Immunity from the disruption of virtualisation

Undermine their pompous authority, reject their moral standards, make anarchy and disorder your trademarks. Cause as much chaos and disruption as possible but don’t let them take you ALIVE.”
Sid Vicious

In many previous posts (including “A new category of OSS“), I’ve pondered how network virtualisation will disrupt the status-quo within OSS.

If, in the likely event that network virtualisation frameworks such as SDN / NFV gain a significant foot-hold in the global networking market, which segments of the OSS market are most likely to be disrupted and which are likely to remain relatively unscathed?

The physical layer will still be needed within a virtualised world (unless wireless technologies proliferate on big bandwidth pipes and backhaul). Sure, virtualisation should reduce the amount of truck rolls and additional cabling, but we will still need outside plant (cables, pits, ducts, sub-ducts, etc) to carry our virtualised networking traffic around.* Notwithstanding the potential for the outside plant (OSP) demarcation point to change and topology changes, I imagine that OSP / GIS types of OSS tools are minimally impacted by network virtualisation. The same is probably true of FWF (Field Workforce) tools although activities conducted by the field workers are likely to be impacted.

On face-value, real-time tools such as alarm/event management and performance management shouldn’t really be significantly impacted by virtual networks. They’ll still receive events and metrics from physical and virtual networks just like they do today, so they will retain the ability to do that and provide event/metric handling processes. Where virtualisation impacts these types of tools is in volumes. Network virtualisation and IoT are likely to deliver a touch-point explosion that is also likely to deliver rapid growth in the number of events/metrics being received by these real-time tools. They will no longer be able to be processed by humans at scale, so machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics are likely to disrupt existing real-time products.

Almost every other conceivable part of the application map (TM Forum’s TAM) is likely to be disrupted:

  • Market / Sales management – markets will undergo significant shifts
  • Product / Catalog management – product suites will undergo significant shifts
  • Customer, service and resource management  – will become far more real-time and automated in nature to cope with transient resource usage patterns
  • Supplier / partner management – the speed of change will necessitate far more partnership-based XaaS service models rather than monolithic service offerings
  • Enterprise management –  management of fraud, revenue assurance, regulatory, security, etc are all likely to be dramatically effected by virtual network proliferation
  • Application and infrastructure management – drastic changes are already presenting via the number of niche tools that are springing up to deliver the ideal of automated service/network management

* Whilst futurists talk about wireless technology advances being the death of fibre, higher volumes of wireless traffic equals a larger number of fibre backhaul points… for the foreseeable future at least.


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