O-bit sees challenges ahead for the channel

Paul Cloudsdale of O-bit Telecom says that with the developments in network technology, with NGNs and IP VPNs becoming more advanced there will be many challenges resellers face; both before, during and after the migration to converged services and NGNs.

“When you look at legacy type networks, key challenges will be for those who’ve got an old network – which probably works fine – but is just that: legacy. This could be a very old, traditional, point-to-point switched network. Where that would need to be migrated into a NGN, where it would be IP based, so IP is connection less, i.e. any-to-any type network – not relying on P2P. Challenges would include technology refreshes, not having the right skill sets to deploy new types of technology required along with support requirements too; customers might not be able to get to support newer more complex networks they need. In some cases, some of the applications customers were running on old networks might not be compatible with NGNs. Work will be needed to either change or adapt what they’re currently using and looking at what they can do with NGNs.

One of the drivers for resellers, who are looking at this technology, is to consider the type of applications they wish to run. The network will not necessarily sell itself; it’s about what applications and services you want from network. To use an analogy, it’s like when you want a car; do you want something just with four wheels? No, you want something fast, or a convertible, or a particular colour etc. Networks are the same; I want to stream video, I want cloud computing – when you’ve decided what you want from the network the network needs to be able to meet these requirements. What End Users need to be aware of, however, is to be clear when presenting this to NGN carriers – to make sure they get the network they need.

ADSL2+ heavily marketed by many household name companies, consumers are aware of 24mb services and to be only offering a restricted 8mb services exposes your company as not moving with the times. They definitely would not be the place your customers turn for critical comment on the latest technologies emerging from the telecoms market.

The strategic upgrade of data networks is a move towards an IP centric environment which many businesses are now opting for, resellers and companies not moving with the times in terms of NGN technology will find themselves inefficient and taking risks with mission critical data.

At the very least if resellers are not convinced by NGN technology they need to be offering this as an alternative to their core product set as they may well be turning down revenues whilst also losing the confidence of their clients in terms of technology aptness.

So, how can a reseller best decide when the time is right for them to migrate to selling NGNs? This will be largely market led and End User led. Get on board or be left behind. If you’re singled out as carrier or reseller that is not able to offer NGN connectivity, then you will stand out from those who can, especially with competitive pricing. The market will drive it, End Users will demand it. Resellers are starting to see this move already in their customer bases who are demanding new features.”

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