Are CSPs too big to fail?

An elephant doesn’t canter

Are the CSPs becoming too afraid to make major OSS transformations? Have they tried and failed previously? Have the seen their peers try and fail? Are their OctopOSS just too large, too complex and too unwieldy to make significant upgrades without introducing major cost, schedule, brand and reliability risks?

In some cases I believe that all of the above are true.

So, are the following also true:

  • If changes can’t be made in the core (ie the CSP network), should the OSS vendors move more of their functionality to the edge (ie to the enterprise customers)
  • Will the market be flipped on its head by the first OSS vendor that can deliver a super-simplified solution
  • Are the existing efforts to standardise leaving too much wiggle-room, thus allowing differing interpretations between vendors

In response to thes cases, I believe bringing the iPad analogy to the OSS product space will revolutionise the industry. Offer enterprise a one-size-fits-all solution with essential features only (the 80:20 rule pervades), in a simple, elegant form. Allow standard interfaces for peripheral devices (ie plug-in applications) to enhance and customise the solution for the specific needs of customers. Make the interfaces so easy to use that plug-ins will proliferate from any number of development houses, not just relying on the originating vendor.

The next level (ie enterprise, ISPs, tier 2 or 3 telcos) can be more nimble and flexible and can be where the innovations can come from.

To use another analogy. How is Asynchronous Transfer Mode tracking these days? By comparison, how is the far less capable, but far simpler Ethernet technology tracking?

Make it simple. Make it ubiquitous. Make it flexible for customisation via peripheral plug-ins.

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