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Service Delivery Platforms Gain Traction

Service delivery platforms (SDPs) continue to gain market traction as a way for telecom network providers to deliver new services quickly and inexpensively, but SDP suppliers need to do a much better job of explaining what their products do and how they fit into the overall service delivery environment, according to a major new report from Heavy Reading.

Key findings of the report:

SDP vendors are not doing a good job of explaining what their products do and where they fit into the market � a weakness that threatens to hamper development of the SDP market. Operators may stay with their stovepipe service delivery approach because it seems simpler than trying to understand vendors' very different � and often contradictory � architectural approaches. Or they will buy from names they've heard of, rather than exploring best-of-breed products whose descriptions they don't understand.

The lack of a standard SDP reference model is having a negative impact on market development. Standard architectures are emerging for next-generation networks from ITU, 3GPP, ETSI TISPAN, and ATIS, while the TeleManagement Forum has developed a reference model for operator business processes and next-generation OSS. But SDP, arguably an operator's greatest source of competitive advantage, has yet to secure a standard definition. Vendors say this is because this is such a competitive domain: No operator wants its SDP to look like anyone else's. However, there are downsides to a lack of standardization.

Telecom equipment vendors are struggling to establish credibility with network operators in the SDP market. Most network equipment providers have some way to go in demonstrating their business transformation and management consultancy credentials, as well as in persuading operators that they can work with multivendor next-generation environments and that their SDPs will be truly independent of vendor network equipment � especially their own.

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