A shrink-wrapped solution

A shrink-wrapped solution – Telecommunications Management Network solution

Chris Bucholtz

HP, Vertel put heads together to create integrated management solutions

In an effort to speed Telecommunications Management Network-based solutions to market, Hewlett-Packard and Vertel have agreed to join forces in the creation of a Telecommunications Management Network development environment.

The 10-year agreement will allow the companies to borrow from each other’s existing TMN technologies, collaborate on research and development efforts, and eliminate duplicate efforts.

“There are lots of partnerships in this space,” said Todd Goldman, telecommunications product manager for HP OpenView. “This is more like a marriage than a strategic relationship.”

This agreement calls for the companies to integrate the HP OpenView telecom software platform with Vertel’s line of developer tools and services, a pairing that fills holes in each company’s TMN offerings and will cut the time to market for new products.

Managers, agents and mediation devices for TMN are often created specifically for different makes of equipment and unique service provider environments. Without an integrated solution available, customers are forced to create their own, then turn to two or more separate organizations for support.

“Before, we were like auto parts companies selling components and expecting our customers to assemble cars out of them,” said Bruce Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Vertel. “It takes a whole lot of expertise and time to integrate TMN tool kits, embedded software, software platforms and the other pieces into a working whole. It’s much more logical for us to form a partnership like this to create a shrink-wrapped TMN solution rather than force our customers to struggle with the pieces.”

The partnership will give HP access to elements missing from its stable of technology, notably Vertel’s ASCII-to-CMIP adapter, which will be integrated with HP’s correlation tools to create intelligent fault management solutions, said Goldman.

Vertel will benefit by capitalizing on OpenView’s graphical user interface and HP’s family of decision-making engines.

“The one thing we were most lacking in was a platform, and that’s what OpenView will provide us,” said Brown. “We had been working on developing our own platform, but work on that was going to continue through 1998. This will dramatically speed the process and allow our people to focus on other issues.”

One analyst said the partnership is necessary in the immediate future to have products in place for the emergence of TMN as a key telecommunications strategy.

“This ‘productized TMN’ approach should result in a high-performance, integrated product set, enabling rapid development of complex solutions to benefit both developers and customers,” said Jeffrey Cotrupe, research manager for the Global Network Management Strategies Division of Northern Business Information. “By integrating two leading development environments, HP and Vertel have set a new standard for TMN and CORBA application development.”

The two companies will announce the first concrete products of the partnership in October, just in the nick of time, in Goldman’s estimation.

“There’s going to be a window of opportunity for TMN next year,” such as the creation of gateways between competitive local exchange carriers and incumbent LECs, said Goldman. “We’ve got to hit that window or be forced out of the market. We constantly tell our customers that interoperating with a variety of vendors’ products is the best way to get products and services to market quickly. Now it’s time to practice what we preach.”

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