Welcome!

Apache Authors: Nikita Ivanov, Jim Kaskade, Amy Lindberg, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Open Source

Open Source: Blog Post

The Key to OpenDaylight Adoption: Salespeople

Open source adoption

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.]

The post The key to OpenDaylight adoption: salespeople appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.