You are an OEM vendor that is facing the reality of deploying your new product or service into the network of a service provider, whether it be Carrier, MSO, I/C/LEC, etc. Let’s assume you work for the Zoom Corporation and your company has sold your Zoom 2000 solution to a carrier customer and you have passed field trials which you have directly hosted and managed. Now that you have won a deal you have to consider the myriad issues related to the rollout of your solution into your customers production environment. There will be many, but this article focuses on one specific area.
Put yourself in the shoes of a Network Operations Center (NOC) manager of the service provider. As the NOC manager you are tasked with responsibility of integrating the Zoom 2000 into your network management systems (NMS) and other associated infrastructure. The marketing team has set an aggressive deployment schedule and you are asked to integrate in record time on a shoe-string budget. You will face challenges in several areas: alarm and performance metrics integration; configuration and provisioining; integrating with customer OSS; building in-house expertise; creation and documentation of numerous operational procedures; high sensitivity to capital costs, startup costs and long term operational costs; network planning. This is a subset of the considerations.
Now, you as the OEM of the Zoom 2000 want to reduce the rollout time and barriers to entry for your product. You certainly do not want to have the NOC manager put up a roadblock for your service. So you must ask yourself what you can do to remove these hurdles.
The NOC manager will want to have a complete FCAPS management solution that can integrate with his NMS. Having an Element Management System (EMS) that is designed to the specific needs of your products and solutions and is designed for integration into well known NMS systems will greatly reduce the list of demands you will face from the NOC manager.
So what are your options?
1) Build a full custom solution yourself
2) Build a solution on top of third party EMS products
3) Hire a vendor who has indepth expertise in delivering such solutions as your EMS team
Over a decade ago this was the only option available to OEMs. But today, the challenge of the EMS is a well known problem space that has been addressed by companies that specialize in this area. Building a full size team to develop a complete custom solution will add a large cost and burden to your company. You are probably better off considering another option.
An example of a product that comes out of this type of organization is a combination will use existing web servers, message queues, high availability middleware, commonly available DB servers, etc. A lot of time and energy must be put into architecting a solution, selecting the best products to use, integrating, packing and testing all of these products together and then building a complete FCAPS solution on top of it all. This exact type of effort has been performed again and again, so you should ask yourself if you can come up with any compelling reason to reinvent the wheel.
There are companies that have seen an opportunity to address this market and have built framework on which OEM’s may then build their own custom EMS. Over the years, there have been many of these types of systems built. One of the primary issues with this approach has been that these generic frameworks always require extensions to be made which are difficult to accommodate. One other issue with this approach is that you must still maintain a significant size staff to build and maintain this EMS product. Since the EMS“problem” has been well defined and addressed, should you really be hiring in this area which is not your core competency?
The history of EMS systems development described above has produced a third option forOEMs such as yourself. It is now possible to get the benefit of a fully FCAPS compliant solution without hiring a large in house staff to produce the product. You as an OEM can hire a company that specializes in building custom EMS solutions on top of a framework specifically designed to meet the needs of your NOC manager customer. This allows you to avoid committing a significant portion of your capital to building a large team of full time engineers for a product that is not part of your primary value proposition.
The authors of NOCVue – Velankani Inc. offers such a solution – a product and a service designed to fit the needs of OEMvendors considering options 2 and 3. If you find yourself at this crossroad please contact us to open a creative discussion focused on finding a solution that best meets your needs. We can be reached via email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to call at +1 (732) 981-0611 x 117.