IT managers are well acquainted with the Proof of Concept (POC) as a milestone in launching any new service or infrastructure configuration. At CenturyLink, we believe the POC is more than a technical step of validation. In a world of Digital Transformations, the POC has strategic importance. The POC brings all the elements of a new service offering, or even a new business model together for the first time and can even serve as a proving ground for early adopter customers.
Thus, we are very proud to announce that the team of Blue Planet, Ciena, RAD and CenturyLink were one of two winners of the POC Showcase competition at MEF16 held in Baltimore in mid-November going up against 14 different competitors. This was the first year the POC awards were targeted at the “best demonstrated … implementation of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services.” The winning demos targeted multi-vendor orchestration, a testament to the strategic interest in this capability for IT managers’ consideration.
The CenturyLink team submission, “Multi-Vendor Service Orchestration Using Open APIs for Service Activation, Performance Monitoring, and NFV,” demonstrated the on-demand orchestration of end-to-end Carrier Ethernet and NFV-based services with multiple vendor vCPE devices. The components included RAD’s ETX-2i NFV-enabled NID, Ciena’s 3906mvi NFV-enabled NID, RADview domain management, and Ciena’s domain controller, all automated by Ciena’s Blue Planet Orchestrator using open APIs.
The demo had many distinguishing features, but two in particular stand out when we think of the POC as a strategic step toward Digital Transformations.
First, the CenturyLink team’s POC was a “live” “demo” because it actually ran on CenturyLink’s real-world network environment rather than an isolated test bed. Thus, the demonstrated multi-vendor orchestration, which makes all the connections between disparate access solutions, happened across a network that CenturyLink customers are already using today. In fact, project leader and CenturyLink Distinguished Architect Jack Pugaczewski called the POC a “Proof of Reality” rather than just a technical concept demo.
Second, the project used the open source APIs developed under the MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) initiative championed by CenturyLink. It’s a multi-vendor world, but sometimes making all the solution pieces work together optimally is very challenging. CenturyLink continues to lead the initiative to build open APIs under the MEF LSO framework. These open APIs are available to all and help all users optimize a multi-vendor environment. This proof that openness and cooperation works across the industry is another testament to the power of working within the reality most IT managers face.
“I was impressed with the innovative Proof of Concept that CenturyLink and its partners designed for MEF16,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “The CenturyLink-led team earned its MEF Excellence Award with a very effective demonstration of how advanced orchestration streamlines service delivery to customers with multi-vendor networks.”
Digital Transformations happen one POC at a time.