During the recent MEF 16 conference, Ariel Efrati, CEO of Telco Systems was interviewed by Gary Audin from TelecomReseller. They have discussed in the core network technologies, with Efrati covering the influence of virtualization and software driven products that can be hardware independent.
Here are some of the main questions and answers:
Q: Many of Telco Systems customers are telecom providers, but do you also support some of the larger enterprise corporations.
A: We support enterprises when they need connectivity between their own offices, for example. We have several clients that deal mainly with connecting their own customers, connecting their own branches, serving them internally within their own needs.
So for example, we have one enterprise doing call centers, and those call centers are being connected on their own network on our platforms. This is a holistic system.
Another enterprise might be a school that connects all the school system in a high speed, like an E-rate project.
Q: The example you gave are organizations with multiple sites, is that really where your sweet spot is?
A: Yes, I think that the fact that you need to be connected with multiple sites and if you need to connect into your core data centers, for example, from many different places. So definitely, it is about connectivity, and it is very high rate connectivity.
We are dealing mainly with data services, so it is also with a high bandwidth. Moreover, in most cases, it is fiber connectivity.
Q: How have you been responding to the changes that are mostly software driven today?
A: To be honest, for many years, we have been a software company, putting our software into hardware. The main asset and the main intellectual property of the company is the software. It places in our hands the fact that people are now looking at software as the stronghold because we believe the software is the asset. By that, we could have very easily import or export almost our software onto multipurpose devices like x86 Intel based hardware. By that, it enabled us not to focus on the hardware anymore.
We have management systems that are all about software. We have operating system within the devices, and we have the applications.
We believe that the telecommunication and IT environments reinvent themselves every 10 years, and we are now witnessing a revolution. It rejuvenates the market and it enables it to go and regrow itself.
Q: Your customers are looking for high availability in their operations. So, when you place your software on hardware, are you selective about the hardware it runs on because of reliability issues?
A: Absolutely, usually, we do certification for the hardware. You can take it at your own risk, or you adopt pre-certified devices that are off the shelf, or, if you like a specific one.
Q: What does a certification for MEF mean for Telco Systems and what process do you have to go through?
A: That is a very rigid process. We are certified. All our devices are MEF-certified with CE 2.0 certification. We are not certified only to one vertical. There are several verticals and several certifications within it, and all the devices are there. It means that first, you need to build it the right way in order to support all the features and functions.
Certification is very important in MEF because it actually enables you as an operator to cross connect with other operators in a smooth way and a transparent way. Otherwise, one operator might be with one starter, another one will have different starter, and then you cannot give a service that is cross operators. In many cases, for example, a service that starts in New York and needs to end in California will have to cross different operators because you do not have right infrastructure there.
Without the certification, you are surely going to hit a wall. So certification is very important in that aspect, and it is very demanding in our perspective because you have to be tailored onto specifications, and to be all the time up-to-date with the standards. Because almost on a monthly basis, there are new features, there are new enhancements, there are new services you need to support, and it means that you have to be up to the pace.
Your software needs to be modular, it needs to be able to adapt to those elements, and to be able to integrate and to cross connect or actually interoperate with our equipment or with other software.
Q: In a sense, with a certification you can deliver interoperability assurance.
A: It is assured, it is guaranteed, and it is very smooth. In addition, it is almost guaranteed, not almost, it is guaranteed that if you will place the function within your network and the entire network is certified, you have very smooth operations with no issues there.
Q: That would mean that there are fewer truck rolls, less staff, meaning that the risk is much lower, too.
A: Of course, integration costs almost do not exist. Training costs are also reduced, as you do not need to train because it is not different. Certification is key element here, especially in a region like America. While it is not one country and one provider or two or three, there are many providers, then you need to cross many providers, and this, I would say, transparency is something what makes the machine run.
To listen to the interview click here
To learn more about Telco Systems products and services click here