In all of my years of work on element management systems, I have seen a recurring problem. That is, a disconnect between EMS development teams and network equipment development teams. Understanding the network elements and how they will behave in a network is critical to the successful implementation of element management. This problem gets further exacerbated when one outsources the EMS to an offshore location, where the development team for this element management system, a group of Java programmers, is often clueless to the disruption the network element can potentially bring to a service provider’s network.
EMS’s at the onset seem like simple applications. To the naked eye, it’s a simple problem that becomes the Pandora’s Box as time progresses. Successful network element management software development requires a degree of specialization in this area. Typically, a new product company will end up implementing an EMS two to three times by the time their product is deployed to some scale in real networks.
Getting the Right Kind of EMS Development Team is Critical to Success
The complexity is multiplied if the team of developers does not have direct experience EMS development. Good java developers are not enough. If the issues of scalability, data storage, redundancy, high availability, the asynchronous behavior of network elements are not taken into account from the outset, developers will find themselves in a trap and the large investments they have made will be mostly unrecoverable over time.
Getting the right management platform to market can be the difference between success and failure. The difference between customer acceptance and commitment to network deployment vs. leaving the door open for the competition to come in.
For a successful element management system deployment it is critical to work with a team of networkelement management software developers who have done this before and to make sure that there are systems engineers on the team who really understand network elements. If you are working with an offshore team, make sure that they have systems engineers who are network savvy or be prepared to fly in someone from your team for a long duration.
Money invested at this juncture will pay off in customer deployments and revenue; and most of all in the satisfaction that comes from success.
Author: Raj Singh, Chief Evangelist, NOCVue