Where are all the New OSS Projects Going to Come From?

The OSS market has changed… Part 1 of 4. This series of four blog posts is a synopsis of my contribution to a discussion I chipped in to on LinkedIn’s ‘OSS Gurus’ group.

Where are all the new OSS projects going to come from? I don’t think there'll be many 90s/00s style OSS transformation projects, even with the changes occurring with LTE (tech change has, in the past, driven OSS change). But I do believe there's a big opportunity for niche solutions, from start-ups or otherwise, to address the challenges/opportunities of the more modest changes we're seeing in telco during the 2010s.

The economics of telco make such innovation difficult though, particularly for start-ups: 18 month sales cycles; lack of willingness to adopt term license or SaaS license models; and the demand for CoTS products that are highly customised to legacy business processes.

No OSS product will be successful without a compelling need by the telco. LTE might drive a need for some solutions, as will fixed-line operators rolling out WiFi, the steady migration of backhaul and transport to IP/Ethernet over OTN/DWDM, and the eventual shift of telcos from offering bit-pipes to differentiated services and content delivery platforms.

The opportunity for OSS lies not in managing the bits n’ bytes of the latest network technology, but in enabling telcos to offer viable, profitable products on a cost-effective network.