MAY 21, 2007 -- Cisco (search for Cisco) and Nokia Siemens Networks (search for Nokia Siemens Networks) have entered into an agreement to develop a standards-based telecommunications network management platform that will help service providers manage the increasing complexity of their networks and speed time to market of new services.
With the increasing challenges associated with delivering converged services across multi-vendor networks and the high cost of custom integration, the jointly developed Operations Support Systems (OSS) platform will help the entire service provider community better align network capabilities and costs with business demands, say the companies.
Both Cisco and Nokia Siemens Networks say they are committed to long-term cooperation, bringing together Cisco's Internet Protocol (IP) competence and Nokia Siemens Networks' end-to-end telecommunications capability, as well as extensive research and development (R&D) and economic resources from both companies.
"It is not often that we see such powerful innovation in an area so desperate for a new approach," reports George Nazi, vice president of Global Engineering at BT. "While often downplayed, the OSS is the critical engine for our ability to support our network investment in meeting the demands of consumers and business for new services, new technologies, and new ways of doing business," he explains. "Providing a common view of the physical and virtual network across all technologies and building a foundation for other vendors will complement BT's software-driven network strategy to deliver superior customer experiences."
As part of the agreement, Cisco and Nokia Siemens Networks say they will deliver a platform that will provide a common end-to-end network view of diverse network elements--across IP and mobile technologies--that are automatically discovered and represented as a virtual network model. Likewise, the new platform will provide a complete view of network resources regardless of platforms, technologies, or vendors. The platform will include basic fault, configuration, performance, and security (FCAPS) management functionality as well as a variety of common functions, such as data acquisition and network element mediation, which will be utilized by higher-level OSS applications.
"We are happy to see the equipment suppliers taking a proactive approach to solving the integration challenges of converged networks," contends Peter Mottishaw, senior analyst for OSS Observer. "This is an important announcement by Cisco and Nokia Siemens Networks with the potential to significantly reduce OSS integration and maintenance costs for service providers. Together, the two companies provide about a quarter of network and element management systems to service providers globally. A common, standards-based EMS platform that exposes the full capabilities of network elements from both companies will simplify application development, integration, and maintenance for independent software vendors and systems integrators," he says. "This enables them to focus on the OSS application value."
Nokia Siemens Networks brings to the collaboration its end-to-end telecommunications capability and its out-of-the-box software product, Open EMS Suite by Nokia, which provides capabilities of an element management system (EMS) and can be used to build EMS for various kinds of networks, including transport, mobile, and broadband.
Along with its expertise in IP networking, Cisco says it also brings its Cisco Active Network Abstraction (ANA) management offering to the collaboration. Cisco ANA already is the basis for managing complex multi-vendor networks as well as providing the base platform for new management solutions, such as the Cisco Managed Services Solution. Cisco ANA also provides management support for the Cisco CRS-1 routing platform.
The broader intent of the collaboration is to provide a basis for helping OSS and other independent software vendors produce or extend their own applications more quickly. Companies such as Amdocs are demonstrating early support and will be leveraging the future technology from Cisco and Nokia Siemens Networks to extend their own OSS that assist with issues such as fault management, network provisioning, and inventory control.
Furthermore, Cisco and IBM already have a collaborative relationship in the OSS fault management and service assurance segment, and this announcement extends that relationship to include interoperability with ANA.