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January 1, 2018
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“Executed correctly, the redefined strategy will have profound effects on improving the user experience and increasing customer intimacy for the next generation of IoT services.” said Patrick Goemaere, Technicolor

The rapid rise of DevOps — along with the mainstreaming of agile methodologies for creating applications — is introducing new opportunities for Network Service Providers (NSPs) interested in deploying more services to subscribers, more rapidly and safely in the era of Edge Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). This has significant implications on how the emerging generation of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) — including gateway and set-top box technologies — are developed and deployed.

Adopting a Dual Track Approach is Key to a Successful Transition to this New Paradigm

The key to making a successful transition to this new paradigm of application and product development is to adopt a dual track approach with respect to separating critical firmware functions from the more agile customer-facing functionality while avoiding a big-bang approach and creating an evolutionary architectural path for legacy deployments.

By redefining the approach to application and product development in this manner, NSPs will be able to harness the trends that are driving the evolution of IoT technology. It will require executives and technologists to move away from the centralized approach that has often defined development, and move, toward a more decentralized architecture that takes advantage of computing capabilities that are now taking place at the edge of the network. 

Executed correctly, the redefined strategy will have profound effects on improving the user experience and increasing customer intimacy for the next generation of IoT services.

“Over the years, we have witnessed a fundamental shift in how software gets developed and deployed in the cloud. Born-in-the-cloud web companies have moved to a much more agile way of working.  By engaging in continuous deployment and integration initiatives, companies are able to introduce new functionality and features on a daily basis, while providing fine grained control to initially limit the exposure of these features to a subset of their customer base,” says Goemaere.

This transformation has helped these companies to create a competitive advantage so that they can rapidly check the viability of new functionality, collect user feedback and respond quickly to changing requirements.

The introduction of full automation and DevOps methodology has improved the complex social interaction that typically has plagued many complex product and service development in large scale organizations. This is being accomplished by breaking up traditional boundaries between product and business owners, R&D, IT and operations. As a result, products can quickly move through the business requirements phases to full deployment with more flexibility.  This has the added benefit of allowing new ideas to be tested in a “fail fast” manner that accelerates the development process while actually reducing exposure to risk.

“The innovation around IoT has built further on the evolutions started in the Web and mobile domains. As a result, a new approach has been created to provide the foundational technology building blocks and communications/collaboration methodologies that allow embedded devices to be deployed and integrated at web scale.

NSP’s have a major opportunity to understand and leverage these concepts to develop new products and services more quickly, cost-effectively and in a more risk-adjusted manner.

Patrick Goemaere presented a paper entitled Edge Compute and Software Life-Cycle Management: Creating Customer Value and Flexibility at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2018, in Atlanta, Ga., October 22-25.

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