A recently published market research report by Coleman Parkes Research on behalf of HP and reveals the responses from 50 communication service provider CIOs and CTOs regarding their NFV priorities for 2015. There is also great video interview from Mobile World Congress with Julia Ochinero, HP’s Director of NFV Marketing, available from Telecom TV. Importantly, the report provides a comparison of answers to the same questions from the previous year. With emerging technologies such as NFV and SDN, we’re still in such early stages that any ability to monitor progress and spot trends year-over-year is invaluable.
While it’s not surprising that the majority of respondents see migrating from proof-of-concept to trial sometime within the next 3 years, what is surprising is that Opex reduction seems be a more important driver than it was in 2014, while leveraging NFV to enable new revenue received fewer responses than the previous year. The percentage of respondents citing capex reduction as the main driver remained the same as the previous year: “The top business driver for network functions virtualization (NFV) in 2015 is reducing operational expenses (OpEx), selected by 75% of respondents as compared to 59% a year ago—a huge jump.”
The transition from proprietary hardware and software to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) alternatives makes the business case for Capex reduction relatively straight forward. Opex on the other hand is much more difficult to quantify.
In the video interview, Julia states something that we have been stating for quite some time: there won’t be greenfield opportunities for NFV. Service providers will continue to face the realities of continuing to run and expand traditional physical networks. Initially, a lot of discussions involving NFV management and orchestration (MANO) were really walled-garden in nature. That is, orchestration was focused on a single pool of virtualized network infrastructure and virtual network functions. The reality is that networks will span multiple clouds, and multiple networks both physical and virtual. This implies that MANO must extend between physical and virtual networks, and span next generation as well as legacy networks. Unless a seamless service-oriented view to end-to-end orchestration is achieved, the promises of operational savings will not be realized.
At Nakina, we believe a MANO Enablement platform is required to harmonize service orchestration across any type of network and to extend orchestration across hybrid physical and virtual networks. NI-FRAMEWORK, our MANO enablement platform, mediates, abstracts and offloads complex management utilities, allowing orchestrators to easily connect and manage physical and virtual network functions. It extends orchestration, visibility and control to physical and legacy networks.
Another interesting finding from the survey is that in 2015 driving new revenue was selected by 63% of respondents as a key driver for NFV, a drop from at 78% last year. Does this imply that creating new revenue is not as important as previously believed? Rather, it is likely that service providers have realized that NFV itself does not instantly spawn new revenue opportunities and perhaps the focus should initially be centered on the operational hurdles.
MANO enablement helps operators more quickly realize the operational savings, allowing focus to shift towards developing new revenue creating services. Watch this short video to learn more and contact us: