Following up on my last post about IEEE ERT 2018, here are a couple of charts for my “discussion brief,” which include a Human-Machine-System Capability Mapping chart (above) and concept illustrations of the Experiential Decision Support System (below.) The charts’ text conveys context setting remarks, which I am also providing here.
The goal of furthering machine intelligence is to make humans more able and smarter: the opposite engineering approach typically becomes a source of self-defeating technical myopia waiting to happen and missed opportunities. This simple mapping exercise can be customized to assess and roadmap capability levels.
The more sophisticated automation becomes, the more obvious the criticality of the human factor in both consumer and enterprise environments… rather than less. And, in any case, customer acceptance and adoption criteria remain Quality’s litmus test for emerging technologies.
Digitalization is fostering (a) XaaS, (b) Self-Service, (c) the Shared Economy and the (d) Maker Movement. All elevate human involvement and drive the push for opening and democratizing technologies. These make (e) citizen science and citizen developers shape the next generation prosumers at mass market scale.
Digital Transformation initiatives embracing the above allow (f) nimbler enterprise teams to operate at far greater scale, scope and speed, and shift focus from routine operations to dynamic value creation coupled with extreme efficiencies.
This entails (g) interdisciplinary workstyles and collaborative organizational behaviors that include (h) customer co-creation models. In this new context, humans remain (i) the ultimate critical element in system reliability and safety. Left shifting Quality by Design (QbD) prioritizes Human-Centered-Design tools and processes to deliver high performance workforce automation systems.
Cost-effective Lean Ops systems intertwine analytics, automation, programmability and flexible systems integration. All optimized for dynamic behaviors given Soft System’s perpetual motion. This means designing “for-ever” rapid and seamless reconfigurability instead of just engineering “day 1” implementations.
Operational Excellence dictates system-wide as well as subsystem level visualization, and a combination of centralized & distributed closed loop controls under user friendly operational modes. Cognitive models involve Situational Awareness (SA,) Sense Making (SM,) Root Cause Analysis (RCA,) Scenario Planning (SP,) and ROA (Real Options Analysis.)
The Experiential element is not just about programming known rules and policies but, most importantly, it grows by assimilating iterative learning in the context of cyclical automation: routine decisions and manual operations can be streamlined and collapsed, then switching to “exception” based management for that particular event.
Productivity calls for streamlining operations so that (a) waste can be eliminated & prevented, and (b) value based tasks can be performed effortlessly, in less steps, at speed & without error. High performance behaviors and sustainable competitiveness also call for the ability to (c) experiment and create new capabilities, as well as leveraging (d) process mining for customer journeys & value stream mapping (CJM & VSM) to continuously optimize them and guarantee service levels.
Service Operations Centers (SOC) should be equipped with Experiential Decision Support Systems (DSS) featuring (d) collaborative filtering, (e) actionable data stories conveying hindsight, insight & foresight and (f) adaptive cybernetics. Advanced visualization for both (f) intuitive & highly abstracted infographics and (g) scientific views is of the essence.
Quality is best addressed as a human experience, which determines (d) meaning and, therefore, the degree to which a system is lean vs. over-engineered or subpar (both being defective and carrying obvious and hidden costs.) A new take on QbD for Soft Systems, which are inherently fluid by definition, emphasizes acceptance testing probing for: usefulness & utility, usability & affectivity, consumability & serviceability and safety thru use cases and lifecycle events.
ETR turned out to be a very productive undertaking and I would like to thank IEEE’s Spilios Markis, Chi-Ming Chen and Chris Mayer for all the help provided prior and during workshop.
My contribution focusing on addressing the unprecedented flexibility of advanced software defined systems and artificial intelligence. That intersection defines game changing technologies leading to zero-touch automation and, therefore, fostering self-service opportunities at both operational and service consumption levels.
“Zero touch” implies extreme automation to its fullest while self-service reveals that this new order elevates the criticality of HMS (Human Machine Systems.) More touch points surface compared to what legacy technologies allowed given their constraint and restricted nature. That prompts a new take on HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and QbD (Quality by Design) to best deliver service quality throughout: concept exploration and service definition, fulfilment and adaptation, assurance and security… across multi-domain, highly decomposed, re-configurable and exceptionally dynamic end-to-end systems involving integration and service delivery in continuous motion.
These are thought out to (a) dramatically optimize support personnel ratios and (b) shift staff’s attention and efforts to value based activities and innovation. These are small agile teams and new talent tasked with jobs involving (c) far greater scale with (d) a wider interdisciplinary scope, and all to be performed at (e) digital speed. In this next-level productivity and more demanding and challenging context, success relies on new tools embracing Design Thinking’s HCD (Human-Centered-Design.)
That is applied to capability models and subsequent modes of operation for (f) HITL (Human “IN” The Loop) Computing largely devoted to deep domain expertise supported by Science Visualization, as well as (g) HOTL (Human “ON” the Loop) for system-wide supervisory responsibilities and ease of service creation and onboarding. HOTL draws from highly abstracted Visualization techniques and Low Code Development revealing the behavior of end-to-end systems and subsystems and adequate flow control.
These are coupled with effective Cybernetics gearing up for context aware 360-closed-loop-control, zooming in and out between distributed and central levels. Last but not least, effective and efficient tools that are characterized by ease of use and consumability do attract many more new users from many more different domains to interact with these systems in a self-service fashion and create new business opportunities as a result.
“Cloud Computing” remains a trending topic and is making inroads in the telecommunications sector. This first half of the year followed suit and my workload was, yet again, packed with a busy schedule featuring 10+ different technology events. I’m now taking a breath and stepping back to review some of the projects I have worked on for the past 6 months.
This first half of the year I kept busy with marketing projects ranging from conceiving new initiatives to planning and managing the subsequent effort and delivery. This also means setting a creative direction, coming up with new concepts, and developing content and discussion tools accordingly.
I enjoy authoring materials that contribute and help visualize the thinking behind our technologies and solutions. Moreover, I get to deliver these messages by conversing directly with customers, partners and analysts. This takes place when engaged in public speaking and conducting technology demonstrations at events, and in private sessions.
Last week I made it to Techweek here in Chicago. I attended talks on topics such as cloud computing and digital marketing, and got the chance to meet with old friends and made new acquaintances. Admittedly, being in there for the sole purpose of listening and learning from other people’s talks felt like an easy going undertaking for a change : )
By the way, at Techweek I heard that Chicago’s tech ecosystem is thriving. Built-in-Chicago reports in excess of $1B of local startup funding in 2013, this was about 170% higher than the year before. The same study highlights $3B generated by exits and public offerings, which is good news too. A couple of years ago, Equinix had already identified Chicagoland as one of the fastest growing and largest cloud hubs in the world. The Windy City already carries a disproportionate share of the country’s IP traffic and three of the planet’s largest datacenters located here. Forbes is listing Chicago as one of the top 10 American cities for entrepreneurs to get their businesses started.
So, here is a quick note to share that Naperville is home base for approximately 3,000 of us at Alcatel-Lucent, this being our company’s largest global campus in terms of both footprint and headcount, which doubles as a top tech employer in the Chicago area.
This past June we delivered the first NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) Town Hall Meeting, which was hosted at Alcatel-Lucent’s Naperville Conference Center, a facility on campus. We made 250 seats available and sold out in just 48 hours.
Spearheading this initiative to involve others, then gaining planning momentum and, eventually, overseeing all production aspects turned out to be a very fulfilling experience from beginning to end.
There is a need for crediting a remarkable group of insightful speakers such as Telefonica’s Diego Lopez, Intel’s Sandra Rivera, Red Hat’s Paul Lancaster and Alcatel-Lucent’s Dor Skuler, Cassidy Shield and Ted East who delivered:
- highly engaging talks
- informative leading edge presentations
- a sophisticated and quite compelling live demo
- a thought provoking panel session involving them all
We ran a live webcast and also handled back channel discussions online. There were video interviews conducted before and after the event, continued discussions at the speaker luncheon, and private sessions with more presentations and demonstrations at CIC, the Cloud Innovation Center, also on campus.
This event’s success reflects amazing behind-the-scenes-work by 30+ people from Alcatel-Lucent, Intel, TIA, Hewlett Packard and Twist & Shout. I would like to thank Cary, Debbie,Ted, Leigh and Shyrlene for their tireless contributions.
Light Reading, the organizers, reported 700+ registrations and Alcatel-Lucent was BTE’s top sponsor. Karyn Homer managed our presence and the agenda enlisted Basil Alwan’s keynote titled “Where Network Meets Cloud,” Dave Brown‘s introduction to the OIF (Optical Interworking Forum) Workshop and Marcus Weldon’s, Dor Skuler’s and Kevin Drury‘s respective panels panels on “The Network of the Future,” “NFV in Mobile Networks,” and “From 100 G to 400 G to…”
My take away is that there is interest in going beyond just understanding NFV’s orchestration and SDN’s (Software Defined Networking) service chaining capabilities. No longer worlds apart, this means figuring out where they intersect and possibly collide and, similarly, how they complement each other.
Both SDN and NFV come together as part of modular end-to-end solutions. As an example, CloudBand 2.0 is a carrier platform engineered for NFV which now deploys Nuage Networks’ SDN framework. Moving toward a dynamic “service onboarding, provisioning and delivery” happens to be the driver for most of this kinds of conversations, OSS (Operations Support Systems) being the backdrop from this point on.
While at BTE I attended the panel on “NFV in Mobile Networks” where Dor Skuler played a prominent role. I also found Caroline Chappell’s session on “Network Management & Orchestration Challenges for SDN/NFV” worth following. The telecommunications industry has switched gears from mostly debating these technologies’ disruptive merits to zeroing in what it will take to deploy and operationalize with confidence.
In May I traveled to Tucson to participate in IEEE’s CQR (Communications Technologies Quality & Reliability). CQR’s main concerns are network performance, RAS (Reliability, Availability, Serviceability) and security. This time around cloud computing dominated the event’s four day agenda and the pre-conference workshop.
AT&T’s David Lu was the keynote speaker and there were two of us representing Alcatel-Lucent this year. CloudBand’s Roy Amir is featured in the middle of the bottom right picture. His panel addressed cloud operations as far as NFV is concerned.
This was my third consecutive year speaking at this conference. This time around I was back on stage not just once, but for the following three sessions:
- Cloud/SDN/NFV/Domain 2.0 Services (upper right picture) chaired by Allot’s Scott Poretsky.
- Distinguished Expert Panel: Architectures, Technologies, Services and Apps that will shape Tomorrow (left picture) – chaired by IIT’s Carol Davids.
- Beyond Macro – chaired by Verizon’s Fran Walton.
Regarding the above first two items: I unveiled new content that I had been working in the preceding months, my presentation’s title was “NFV’s Path Forward;” then, the day after, my contribution to the Distinguished Expert Panel dealt with a variety of thought provoking insights, mostly drawing from first hand experiences on innovation management. Last but not least, in the Beyond Macro session I shared a portfolio solutions for “Small Cells for Stadiums” with a presentation prepared by Chris Kapucisnki, who I would like to thank for all of his help leading to this event.
My highlight for April is Edward Tufte’s Chicago workshop on “Presenting Data and Information” which I found refreshing and inspiring.
His teaching synthesizes what happens at the intersection of “image, word, number and art” as he puts it in one of his books.
He outlined a set of principles guiding information design which spell out how to best envision information to reason and help communicate, key benchmarks for anyone working on marketing in the high tech sector.
Here is Nuage Networks’ Houman Modarres in action at Network World in Chicago back in March. Houman’s keynote presentation was well received and clearly conveyed our thought leadership and innovativness in the SDN space.
Nuage is an Alcatel-Lucent venture. The team had approached me to support this event, though they had taken care of everything by the time I arrived. That freed up time for ad-hoc meetings, joining a luncheon with customers and attending AT&T’s and Comcast’s presentations on cloud computing.
Alcatel-Lucent was present at the Chicago Science Fair where five of us joined a small army of judges. This was my fifth year as a judge having reviewed computer and behavioral science projects so far. This is one of the many opportunities that we get to contribute to the community.
Winston Churchill was quoted saying: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. By giving just a little bit of our time, our skills or our experience, we can make a huge difference.”
In February we delivered another successful Mobile World Congress for Alcatel-Lucent. This is the largest and arguably the most impactful industry event in the telecommunications sector. I have worked on Barcelona’s MWC projects for six years in a row, mostly creating and presenting live cloud computing demonstrations.
Alcatel-Lucent grabbed headlines when:
- announcing our strategic partnership with Intel, which addresses “data plane acceleration”
- issuing press releases on ongoing NFV work with leading global network operators such as China Mobile and Telefonica
- hosting CloudBand’s Ecosystem Mixer
- showcasing two live and high impact NFV demonstrations focusing on ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) NFV’s Use Case for the Virtualization of EPC (Evolved Packet Core) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) in the context of “Mobile Meets Cloud.”
We geared up for MWC months in advance with PoC (Proof of Concept) development work. I had the pleasure to work with Dan Johnson and the R&D teams at IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) and CIC organizations.
Barcelona’s hectic schedule also included Light Reading’s MWC Cocktail Reception, TechCrunch & BoB event, Mobile Sunday, SCTC’s (Society of Communication Technologies Consultants) International Conference and, coincidentally, Pare Manyanet’s 50th Anniversary meet up (my high school) also attended by Irene Rigau, Minister of Education with the Government of Catalonia and Jordi Jané, Vice President, Parliament of Spain.
2014 got stated on the right track with a celebration as another new patent under my name had been granted, this time by the Korea Patent Office (No. 101353103). This technology has to do with multicasting high definition video over communication networks.
The twist when compared to conventional multicasting is an end-to-end systems approach factoring analytics and widely available storage devices that happen to be embedded in consumer appliances, a research project that we completed just a few years ago.
Most importantly, instead of taxing the network with ever growing video traffic and fostering a bigger problem in the process, we looked into how to best offset capacity impact while significantly improving the end user’s quality of experience, an otherwise elusive equilibrium point.
Going back to my current cloud marketing responsibilities, later in January I did a webinar hosted by SCTC for this organization’s members only. I presented “NFV: Moving from Vision to Reality” and I would like to thank IP Network Consulting’s Dennis Godhart for his kind invitation.
There is more than meets the eye and I will start blogging about content generated this first half of the year, which can now be adapted and shared. So, stay tuned ; )