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3 Key Factors for a Successful NFV PoC



By: Bala Thekkedath, Director of Marketing, NFV at HPE

 An NFV Proof of Concept (PoC) is intended to demonstrate NFV as a viable technology to CSPs. As carriers and vendors have implemented hundreds of PoCs, some within the lab and some as part of a commercial solution, the definition of PoC success is evolving. Regardless of the scope or intended outcome of your PoC, there are three key factors you need to consider in order to make any PoC successful.

What makes a PoC successful?

Ideally any PoC that moves beyond the lab into commercial deployment should be considered a success. Yet given the range of PoCs touted by both vendors and the CSPs, not all PoCs are targeted for a commercial solution. So any PoC that fulfils its scope by definition is a successful PoC. And all successful PoCs share the following three traits:

  • Have an internal business case
  • Cover multiple use cases
  • Evaluate operational integration

Internal Business Case Ideal for Success

Not all NFV PoCs require a business case (e.g. MANO), but research shows that evaluating the business viability of NFV leads to a 40% greater chance of the PoC moving to a field trial or commercial deployment. Regardless, gaining executive sponsorship of any type of PoC at the outset greatly increases the chance of success of any PoC.

The business case can come from anywhere within the organization but in an ideal situation, the business case comes from the product group or the CMO office.

 Multiple-Use-Case PoCs Boost Support

It is much easier to garner support for a multifunction PoC. For example, a setup that supports vEPC (virtual evolved packet core), vIMS (virtual IP multimedia subsystem), and vBRAS (virtual broadband remote access server) helps to leverage a carrier’s current mobile investment and allow carriers to create new revenue streams for mobile and IoT devices. A multifunction PoC of this type will garner internal attention, make it easier to line up resources, and demands an operational approach to PoC implementation.

Multifunction PoCs will oftentimes require multi-vendor support. In this case it is also imperative to determine a clear strategic leader with responsibility for PoC integration. The carrier itself could perform this function or assign a supplier/vendor to lead the integration. If choosing a supplier for this role, it’s best to select one that has an entire ecosystem of vendors working with it that have proven integration, interoperability, and end-to-end functionality.

Eye Toward Operational Integration

Not every PoC needs to integrate into the operational support system (OSS) and business support system (BSS). But every PoC should be looked at with an eye towards testing the operational integration feasibility of the solution that is under the PoC. Operational integration should always be part of any PoC test plan. One of the reasons for this is that NFV PoCs come with much more automation, which carriers can leverage for their legacy systems. If integration is possible, it usually takes one of two forms: The NFV PoC orchestration is expanded to cover the legacy systems, or a “glue” layer is put on top of the NFV PoC and legacy systems. The benefit to expanding the NFV PoC orchestration is that it leaves the legacy system untouched. Applying the “glue” layer provides a single pane of glass approach to managing billing, CRM, and other operational and business functions. In the long term, the NFV MANO will ultimately subsume both of these approaches.

NFV PoC: The Core of Your Transformation Strategy

Successful NFV PoCs should be considered the building blocks to a larger CSP transformation strategy. Whether you are looking at the telco cloud or even transforming from a CSP to a Digital Service Provider), that transformation starts with getting your PoCs right the first time. Following these steps will help you do just that.

Read more in our recent whitepaper on NFV Proofs of Concept, and at hpe.com/csp/nfv. Follow us on Twitter at @HPE_NFV & @HPE_CSP

hpe.com_csp_nfv.png CSPResources.jpg NFVResources.png @hpe_csp.jpg @hpe_nfv.png

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