|By Michael Bushong||
|July 30, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
The primary indicator of success is success. That is to say that the number one thing people look to as a predictor of future performance is past performance. In the product space, this means that things like adoption are important as much for what it signals to other people as they are for bottom line revenues. And this is true even in the open source world.
As SDN speeds its way towards mainstream adoption, this means that projects like OpenDaylight will need to establish early on that they are not only deployable but also deployed.
Open source adoption
People frequently point to Linux as an example of an open source project that has seen wide adoption. But even Linux adoption did not happen overnight. It took more than a decade to see growth. And if you look at RedHat as an indicator of when that growth spawned commercial success, you have to extend all the way out to 2012 before the first $1B fiscal year.
The point here is not that Linux was not successful but rather that it took time to become successful. And the more success there was, the more success there tends to be. The rise of RedHat has enabled an acceleration of Linux deployments, in part because of an improved support model but in part because it represents a visible measure of commercial viability.
OpenDaylight and adoption timelines
Now consider that Linux was largely unknown and had virtually no expectations around it when it was created. There was no market that was waiting for it to hit. There were not industry players banking on its commercial success. There was not an entire technology movement underway dependent in part on the rise of a vendor-neutral platform.
The conditions under which OpenDaylight has been incubated are markedly different. And that means the expectations are different. Imagine how OpenDaylight would be evaluated if it took more than a decade to reach any kind of adoption. The pundits would not be kind, the customers would not be happy, and the companies expecting OpenDaylight to contribute to their commercial success would not be satisfied. OpenDaylight simply has to accelerate adoption.
What the bulls would say
Those bullish on OpenDaylight will tell you that conditions are certainly different. Open source is a better understood beast than it was in the early 90s. The lessons learned by those that championed Linux should result in faster adoption for projects that follow, and having the very group responsible for Linux (the Linux Foundation) at the helm only makes those lessons easier to put to use. There is an entire consortium of industry giants and would-be giant slayers who are building products and an ecosystem around OpenDaylight. Marketing efforts are helping drive awareness in both the vendor and user communities.
There are absolutely reasons to believe that adoption will happen faster than it did the first go-around.
What the bears would say
But there is a case to be made for the bears as well. SDN is more than a new technology; it’s a new architecture. Migration between architectures is far more disruptive, and thus more risky. The only way to mitigate risk is to move even slower, waiting for others to pave the way. And with a much lower volume of customers to pull from, this means that there will be fewer success stories early on and less overall experience to rely on. On top of that, while the consortium of companies is building products, they continue to sling their legacy portfolios that compete with the very thing they are collaborating on. Can they possibly be expected to push forward aggressively?
The missing ingredient
So what is missing for OpenDaylight to be successful?
In a word, deployments. But how do solutions get deployed? In the networking world at least, the answer is that they are pushed by the people building and ultimately selling them. Whether that’s the vendor itself or the resellers working on its behalf, there is someone on the end of the sales cycle who is explaining to the customer why and how they should deploy the solution.
Who is going to do that for OpenDaylight?
Right now, the answer is unclear. The most obvious answer is that OpenDaylight needs a RedHat to help speed deployments. In the OpenDaylight case, RedHat seems like the likely company to be RedHat. They are already OpenDaylight contributors, and they understand the business model well enough that they should be able to take a page from their own playbook.
But RedHat doesn’t own the networking channel or have the networking street cred. It’s not that they cannot be successful, but it will take more than RedHat to sell OpenDaylight.
Of course, the individual vendors all have a stake in OpenDaylight as well. Maybe they will make up the salesforce? Perhaps. But there is a challenge here. OpenDaylight is not really a revenue generator (at least not right away and not directly). Individual salespeople are compensated on the revenue they bring in. They don’t have a personal incentive to promote an open source project. More tactically, even if they wanted to, they aren’t fully trained on how it works and how they ought to be selling it. And even then, whatever they do know will be specific to the context in which the rest of their product catalog functions. A huge part of the value of OpenDaylight is that it works in heterogeneous environments and has technologies contributed from a bunch of different players. No salesperson is ever going to promote those aspects as aggressively as their own products.
What is needed?
If the problem is similar to a sales problem, then the solution will resemble a sales solution. Adoption will hinge on marketing to drive awareness and field enablement to drive sales capability. The first one is already being done with great effect, but the second one is missing. It’s hard to enable a salesforce that doesn’t really exist.
My suspicion is that the very thing that makes OpenDaylight powerful from a development perspective will swoop in to help out here: namely, the open source community. If community members who are leading adoption become active ambassadors for OpenDaylight, they can take the role of a Systems Engineer (SE) and help speed along deployments.
Engagements will be a little bit tough. Pairing ambassadors with active opportunities is non-trivial because it requires the customer to seek counsel from an ambassador they do not know while being presumably in a sales cycle that is led by vendors who are pushing alternative solutions. Fortunately, the biggest thing OpenDaylight can help do here is right up its alley: provide transparency. If customers are active in registering OpenDaylight opportunities, the Linux Foundation can pair ambassadors with those seeking guidance.
The bottom line
The industry needs a neutral point of control, and having every company reinvent and maintain a common platform is silly. Open source is a great way to advance the industry while limiting overlapping investment on the vendor side. But for adoption to take place, adoption has to happen. OpenDaylight can do something to solve this chicken-and-egg problem. Ultimately, if OpenDaylight is successful at providing opportunity transparency to its community, everyone benefits.
[Today’s fun fact: A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, but a group of geese in the air is a skein. This is to flocking hard to remember.]
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,957
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,169
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some...
May. 26, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,984
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 26, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,166
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 26, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,832
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 26, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 952
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
May. 26, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,456
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 26, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,043
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 26, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,671
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 26, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,060
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 26, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,939
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
May. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,758
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,230
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,021
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 26, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,926
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 26, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,727
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 26, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,844
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 26, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,303
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
May. 26, 2016 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,663
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
May. 26, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,454