Press & SP Summit, Phuket Day 2

Opening Guest Speaker presentation by Erik Papir, Director, Global Technical Marketing, HP Networking

The second and final day of the event was opened by Papir’s presentation on how HP is driving an open SDN. For him, the key trends are the need for agility and security, that the network should understand your data, and manage bulk and short network transfers equitably, plus the growth of mobile data. All this drives demand for a converged infrastructure, for cloud, and for a software defined infrastructure.

Papir said that HP wants to focus on the quality of the business experience not the infrastructure. Users don’t care about the infrastructure but do care abut their experience, he said. SDN is not just for the datacentre but an end2end solution.

He showed Gartner’s latest (April 2014) magic quadrant for datacentre networking – and the leader square is empty, with Cisco and HP closest to it. SDN is making the difference, Papir said.

He then talked about how HP belived in and is putting into practice open standards, and has been involved in SDN from the very early days. And we have upgraded our membership of OpenDaylight which part of a Linux Foundation effort to standardise an open standards based OpenFlow controller, he said. He said that HP is contributing lots of code, and likes collaboration.

Papir said HP has an ecosystem of companies who are developing SDN apps with HP. IDC predicts the SDN market will be worth US$3.7bn and the apps market worth $670m by 2016.

HP has a large and growing SDN hardware portfolio including OpenFlow wireless access points, Papir said. He then showed a quick animation of how HP’s SDN controller and Lync can work together.

He was joined on stage by Manek Dubash, NetEvents’ Editorial Director, for a few questions.

Conference Debate Session IV — Boosting Telco Cloud Economics
Introduced and Chaired by: Adrian Ho, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Telecoms, Ovum

Panellists: Kevin Buckingham, General Manager of BT Compute, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), BT Global Services; Tawhid Rijwanur Rahman, General Manager – Service Planning PDD Technology, Grameenphone; Gint Atkinson, Vice President – Network Strategy & Architecture, KVH Co., Ltd.; Chris Rezentes, Network Planning Lead, South Asia, Verizon

In his opening presentation, Ho said the cloud market in APAC is under-developed, and that the driver for cloud is cost optimisation. Cloud is a game for telcos to lose and a cloud services survey shows no telcos in the top ten, he said.

He asked his panel what have telcos done wrong and what they could do better. Rezentes said we should have been a product lifecycle management organisation sooner – other companies produce new products & services up to 200x faster than many carriers. We are now more focused on new products and services.

Atkinson offered as an example T-Services, where the telco division has a lot to learn from rest of the company. Customers are on the other side of the wire and the carriers own that wire, he said. Google etc will struggle when they start to scale that network.

Rahman said telcos are sceptical about investing in cloud because revenues are not guaranteed and regulations are an obstacle. Telcos suffer from a legacy mindset, not focused on IT although this is changing, he said.

Buckingham said it depends on what your strategy is to meet customer needs. “We are not in cloud provision business we deliver solutions, so the go-to-market strategy is different for the telco. We’re just not in that cloud space,” he said.

Ho pointed out that enterprises say the telcos don’t understand enterprise apps and integration, while companies such as IBM do.

Do telcos need professional services to compete in the cloud, the panel was asked.

Buckingham said yes, services lead the sale if we are offering cloud. That’s the sweet spot.

Atkinson said customers want us to offer a complete solution, and integrate everything. Google and Amazon are not offering that – there’s no customisation and they cannot deliver 99.999% availability that customers are asking for. So customer expectations are different.

Rezentes agreed and said that Verizon doesn’t want to be Amazon but can compete using the network as a strength.

On differentiation and innovation in the cloud, Buckingham said that carriers know they need to offer cloud. He said BT has infrastructure in various countries in APAC because customers say latency and data sovereignty are big issues. We can help customers resolve these issues, he said.

Atkinson said telcos have capex-related constraints. Eg mobile gaming can lead to need to spin up thousands of servers, and players need to link with multiple telcos in multiple locations.

Rahman: different countries have different regulatory regimes, and smaller countries because of the size of the market can limit scale.

Guest Presentation by Tim Dillon, Director, Tech Research Asia
The Intelligent Workspace: Why Tech Providers are not Front of Mind

Dillon opened by arguing that tech vendors and SPs are not top of mind when thinking about enterprise workflows, about the idea that your work moves with you.

This is a very early market, he said. Interest has been shown by Cisco, Microsoft, and some telcos. A survey of how employees work showed 59% of companies will support desk-based work, plus a smaller percentage support different styles of mobile working.

The critical technologies to enable mobile workflow are high density wifi – ie strong connectivity – plus unified communications – mainly MS and Google in practice; videoconferencing, in which Dillon added that he has seen a big uptake in the last year – cloud based infrastructure especially storage for backup; and corporate app stores.

He gave an example of a NZ bank that moved people from desk workers to mobile workers who can do their jobs anywhere in or outside the office. Also one law firm, keen to find and retain the latest talent, installed HD wifi and removed desks. Also a logistics company running lorries that bill immediately to improve cashflow, as drivers have smart tech in the cabs.

The point is that influencers are driving these decisions, CIOs are just implementers not drivers. Influencers are consultants, Dillon said.

Conference Debate V—Wholly smoke? – hot trends for the mobile cloud
Introduced and Chaired by: Lillian Tay, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner

Panellists: Amit Sinha Roy, Vice President, Marketing & Strategy, GES, Tata Communications; Mr Passakorn Hongsyok, Department Director, International Business, UIH – United Information Highway Co., Ltd; Adrian Dodds, Research manager, IDC

Tay’s introduction pointed out that this debate is about end users and their devices. What is mobile cloud but a nexus of four forces combining to drive the mobile experience?

Cloud enables users to store data wherever they are. Mobiles are now personal virtual assistants – see me, know me, be me.

Tay provided some research: 40% of the workforce will be mobile by 2015, and by 2018, 70% of mobile workers will use a tablet or tablet hybrid, but she asked how companies will be able to afford to support them?

Roy said that to make mobile cloud real you need services, that is what the SP can do with their network.

Rahman said he has seen exponential growth in data consumption. It is up to the telco how they manage the bandwidth, he said. If you allow the end user to do what they like, as in Bangladesh where 25% of data is from YouTube, it makes adding value as a telco difficult.

Dodds said he was interested in the personalisation of data according to location. He predicted that we will see it go horribly wrong – and incredibly right.

Hongsyok said businesses used to work over private links but now everyone just uses the Internet. For example, while videoconferencing (VC) has big uptake, it takes a day to set up a high quality VC session using professional hardware – but then you go home and do it using free software.

The panel was asked who will pay for VC. Roy said VC is a more difficult sale if it consists of infrastructure with dedicated room and cameras etc. but a pay per use model is easier and simpler with no commitments or hardware.

How will telcos deliver these services? For Rahman, the challenges are scaling the infrastructure, and that you need analytics to understand customer behaviour. It should be seamless for the customer.

What about consumerisation? How do enterprises manage?
Dodds said that after the recent crash, enterprises wondered if they could do without stable workforce. Will they exist at all?, asks IBM research. What does people as a service look like?

What can mobile operators deliver to enterprises that enterprises can’t do themselves? Rahman said his company offers tailored connectivity solutions ie intranet, plus services such as email, all very popular services.

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