Multivendor networking seems like sound business planning. It also seems like software is an inevitable component to that, even as network engineers have traditionally not been software-keen.
Ignoring that reality may be more expensive than just the cost of networking hardware — as the industry growth is in the software-savvy companies.
Nearly everyone insists that culture, and not technology, is the big problem. Telco employees are not used to handling software and even less familiar with the working practices of a typical software firm. Their technical staff think Python is a non-venomous snake and still use acronyms that became unfashionable at the same time as permed hair. Their commercial models are misaligned. Their sales and marketing departments understand “aaS” as something you sit on.
Changing all this could prove extremely costly. Whether operators try to retrain existing members of staff or introduce new talent into the workforce, the process could also take years. And time is certainly not on their side. A tsunami of data traffic on telecom networks has not brought a surge in revenues with it. The Internet companies riding that wave are a growing threat. “There are some very software-centric companies out there and if we want to be competitive we need to come up with things much faster than in the past,” said Deutsche Telekom’s Seiser. If they cannot, telcos may pay a much heavier price than the cost of any transformation.