If it’s true that NFV will end the “end-to-end solutions coming from a single vendor” and usher in the “best of breed” approach, then it means significant changes for this industry. Some large players that have end-to-end solutions will need to change if they want to survive. This is easier said than done.
First of all, assume some of what the large players have is “best of breed”. Those solutions will be important for them going forward. However, it is doubtful every single offering from one of those large vendors will be a “best of breed” VNF (Virtual Network Function). If they want to stay relevant, and they will, then they will use their services and integration teams to the best of their ability to “manage” an operator’s network. The good ones will manage the operator’s network and integrate in the “best of breed” VNFs to form the best NFV solution for that operator. Some of these VNFs will be from the vendor. Many would be from smaller “best of breed” companies. The large integrator will, in fact, create a “best of breed” software solution that is best for the operator. A reputation will be formed.
The bad ones, though, will talk a good game and try and keep their own solutions in there as much as possible. Ultimately, the operator won’t be happy. And ultimately these players will start to lose.
And remember, all of these software VNFs will run on the latest Intel processors on someone’s hardware in a cloud. We see Intel and HP taking a big role in NFV and it’s no mystery why.
For a smaller player who does have a “best of breed” solution, then there is opportunity. These companies understand it and are going 100 miles per hour to insure they win. These will be the new players. We’ll see new names emerge (or potentially re-emerge) and we’ll see some current big names today be demoted. Large Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) are at risk if they drag their feet or don’t get on the ‘best of breed’ boardwalk and turn to becoming more of a system integrator. The change winds are blowing.