate the adoption of the building block approach to networking and OSS.

The challenge for CSPs is that this type of service, taken to its fullest extent, disrupts and commoditises the CSP industry so that data streams are like any other utility. Just like streams of electricity or water, the developed world just expects a standardised supply irrespective of the supplier and a monthly bill that consists of connection and consumption charges.

Maybe the CSP industry doesn’t want this end-game supplied (in part) by its OSS but the march of progress will make it happen regardless. Hence the importance for CSPs to evolve into DSP (digital service providers)… unless they’re happy with a utility-style business model of course, which many once were as telephony service providers.

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