It’s based on a clear message the group has received from service providers, says Ken Dilbeck, the TMF’s vice president of collaboration and R&D. Namely: Don’t focus on NFV technology for its own sake, but instead focus on the business drivers for NFV.
The TMF helps service providers interface their OSS and BSS systems with other operators’ and enterprises’ business systems. In terms of NFV, its involvement is defined in the upper left corner of the NFV management and orchestration (MANO) model from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
“A lot of the specifics on the chart have served a very good purpose,” Dilbeck says. “They allowed the industry to get its head around virtualization. But we’re seeing a change in concern. People are less concerned about all the mix in terms of the MANO and much more worried about, ‘How do I culturally consume and monetize?’”
So a big thrust of ZOOM will be on using orchestration and management to automate these business interactions with “NFV being a key enabler to that,” he says.
Cultural Shift to NFV
There are more than just technical and business challenges, though. For operators to move from box-oriented networks into IP infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), big cultural shifts will have to happen. Using the procurement process as an example, Dilbeck says: “The types of knowledge are going to be different. Instead of having five guys that know everything about Ericsson, you’re going to need five people who know switching.”