Oracle has a long-standing -- and large -- communications group, working with and developing solutions for service providers.
The industry's embrace of tools and philosophies that were once primarily associated with IT -- such as agile, DevOps, open source and using plug-and-play modules in place of proprietary systems -- should serve Oracle well. The vendor has staked a claim in the cloud-based, app-centric enterprise world after which so many operators are chasing.
With that in mind, Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana asked a few questions of Mayank Choudhary, director of global product marketing for Oracle Communications, and his colleague, Leonard Sheahan, senior director of product marketing for Oracle Communications.
Here's what they said:
Broadband World News: Why are broadband providers becoming so involved in corporate digitization initiatives?
Mayank Choudhary: A big part of the push towards digitization is to become an integral part of their customers' journey. In 2018, 84% of Americans are shopping for something at any given time and two out of three online purchases are completed on a smartphone, according to Google Insights. Companies must be where their customers are. Offering and monetizing digital services, such as digital in-app engagement -- sold as a service to enterprises small and large -- will, we expect, be a key initiative as telecoms and CSPs drive growth with B2B2x offerings.
BBWN: What top trend do you expect for broadband service providers in 2019?
Leonard Sheahan: In terms of investment, continued fiber buildout. However another area of increasing importance for enterprises as they themselves continue to adopt cloud-based solutions necessitating reliable and secure network access at a predictable cost is the increasing importance of SD-WAN to enable this. And [it's crucial for] broadband providers to be able to offer such solutions to their SMB to midsize corporate to larger enterprise customers, perhaps in tandem with moving workloads from on-prem to the cloud as a competitive differentiator for the providers.
BBWN: How you would describe 2018 for broadband providers?
LS: A year of investment for many in building our their fiber networks to offer faster, more reliable service to consumers and to support the growing enterprise network traffic from cloud adoption and preparing their networks for 5G rollout.
BBWN: Do you expect further convergence of IT, telecom and other industries in 2019 and beyond?
LS: In addition to providing content access (in some cases owning the content themselves), providers are looking to develop smart ecosystems into adjacent industry areas in which the provider themselves plays a leading role -- examples include smart cities, telematics, entry into financial services in some markets, providing secure and trusted mobile authentication for enterprises to leverage, etc. Another opportunity we see would be for service providers to leverage their unfair advantage of sophisticated subscription and usage driven commercial models, scale, platform, trust, etc., to craft compelling propositions for these ecosystems.
BBWN: Given Oracle's history in IT tech, how would you estimate or compare telecom's adoption of standards-based and open source solutions vs. traditional enterprise IT organizations and how/will that shift in 2019?
LS: We see adoption of standards-based solutions heavily in the network domain (for wire level interoperability -- e.g., 3GPP), significantly in the business and operations areas with process level standards enabled by the emergence of open APIs (e.g., TMF). The use of open source has been heavily explored in the past several years particularly in the NFV area... and outside of the largest service providers, most providers do not have the skill, scale or time to develop/deploy/support open source solutions in their core business. Instead they are seeking more agile (cloud-native) solutions from vendors that can be deployed faster and offer increased flexibility.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.