Shooting from the Hip

shooting from hipI thought I’d keep this article punchy as I’m full of a cold, so would rather just shoot from the hip than think too much on some of the topics I’ve discussed on my calls this week 🙂 There are some numbers in here, so its not just rambling opinion.

Cisco bought market share, all the UC acronyms are noise
Cisco bought Broadsoft for market share, like Oracle bought BEA. Got to stop those carriers from getting too much competition in supply. Everything else is window dressing. To the Broadsoft folks, better start looking for new jobs, you can see the attrition in Tropo and there wasn’t much overlap. Broadsoft was in a tough long term situation, though it had grown revenues well over the past 5 years, props to the team for that and I think the timing of the sale was excellent. Broadsoft was not big enough to buy into new markets or consolidate positions in markets like Cisco, and not agile enough to break into new markets. From hosted to cloud it was generally marketing spin and incremental development.

Don’t do the TMF OpenAPI, the thinking is so old its nearly fossilized
TMF Open API effort is so retro I had to check the calendar that it wasn’t October 2007 and some ‘GSMA initiative’. Using the term open API means you do not understand what an API is, you do not say open webpage. An API is simply a machine readable webpage. The TMF Open API initiative is just a way to get telcos paying extra zeros for legacy middleware projects. Just use an open source micro services framework like any modern business, like the web-based service providers that are undercutting telecom services. Telcos do not have unique needs any more, you are not the fastest, lowest latency, most secure, or highest availability. You’re an ISP with a legacy PSTN business and in some cases a legacy payTV business. I’m ignoring the enterprise ICT services as that’s quite fun at the moment, but its own silo. Worst thing you can do is put an TMF ‘Open’ API on a platform you’re too scared to touch. Telcos must take control of their platforms / future. Its not about tiny bit of technology (open (arghh!) API), its about people (owning the platforms and being able to make changes in hours/days not months/years), process (agile – constantly innovating / improving), and technology (modern not telco special). Will someone please stop the TMF retarding the industry!

Just cap and replace that expensive legacy BOSS mess, forget about the TMF
Matrixx used to focus on their technology advantage compared to Oracle, now its just jabber on digital transformation and digital services. I was perplexed as these guys get the silliness of “digital.” But I now get it from looking at their deployments, its a ‘cap and replace’ strategy; hence why their set-up is so quick in 4 months.  Spin the silly digital transformation story so telcos buy without all the 00s added through following legacy TMF rubbish, perhaps just add one 0 to keep for themselves.

CPaaS Silliness
The CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) jabber has stepped up a notch this year, its been about 2 decades in the making. Its not exploding, its growing at a fair clip of about 30-40% depending on how you measure the market. Also note Twilio is now one of the largest SIP trunking providers in the US, that’s a $4.5B market in the US alone. Trunks are those PSTN circuits, 30 of them in an E1 and 24 of them in a T1. With SIP its over IP, making it easier to rent them on demand. I guess if we label SIP trunking as CPaaS then its sort of exploding.

Show me the NFV Savings! Please, just show me the NFV savings…
How can an industry spend so much time and effort on NFV for so little savings, and potentially massive security holes? Its all virtualization’s fault on the security front! Don’t worry we have the security angle covered at TADSummit in Michael Lazar’s session,. But the first part of the question has me flummoxed. Its been 5 years since the NFV white paper and NFV has been a conference topic for over a decade. And now AI, IoT, IBN, 5G are all supposed drivers for NFV/SDN/network-slicing rather than cost savings. Matrixx’s proposition is easy to understand, cap and replace the legacy mess with a less expensive modern solution that just does what it needs without the standards crap, and I guess repeat that strategy when Matrixx gets bought by Oracle. My laptop from the previous decade is resigned to being used for streaming video at events and programming Arduino projects. Capped and replaced by a modern MacBook, which I’ll need to cap and replace in the future.  Matrixx shows its possible for telcos to cap, replace, and ignore all the standards. Its time to stop believing the articles of faith in telecom standards and start working with partners/vendors that help you adapt your costs faster before Cisco / Oracle buys you for market consolidation and lays most people off!

SMS and Calling are old school, how can we innovate with them?
I had someone ask me today why such a ‘old school’ thing as a SMS API could have any value. I just showed them the TADHack youtube channel with all the hacks, and walked through a few of them based on SMS. Its because its pervasive across people and things; it just works; and can be programmed into any app, service or business. And can be mashed up with all the cool messaging and communication silos so you have the best of both worlds. Email is old, but still valuable. Walking is old, but still value. We use each for where they make most sense in our lives. Just coz something is old does not mean is has no value – assuming that is called prejudice!