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October 03, 2012

Future Markets Less Tidy than Today's

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

John Lazar (News - Alert), Metaswitch Networks CEO, faces a challenge most suppliers to the global telecom business also face, namely how his own business, and that of his service provider customers, will change over the next decade or so. Some of those changes, such as the blurring of “over the top” and “carrier services,” will cause some potential discomfort.

The issue is not, as sometimes happens in IP ecosystems, that Metaswitch Networks would ever compete with its customers. The issue is that, over time, as cloud computing becomes the established computing architecture, and as Metaswitch software is crafted to run in a cloud environment, there is no reason why its customers could not include “over the top” application providers, mobile service providers or anybody else who believes messaging and voice services and features have value for their own businesses.

Image via Shutterstock

In other words, neither Metaswitch Networks, nor any other leading supplier, can permanently ensure any of its current customers that, someday, third party application providers, mobile service providers and others might well be buying and using Metaswitch Networks software.

In other words, when the world evolves further, and it is easier for third parties to run the equivalent of central offices in the cloud, some might well decide to do so. With a cloud-based infrastructure, an upstart competitor could create an almost-instant point of presence in a new market with less financial investment than in the past, and then scale operations based on how well things go.

That world is coming, Metaswitch Networks knows it is coming, and will tell anyone who really asks, that Metaswitch Networks intends to sell its products in that new market. That isn't to say every customer, everywhere, always will be happy with that stance. But a future cloud-based market will be more untidy than today's market is.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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