3 people whose jobs get easier with NFV
As anyone in the telecom world will tell you, network functions virtualization (NFV) is about transforming telecom networks into a modern, flexible architecture and reducing the reliance on traditional, proprietary, purpose-built hardware. But it does more than that.
"NFV done right will transform the economics of service delivery, simplify the integration and deployment of new service capabilities, accelerate the creation and progressive enhancement of new services, and enable services to be delivered effectively at any scale," writes Metaswitch CTO Martin Taylor, in a recent white paper.
Throughout a network operator’s organizational structure, in every functional area and at every level, people stand to benefit from adopting NFV. Here are just a few of the people whose jobs get easier when NFV is done right.
The Network Architect and Network Manager
The people who define and manage the network infrastructure will see greater flexibility and less frustration. Network functions – along with computing resource and storage – will no longer be tied to a particular set of hardware appliances in a particular geography. These people will be in control of a more flexible, agile network where capacity and resources can be allocated and scaled dynamically to alleviate traffic hotspots or to support a surge in demand or a new service.
The migration from hardware-centric to software-centric operations, along with the adoption of open APIs, will create new options for software integrations and for selecting best-of-breed software components from a broad developer market rather than being reliant on a handful of proprietary telecom equipment vendors.
More flexibility, automation and diversity means network architects and network managers can build and operate more efficient networks with less effort.
The Product Manager and Product Marketer
The people who oversee the creation of new products and bring them to market will see reduced time-to-market with NFV. A new product’s development and launch will no longer be bottlenecked by proprietary hardware locked to a particular vendor’s slow upgrade cycle. Instead, they will be able to draw on a flexible network infrastructure that can support rapid delivery of new services, by allowing more agile development and the easy instantiation of new functions powering new applications and services, wherever they are required.
A more responsive network and an agile development environment means product managers and marketers can bring new products to market quickly and capitalize on market opportunities.
The people responsible for ensuring a healthy bottom line will eventually see reduced costs from the efficiencies promised by NFV. The use of containers and cloud native software allow for a more efficient use of network infrastructure. Also, rather than buying two of everything to achieve redundancy, a cloud-centric approach to redundancy helps network operators achieve fault tolerance more efficiently by ensuring there is always some surplus capacity in the system.
NFV’s ability to save network operators money on both upfront hardware and long term operating costs is a huge win for people at the CxO level. Early use cases and research suggest that NFV would help mobile network operators cut capital expenditures by 68 percent and operating expenditure by as much as 67 percent. AT&T, which is on a mission to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020, is expecting to see savings in operational expenses of up to 50 percent.
A more efficient network, with reduced capex and opex, means CxOs can either improve profit margins or reallocate investment to other productive areas, such as new product development or customer support.
One of the hardest things for a company to do is change. NFV starts a network operator down a path of iterative development, where change will happen more quickly and more often. When a network operator embraces NFV, it begins not only a technical change but also a cultural change that will see benefits at every level throughout the organization. The network operators that embrace the revolutionary change embodied by NFV will be the ones to seize the biggest successes in the coming years.
Inbound Marketing Manager for Metaswitch Networks