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SDN & NFV: Friends or Enemies?

26 Aug

If you recently visited NetworkWorld or FierceWireless, chances are you came across acronym-rich articles attempting at explaining the most popular buzzwords of the moment: #SDN and #NFV. There is no doubt both technology concepts are gaining a lot of traction. “Introduction to NSX” session at this year’s #VMworld 2014 attracted hundreds of SDN knowledge hungry people. “NFV for Telco Infrastructure” was also very well attended given that it competed with several Happy Hour events (it was scheduled at 5:30pm).

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If you don’t really have the time to read hundreds of articles and you’d like to quickly understand the key concepts and relationship between SDN and NFV, I have good news for you. I already did the heavy lifting and synthesized several sources of SDN and NFV wisdom into a single deck. Check out my “SDN and NFV: Friends or Enemies” presentation. It contains a lot of pictures, diagrams and other visuals to help you intake the new information as painlessly as possible. Enjoy and let me know how I can further improve it!

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What happened in Vegas at CTIA 2013 will not stay in Vegas

24 May

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jenI just came home from Vegas and can’t wait to share my observations from CTIA Wireless. This show is the largest event in the USA dedicated to mobile communications and in the past used to be a huge expo area where phone manufacturers (Nokia, Samsung) and network vendors (Cisco, NSN, Ericsson) used to demo their gear and latest handsets. That was back in 2010 where the whole mobile ecosystem was operator centric and very closed. With the arrival of app stores, social networks, tablets and more reliable network connections the landscape and focus of the show has evolved to include user experience personalization, analytics, mobility for retail as well as marketing strategies for hyper connected world.

Three key takeaways from CTIA 2013:

1. Users are spoiled, they demand more and will not settle for less.

keynote– The modern consumer expects personalized shopping experiences and rewards companies who can deliver them: customers using Walmart shopping app make up to 2 more trips a month to stores and spend up to 40% more a month. (Walmart keynote)

– Users are impatient, love multitasking and want to share new insights immediately with their networks; even at a great keynote that was followed by a long Q&A session, show attendees could not help themselves but play with their devices (check the picture above!!)

– “Mobile tech is the new cool” – even among celebrities – Jennifer Lopez just launched her Viva Movil mobile brand targeting users who want to purchase devices from her Facebook fan page or from a branded retail store. (CTIA keynote)

2. Apps are getting more complex.

casino– Retailers are adjusting apps based on user context. I almost want to start shopping at Walmart since I learned how smart their mobile app is: when you’re away from their store their mobile app allows you to order groceries  from home and get them ready for pickup on top of usual product browsing. The moment you enter the store, new functions pop up in the app interface like ability to scan barcodes of your shopping cart and self-check-out as well as get the navigation to the product you want in the gigantic labyrinth of Walmart aisles. (Walmart keynote)to deliver advanced user experiences

– Productivity apps are going strong – number 3 on the list of top paid apps after games and social networking. (AppAnnie stats)

– Analytics is an integral part of mobile apps. All for great user experience including context adaptation. (Forrester keynote)

3. Marketing best practices from the show:

rovio– The best way to build your product’s brand is through journalists because… Journalists are just after rock stars in terms of followers on social media channels. So: think like  a journalist, build relationships with journalists. (iPhone life magazine)

– Let the case studies / customer stories speak for effectiveness of your solution/product. During a Forrester when the speaker introduced their mobile marketing framework people were playing with their devices but the moment she switched to examples of how Chevy and Mint dentistry successfully applied the framework to drive customer loyalty and delight, all the audience eyes were on her.

– Deliver on your promise when presenting; as Angry Birds’ godfather, Harri Koponen stated on stage: “In Finland we start a presentation on time and we finish on time. Otherwise people get bored”. And how do you achieve that? Preparation and practice, as: “An outstanding 1h presentation can take up to 30h prep time”.

AT&T vs. Verizon – The Battle of Giants in San Francisco

22 Nov

Thanksgiving weekend is about to start and so is retail sales time. Two years ago US consumers spent over $1bn on Cyber Monday – more than any other big sale day in 2010. If you live in San Francisco and have been procrastinating your 4G smartphone purchase till the holidays, be sure to analyze this AT&T vs. Verizon performance guide before you swipe your credit card on Monday!

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Looking at the top spots in the city featured in the performance chart above, you quickly notice there is not an ultimate winner in the Silicon Valley mobile Internet battle. If you like to hang out and stream Katy Perry’s videos around Union Sq, AT&T with half the theoretical top LTE speed is your preferred carrier. If you rather watch Giants’ game while indulging some fresh crabmeat at Fisherman’s Wharf, you should go for Verizon.

Interestingly enough, despite over 21 Mb/s download speed on AT&T network in the Financial District it can take around 34 seconds to load New York Times website on an iPhone 5. That’s almost 4 times slower than the average website load time on a mobile device.

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ATT vs. Verizon performance result prove that user experience with mobile Internet cannot be measured purely in Mb/s. How to make Internet websites load faster on mobile devices? Look for the answer in the next blog post.