Uncommon Wisdom

Feb 13 2009   7:03PM GMT

Service layer platform vendors: Not game-changing yet

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Nortel may be preparing its own application platform, something that would compete with HP ProCurve, Cisco’s new blade server, and Juniper’s JCS1200. All of these products reflect the reality that the “network” is dividing formally into a service layer and a transport layer, and that value-add in the service layer is critical to operators monetizing network investment.

The challenge for Nortel here will be the same as for other players: It’s not enough to have service-layer platforms; you also need an NGN Services Architecture, a framework for application/feature creation that empowers the platforms you’ve deployed.

Truth be told, none of the applications presented on these platforms so far has been compelling or game-changing, and operators want the game to change. Our view remains the same: The standards bodies tasked with work in the service layer are moving too slowly—as telco standards bodies tend to do. The vendors have been happy to blow kisses at standards instead of taking risks to get in front of the issues, and the operators have little chance to progress toward their goals without vendor support. This accounts for the uniformly low scores equipment vendors earn from operators in their support of operator monetization goals.

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