BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | www.broadbandcommunities.com | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 63 Te rapid evolution of telecom services ofers many new opportunities for creative partnerships between network operators and software vendors, Ullenius says. He cites the example of AT&T, which launched innovation alliances with several technology vendors beginning in 2011. It currently operates fve innovation centers, which represent a $100 million investment from AT&T and its partners Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Amdocs, Intel and Microsoft. According to AT&T, these alliances have led to the development of dozens of apps and services. Te migration of set-top box and digital video recorder software from home-based appliances to the cloud ofers an opportunity for innovation alliances between telecom providers and technology vendors. So does the need to integrate third-party services such as machine-to-machine applications and Netfix. (Ullenius comments, "Netfix was a big challenger, but now it's becoming a partner.") AN INNOVATION FRAMEWORK Te growth in SaaS – which could lead to siloed systems if each software vendor manages a separate cloud-based application – and the growth of interest in innovation partnerships highlights the need for an overall innovation framework. Ullenius asks, "How do you set the architecture up? How do you manage it to create innovative services yet share the investment risk?" CSG is attempting to create such a framework with its Content Direct ofering, a cloud-based platform that operators use to bundle and monetize digital content and commerce applications. Tis open-architecture solution includes subscriber management, content management, commerce management and on-demand analytics, and it supports a wide variety of payment methods and mechanisms for security and authentication. Content Direct and similar generic platforms allow operators to easily integrate new cloud-based applications with one another and with legacy systems. "Tis provides a window into how the future will evolve," Ullenius says. "It frees up the marketplace to innovate services and allows other companies to create diferent services around it." He adds, "Operators must get out of the mindset of wanting to build it themselves and instead use a generic platform and let others – whom they don't have to pay – build innovations. Tat's a more powerful motivation [for outsourcing] than having limited staf." v Masha Zager is the editor of BroadBand C ommunities. You can reach her at email@example.com. BBC_Jan14.indd 63 1/27/14 1:48 PM