Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV Innovation Day 2015.

“In business and economics, innovation is the catalyst to growth […] In the organizational context, innovation may be linked to positive changes in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitiveness […] research findings highlight the complementary role of organizational culture enabling organizations to translate innovative activity into tangible performance improvements […] Innovation is the key element in providing aggressive top-line growth and increasing bottom-line results.”Wikipedia.

“Product development within the telecommunications industry has traditionally followed rigorous standards for stability, protocol adherence and quality. While this model worked well in the past, it inevitably led to long product cycles, a slow pace of development and reliance on proprietary or specialist hardware […] In October 2012, an industry specifications group, “Network Functions Virtualization”, published a white paper […] discussing NFV as a network architecture using IT technologies to virtualize entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may be connected, or chained, to create communication services.”Wikipedia.


Left: Ted East. Right: Jose de Francisco. Location: Alcatel-Lucent’s Naperville Auditorium.

Our NFV Innovation Day was held this past Thursday. I would first like to congratulate everyone involved: participants, speakers, and the team of volunteers at the company’s Technology Leadership Council (TLC) who made it happen with support from Alcatel-University, company Communications teams, Real Estate and IT support.

This was an internal daylong event designed for Alcatel-Lucent’s own cloud computing community. The agenda featured 15 speakers addressing 3 modules: demystifying NFV, portfolio readiness and future direction, as well as an engaging live demonstration on Lean NFV Ops delivered by the Cloud Innovation Center on stage.

What was originally planned as a campus initiative to brief teams on what transpired at Mobile World Congress, quickly became a far more ambitious undertaking involving speakers from worldwide locations and a global webcast. All definitely worth the effort as feedback received is very positive and encouraging. The better news is that there are more TLC “Innovation Days” on other emerging technologies in the works already.


Making the Lean NFV Ops video. Location: Mobile World Congress, Barcelona.

By the way, speaking of Barcelona’s MWC, thanks to Darlene Cetrulo we will be making a video on the Lean NFV Ops demo available. This is just a quick note to let you know that it is ready and will be shared soon. Stay tuned : )


Left: Jose de Francisco. Center: Carla Cico. Right: Ted East. Location: NFV Experience Room at the Cloud Innovation Center.

Leading to NFV Innovation Day, we also had a good meeting with Carla Cico, member of Alcatel-Lucent’s Board of Directors. The company’s Board involves 11 Directors, all independent with the only exception of Michel Combes, CEO. My understanding is that Carla started her career with Italtel and was CEO of Brasil Telecom. International Business and Forbes featured her among the top 100 most powerful women.  

We gathered with her in the Showcase area, a good place to illustrate what’s changing in the telecommunications industry to begin with. The bulk of the discussion took place at CIC’s NFV Experience Room since the interactive Lean NFV Ops demo invites the conversation and helps visualize complex topics.


Left: Bhaskar Gorti. Center: Naperville Auditorium. Right: Michel Combes.

Back to the NFV Innovation Day, Michel Combes, CEO, and Bhaskar Gorti, IP Platforms President, delivered the opening remarks for the morning and afternoon sessions respectively.

The event featured a “dream team” of NFV speakers who did an excellent job without exception. Though, it should be noted that there is plenty of cloud talent and good work going on in the company. For that reason, when working on the agenda our planning team came to the conclusion that we were scratching the surface.

Nonetheless, NFV Innovation Day delivered insightful content coming from a broad and well balanced cross-section of the business, coupled with Bell Labs ingenuity in the areas of analytics and autonomics (machine learning) for NFV. This approach now delivers opportunities for following up and conducting deep dives as needed.


Left: Phil Tilley, Jose de Francisco. Center: Cassidy Shield, Betsy Covell. Right: Anne Lee.

imageLast but not least, TLC is a boundariless Alcatel-Lucent community fostering knowledge networks across the business. TLC focuses on activities involving technology sharing to drive heightened innovativeness.

Related links:



Event photo album.

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