Q: Why is the Open Innovation Pipeline needed?

A: The SDN movement, first initiated by the ONF, has successfully set in motion the disaggregation of networking devices and control software and fostered the emergence of a broad range open source platforms. A trend has emerged where vendors leverage open source to build closed proprietary solutions, providing only marginal benefit to the broader ecosystem. Complexity still challenges many operators, who find building solutions involves the need to integrate many layers of technology, product, customization and integration.

Few players have the resources to invest in building such complex solutions. Innovative offerings have difficulty making it into operator networks because the only route to market is through closed vertically integrated “stovepipe” solutions that tightly integrate together a selection of technologies in ways that result in proprietary barriers to entry.

The industry needs a unifying effort to build solutions out of the numerous disaggregated components. An open platform and clear roadmap is needed to deliver on the promise of SDN and NFV.

ONF will also help a variety of vendors accelerate how an idea or innovation gets adopted into production networks, while operators and system integrators also stand to benefit from the Open Innovation Pipeline. The pipeline allows members of all types to bring their unique innovation and value into the solution. Operators, vendors and integrators all have a role to play, and the pipeline helps integrate these contributions into consumable solutions for operators.