The Aircraft Carrier Analogy

The Navy has both a tradition and a future–and we look with pride and confidence in both directions.”
Admiral George Anderson

In days gone by, CSPs enjoyed command of the sea. Their boats were big, powerful and mobile enough to move around world. However, due to their size it requires significant planning and effort for a CSP to change direction. The newer DSP, OTT and content communications model is analogous to the advent of aviation. CSPs don’t have the speed, flexibility, lower cost base or diversity that the OTT players command. Air supremacy has changed the competitive dynamic.

CSPs can’t quickly change from being a navy to being an airforce.

However, the aircraft carrier model is a promising strategy for the CSPs. They can retain their naval power, whilst supplementing with the benefits of aviation through OTT / content partnerships.

To take the analogy a step further, surrounding the aircraft carrier with a battle-fleet that consists of smaller nimbler boats is like shifting the decision making and processing power closer to the edge of the network.

This means that the OSS vendors have the opportunity to diversify their products/services – from just managing the systems on the boats to now also offering air traffic control for a third-party fleet. It also means extending management system capabilities to the enterprise through the use of ecosystems of APIs, portals, etc that third-parties can build a long-tail of innovation around.

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