This refrain from the famous Gershwin song just keeps popping into my head. Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking to a lot of providers about network transformation.

Just last Friday, a director of network transformation complained to me that the vendor providing the infrastructure for his IMS and VoLTE told him he had to also buy the vendor’s application server (MMTEL). Well, it ain’t necessarily so. As long as all standards are upheld, you can use an application server from another vendor and moreover you can use application servers from different vendors.

Other infrastructure vendors also pressure network providers to use the JAVA-based or Parley-based API’s on the vendor’s application server. As the song goes, it ain’t necessarily so. These technologies are over ten years old and don’t fit today’s Internet-centric world of services. And programmers with specialist knowledge of abstruse things like JAIN-SLEE or the OMA restful network API are few and far between (and expensive) if you compare them to web developers using HTML5 and JavaScript.

That’s why so many providers tender first just for the next-generation infrastructure. Then they hold a separate tender for the application server part, usually together with the service delivery platform, specific services and of course the migration of legacy services from older silo solutions. Believe me this approach works and it’s quicker and cheaper. If you’re infrastructure vendor, whose core business is, after all, pretty far away from software-centric services, tells you something different, just remember Ira Gershwin’s warning: it ain’t necessarily so.

Author Marshall E. Kavesh

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