Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, Light Reading
EnterpriseWeb may not be a new name amongst those in the NFV, telco cloud and OSS communities, but 2018 could be the year when it becomes a much more familiar name across the broader communications networking sector as it gains notoriety for big name customers, new team members and enhanced credibility.
The company’s CEO and founder, Dave Duggal, has been the face of the still small company for years and in those industry communities mentioned above he is well known (if not for his brevity).
But now Glens Falls, New York-based EnterpriseWeb has other industry names fighting its corner and spreading the word of how this tiny startup has cracked one of the big problems facing network operators with NFV aspirations — how to take the pain out of multi-vendor virtual network function (VNF) onboarding with a soup-to-nuts, lightweight middleware system that, using a common pool of metadata and policy rules, automates what is, for many currently, an arduous, inefficient and resource intensive effort.
In a nutshell, Duggal and his team have developed a model-driven, automation engine that can recognize, store, secure and connect applications from ingest through to real-time production. The software, which is slim (it takes up less than 12 Mbytes on a thumb drive boasts Duggal), has been around for a while and has been proven to work in multiple scenarios, as previously reported. “We modelled complexity to make it simple,” states Duggal. (See EnterpriseWeb: Early to NFV, Finally Ready for Take-Off?)
That has attracted supporters, who are now on board and helping to take the company to market in a more focused and quicker fashion.
Duggal recently announced that David Amzallag, the influential former head of NFV at Vodafone, had joined the team as an advisor: Amzallag described EnterpriseWeb as “the only company I see that has a good chance to deliver the ability to glue together virtual network functions from many different vendors into a single secure, open and agile data model that will comprise any kind of a future service in the telecommunications industry.” That’s telling, because Amzallag saw many companies try to do that very thing while he was at Vodafone. (See Amzallag to Advise EnterpriseWeb.)
Now Duggal has hired a veteran of the SDN, NFV and open source world, Marc Cohn, as EnterpriseWeb’s VP of Product Management.
With a resume that includes stints at the Linux Foundation, the ONF, Ciena, ClearPath Networks and IP Infusion — where, apparently, he was head of that company’s “SDN tiger team” (cue quips about endangered species etc.) — Cohn provides the company with a Silicon Valley base and a long list of relevant industry contacts, as does Amzallag. (See OPEN-O Going Beyond the MANO.)
And that’s key for EnterpriseWeb. It has the technology and the human resource smarts — it even, if industry gossip is accurate, has a major Tier 1 operator customer that it hopes to announce soon (Duggal won’t talk about that, though). What it needs now is evangelising and a fresh perspective to help it to its next stage of development, and that’s what this fresh blood brings.
The company is also participating in the new Zero Touch/Automation group at ETSI, which already has a number of Tier 1 operators on board with more to come. Involvement in that group might stretch its resources somewhat — EnterpriseWeb still has fewer than ten staff — but with automation just about the hottest topic on the block, that’s a good place to be. (See ETSI’s ‘Zero Touch’ Group Issues Telco Automation White Paper and The Autonomous Network Is the Endgame for Telecom.)
With Cohn on board, Amzallag behind the scenes and increasing recognition in the market, some public announcements with named network operators and, perhaps, some fresh funding to fuel growth, would set EnterpriseWeb up for a breakthrough year.