The Amdocs Partners Business Forum is in its 10th year. This year’s theme centered on ‘Open Partnership’.
Rising customer expectations and increasing competition are compelling communication service providers (CSPs) globally to explore various avenues for growth and profitability. It is not surprising that a large number of CSPs are evolving from being traditional communications providers to technology or digital services providers.
We are seeing a kind of disruption that hasn’t been seen in the business world for the last decade or so – one that is led by digital technologies. And herein lies the real opportunity. Disruptive technologies such as blockchain, cognitive capabilities, SDN/NFV, data analytics and real-time data management, IoT, and intelligent operations and delivery are the key agents of change. They are transforming the way traditional communications providers think, operate, and approach revenue and subsequently profitability.
Embracing this change is not going to be easy. Furthermore, a single organization by itself cannot implement and execute these technologies. In the past, acquisitions have helped companies grow inorganically and build capabilities they lacked. However, most companies are shying away from this approach owing to the large investments needed to keep pace with these innovations.
It is therefore advantageous to harvest an ecosystem where multiple players bring their expertise and work together on a standardized platform, thereby creating value for the end customer.
Amdocs realized this early on. Amdocs has built the NFV Partner Ecosystem with networking companies like Cisco, Juniper; public cloud services like Amazon Web Services and Azure; and security services like Fortinet and Radware. As part of this initiative, the partner companies are creating use cases and implementing them at their flagship clientele like AT&T and Vodafone. Amdocs has taken this initiative further and worked with Linux foundation to create a de-facto industry standard open source platform for NFV/SDN automation named as Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP). Amdocs, Linux, and AT&T are strongly promoting this platform and pursuing other companies to collaborate with them. This initiative is a fundamental shift from the traditional proprietary solutions and the intellectual property rights model that vendors rely on. Still in its infancy, this breakaway initiative is set to be adopted widely and will also integrate with traditional cloud services providers such as Amazon and Google. Ultimately, CSPs will benefit from the network virtualization and thus operators will be able to slash costs and take new services to market in a fraction of the time that it used to before.
Conclusion: The open partnership concept works like a symbiotic relationship. The more companies embrace this model, the more multidimensional this network will become, thus enabling everyone in the ecosystem with the necessary capabilities. Therefore, for the open partnership to work and realize its true disruptive power, the goals and desired outcomes of all the players in the ecosystem must be aligned.