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NFVaaS – The SaaS Entrepreneur’s Opportunity
Neil McEvoy
|
בינונית
|
September 27, 2016
מעוניין להירשם
לניוזלטר שלנו

One key perspective about the NFV sector is the entrepreneurs opportunity

One of my first Cloud companies was set up during the ‘ASP’ (Application Service Provider) phase of the Cloud evolution history, and one of the most notable characteristics of that time was the large extent to which Telcos drove the sector, financially and in terms of product innovation.

In short while VCs were putting $ tens of millions into new SaaS businesses like Corio and USi, telcos were putting in $ hundreds of millions to their own SaaS plays, to deliver new services like MS Exchange as a hosted service.

My point being that when the Telco industry puts on a major investment drive to address major new markets like this, it’s a massive push they put on, a massive injection of funding, support for go to sales programs, and more that drives growth for an entire industry, and that for ISV vendors and app entrepreneurs this is time of golden opportunity in the sector to be seized a la carpe diem.

Harnessing Open Innovation

While the NFV trend is fairly straight forward and relatively uninteresting in technical terms, as the virtualization cycle is now well underway and one dimension of the NFV trend is that it is simply that effect applied to Telco services. Existing virtualization and DevOps practices can be relatively easily repeated for great effect.

However what is very notable and exciting is the focus on building innovation communities, and at the heart of this open source and therefore the Open Innovation ecosystem it enables and encourages.

As Light Reading writes a huge inflection point and milestone for the industry has been AT&T open sourcing their NFV platform ‘ECOMP’, a step that is quickly fuelling an industry-wide effort to collaborate through this approach, recognizing there is a level of achievement possible as a collective that isn’t via individual company efforts, the described ‘corporate limits’ in the image.

The components are available via Github, like the Vendor Event Listener Library, and other providers like Orange are the first to try it out. This is likely just the first baby steps of what could easily becoming a booming ecosystem of participating developers.

NFV industry harnessing the X factor, literally

It was reported AT&T is taking these steps due to being frustrated with the rate of SDN/NFV innovation progress, and so apparently are other service providers like Swisscom, Telia and Proximus, who have now also taken the step of launching an innovation competition to populate an NFV supplier community.

Borrowing from the TV show format like X Factor and Pop Idol, they are running a competition format to find the best innovators in SDN/NFV.

So you might not become a global pop star, but certainly there is a new open playing field of opportunity quickly flourishing in Telecomms, a giant one too.

XaaS Model Innovation – The Road to Cloud Native SaaS

Where the opportunity takes an accelerator kick is that they also detail the ‘specification’ for the apps they are looking for, and in short say that these should be ‘Cloud Native’.

AT&T repeats the same formula, and are reported to beclamoring for them.

This is a logical and natural step – Virtualized applications that can be ‘dropped’ into an existing environment with no new code or hardware deployment required, is instantly saleable and deliverable, a zero friction product innovation process.

In his presentation The Road to Cloud Native the CTO of Gigaspaces provides a comprehensive overview of what defines a Cloud Native VNF, and thus what could be considered a product roadmap journey for innovators who want to tailor their product for instant sale through not just one or a few of these major carriers, but ALL of them. Via one, common open source based build, deployable on to any common Cloud platform…

Cloud Native SaaS

It’s not just about virtualization of the software. As Orange described one challenge is the ‘SaaSification’ of vendor products, encompassing aspects such as the entire supply chain shifting to a XaaS pricing model approach.

Therefore we need a broader Cloud Native SaaS Enablement model, one that also encompasses integration of the app into the Service Providers business model. For example the recent deal between Rogers and AppDirect, who provide a SaaS-centric apps store platform to enable the Rogers Business App Market that it has launched for its small-business customers, highlights the type of customer and provisioning integrations that may be needed. Ie. How might NFV-enabled networking services become part of this type of catalogue?

Again at a high level the opportunity is reuse, as the ‘SaaSification’ of monolithic vendor software is also a well established capability in the Enterprise space. For example vendors like Apprenda offer template modules for the conversion process, and in this presentation describe this process of SaaSification.

While it is an older (2009) presentation focused on enterprise software, the general principles can be re-applied to the NFV scenario when we consider the commonalities with the Gigaspaces presentation.

One key perspective about the NFV sector is the entrepreneurs opportunity

One of my first Cloud companies was set up during the ‘ASP’ (Application Service Provider) phase of the Cloud evolution history, and one of the most notable characteristics of that time was the large extent to which Telcos drove the sector, financially and in terms of product innovation.

In short while VCs were putting $ tens of millions into new SaaS businesses like Corio and USi, telcos were putting in $ hundreds of millions to their own SaaS plays, to deliver new services like MS Exchange as a hosted service.

My point being that when the Telco industry puts on a major investment drive to address major new markets like this, it’s a massive push they put on, a massive injection of funding, support for go to sales programs, and more that drives growth for an entire industry, and that for ISV vendors and app entrepreneurs this is time of golden opportunity in the sector to be seized a la carpe diem.

Harnessing Open Innovation

While the NFV trend is fairly straight forward and relatively uninteresting in technical terms, as the virtualization cycle is now well underway and one dimension of the NFV trend is that it is simply that effect applied to Telco services. Existing virtualization and DevOps practices can be relatively easily repeated for great effect.

However what is very notable and exciting is the focus on building innovation communities, and at the heart of this open source and therefore the Open Innovation ecosystem it enables and encourages.

As Light Reading writes a huge inflection point and milestone for the industry has been AT&T open sourcing their NFV platform ‘ECOMP’, a step that is quickly fuelling an industry-wide effort to collaborate through this approach, recognizing there is a level of achievement possible as a collective that isn’t via individual company efforts, the described ‘corporate limits’ in the image.

The components are available via Github, like the Vendor Event Listener Library, and other providers like Orange are the first to try it out. This is likely just the first baby steps of what could easily becoming a booming ecosystem of participating developers.

NFV industry harnessing the X factor, literally

It was reported AT&T is taking these steps due to being frustrated with the rate of SDN/NFV innovation progress, and so apparently are other service providers like Swisscom, Telia and Proximus, who have now also taken the step of launching an innovation competition to populate an NFV supplier community.

Borrowing from the TV show format like X Factor and Pop Idol, they are running a competition format to find the best innovators in SDN/NFV.

So you might not become a global pop star, but certainly there is a new open playing field of opportunity quickly flourishing in Telecomms, a giant one too.

XaaS Model Innovation – The Road to Cloud Native SaaS

Where the opportunity takes an accelerator kick is that they also detail the ‘specification’ for the apps they are looking for, and in short say that these should be ‘Cloud Native’.

AT&T repeats the same formula, and are reported to beclamoring for them.

This is a logical and natural step – Virtualized applications that can be ‘dropped’ into an existing environment with no new code or hardware deployment required, is instantly saleable and deliverable, a zero friction product innovation process.

In his presentation The Road to Cloud Native the CTO of Gigaspaces provides a comprehensive overview of what defines a Cloud Native VNF, and thus what could be considered a product roadmap journey for innovators who want to tailor their product for instant sale through not just one or a few of these major carriers, but ALL of them. Via one, common open source based build, deployable on to any common Cloud platform…

Cloud Native SaaS

It’s not just about virtualization of the software. As Orange described one challenge is the ‘SaaSification’ of vendor products, encompassing aspects such as the entire supply chain shifting to a XaaS pricing model approach.

Therefore we need a broader Cloud Native SaaS Enablement model, one that also encompasses integration of the app into the Service Providers business model. For example the recent deal between Rogers and AppDirect, who provide a SaaS-centric apps store platform to enable the Rogers Business App Market that it has launched for its small-business customers, highlights the type of customer and provisioning integrations that may be needed. Ie. How might NFV-enabled networking services become part of this type of catalogue?

Again at a high level the opportunity is reuse, as the ‘SaaSification’ of monolithic vendor software is also a well established capability in the Enterprise space. For example vendors like Apprenda offer template modules for the conversion process, and in this presentation describe this process of SaaSification.

While it is an older (2009) presentation focused on enterprise software, the general principles can be re-applied to the NFV scenario when we consider the commonalities with the Gigaspaces presentation.

Neil McEvoy
http://cloudbestpractices.net/nfvaas/saas-entrepreneurs/
http://cloudbestpractices.net/nfvaas/saas-entrepreneurs/
Founder and CEO of the Cloud Best Practices Network.

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