As I settle back in to the ongoing windy winter in Boston, I am reminded of the warmer climate and wonderful hosts of Barcelona, home of Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC15). While the weather was certainly a treat for many of us, it was the unofficial theme of this year’s event which was most inviting to the team from Affirmed Networks that made the trip to represent the company and convey the value of our Network Functions Virtualized (NFV) solution to the customers, press and industry analysts that converged on Barcelona for the industry’s most important event.
In year’s past at MWC, in addition to enduring the long cab lines and tired feet of a show of this magnitude, the Affirmed team spent much of our time evangelizing the benefits of deploying NFV in the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) of mobile networks. Despite the fact that at MWC 2014 AT&T became the first (of many) Tier 1 operators to publicly select Affirmed Networks solution, the evangelization and education efforts continued, largely to an audience that was willing to listen, even if they were not yet ready to truly believe.
Returning to Barcelona this year, the spirit and theme of the event could not have been more different in terms of the market’s readiness to embrace NFV. The change was palpable from day one where we were met with a show daily newspaper filled with news, announcements, partnerships and acquisitions related to NFV. Walking the show floor one got the same message as the signage draping a large percentage of the booths hinted to some sort of involvement or enablement of the latest trend to hit mobile networks. Clearly, the industry was now ready for NFV.
For Affirmed Networks, MWC 2015 was a great success by any measure. After a year of heads-down execution in the field, we arrived at the event this year with the experience earned by amassing more than 20 customers, and 40 trials. Our more than 100 meetings with network operators during the event were filled with productive discussions, open minds and strong interest. The demos conducted in the booths of our partners – HP and VMware – were in demand and well attended. And, the meetings with press and analysts evolved past the evangelization stage, and into probing questions about lessons learned as Affirmed Networks continues to lead the industry in deployments and trials.
Clearly change was afoot, and the evolution was underway.
Perhaps the best sign of the change was the spirit of the team after the long days at the show. At our team dinners each night, there was no talk of tired feet or long lines, just the tales of a proud and passionate team that is excited that the time for its technology truly has come.
For a glimpse into some of the views and news from Affirmed Networks at the event see the links below: