FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 July 2009
Secret to Successful Telecom Transformation: An Accurate Database of Record
An Interview with former AT&T CIO and CTO, Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi
EFFORT OF THE POCONOS, PENNSYLVANIA (29 July 2009) - For two decades the telecom industry has talked about -- but failed to deliver on -- the grand ideas of systems consolidation, OSS/BSS integration, and business transformation.
Large carriers spend hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing and integrating new systems for their transformation programs. However, when these projects finish, the inevitable result is that legacy code and hardware that was supposed to be retired is still needed, making transformation a costly paper tiger.
Now Technology Research Institute (TRI) delivers proven transformation advice through an exclusive interview with Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, the person who led the most successful telecom transformation ever achieved by a large carrier.
During the years 2002 to 2005 when Eslambolchi was both the CIO and CTO of AT&T, the company retired (and actually turned the power off to) a massive 1,200 hardware systems plus the 5,000 or so software applications that ran on that hardware. At the end of 2005, just before AT&T was acquired by SBC, the former company was down to only 100 systems managing the entire AT&T network (including the consumer and business space).
When the transformation began, AT&T had 78,000 employees and by the end of 2005 the company streamlined down to only 38,700 people. In all, the transformation delivered about $15 billion in direct savings and untold billions in indirect savings.
"Prevailing wisdom says technology should drive business transformation, but Dr. Eslambolchi's says that's a recipe for disaster," says Dan Baker, Research Director at TRI. "The lesson he teaches is clear, but widely misunderstood: technology needs to be grounded in a solid foundation whose cornerstone is an accurate and broadly conceived database of record," Baker adds.
Here are highlights of Dr. Eslambolchi's remarks in the interview:
On technology insertion. . .
"Everybody says, "Oh, I want to put IPTV in the network." But what's so unique about IPTV? It's merely using an IP versus a cable industry protocol. And why worry about building out fiber to the home and IPTV at all unless you've first figured out how you're going to make money with that technology?"
On cloud computing. . .
"We had a name for this whole concept of cloud computing [at AT&T]. We called it autonomic computing -- also known as the Concept of None -- networks that are self-provisionable, self-maintainable, and self-deployable. The only difference I can see between then and now is that Amazon opened up its API whereas at AT&T we chose not to do that -- for a variety of reasons."
On the power of a data-driven paradigm. . .
"Network equipment vendors -- with all due respect -- like to sell you boxes and element management systems that connect to those boxes. . . But what happens when you try to do fault management, performance management, SLA management, or service delivery across 5 boxes when the underlying database of record is inaccurate?"
About Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi
In 2006, Eslambolchi left AT&T just after it was acquired by SBC. Soon after, he formed his own company, 2020 Venture Partners, and began writing his book, 2020 Vision: Business Transformation Through Technology Innovation. Today Eslambolchi also advises Allegis, a venture capital firm in California and is a technical advisor to Ericsson, helping them build an ecosystem for the converged world of BSS/OSS, wireless and wireline.
In 2008 he became an advisor and evangelist for Intelliden, a company he believes is bringing his Database of Record vision deeper into the telecom network. Intelliden's CEO, Alan Black, joined in this interview with Eslambolchi at the Telemanagement World event in Nice, France.
About Technology Research Institute
Founded in 1994, Technology Research Institute (TRI) is a market research and consulting firm that specializes in the areas of OSS/BSS software and telecom IT services.
TRI's Telecom Experts Series features interviews with some of telecom's most insightful leaders. The discussion with Dr. Eslambolchi is posted at: http://www.technology-research.com/experts/eslambolchi1.php.
For further information about TRI, visit www.technology-research.com or Tel: +1 570-620-2320.