Uncommon Wisdom

Nov 30 2009   8:29PM GMT

IBM in the service layer: Less than meets the eye

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

IBM has launched its own program to be the solution to service provider service-layer technology needs, but so far, there’s less than meets the eye.

IBM has had what it calls the Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE) for some time, but the product has been indifferently promoted, according to our surveys. Apparently that’s going to change because IBM has opened more service provider development centers in Asia and added resources to a key solutions center in France.

Despite this, IBM’s SPDE is nothing revolutionary according to operators in our survey. It’s a combination of service delivery platform (SDP) tools and OSS/BSS tools rather than a new approach.

We have heard unconfirmed rumors that Juniper, an IBM partner, is in discussions with IBM about partnership with IBM’s service-layer technology and that Juniper will be using some of the resources of the solution centers. We’ve also heard that Oracle has plans to ramp up in this space. The question now is whether software players like IBM and Oracle can use their assets to get a leg up on the equipment vendors. It’s an odd race so far because operators are clear in saying that all of the competitors are running with their legs tied together in terms of functionality and direction.

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