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How to face the challenge of integrating telecommunication technologies and vendors

Dec 4, 2018

telecommunication technologiesOne of the biggest challenges that customers have always faced is that of integrating different telecommunication technologies or vendors in the same customer environment, with a view to getting the best characteristics from each technology.

Nowadays, there are several different players and telecommunication technologies that can be used in a single customer scenario, making it necessary sometimes to choose between vendors and technologies in order to have a complete solution. Some customers may choose to engage multiple vendors in building their solution, so that they are not “locked in” to a particular vendor. These kinds of solutions require integrating different solutions from various vendors, but getting the best integrated solution isn’t easy.

While standards are a powerful concept that can help solve these issues, they cannot cover all the systems and are often a step behind the newest telecommunication technology.

What options are there to help integrate different systems?

First and foremost, although the telecommunication technologies or systems are new to the market (and so there are no standards to develop them), the vast majority of systems can be based on current standard technologies and can provide new capabilities simply by adding some new characteristics. By basing new systems on current standards, it is much easier for vendors to develop and maintain systems that are easier to operate (the learning curve is short) and integrate; as other vendors can build solutions based on the same standards.

A proprietary solution, meanwhile, can provide new capabilities to customers more quickly than standards, and provides disruptive solutions easily. However, it is worth noting that building a solution with proprietary protocols will bring uncertainty and if, in the end, the solution is not widely used on the market, it can become a niche technology, thereby adding complexity to the system’s evolution.

Opensource tools are another important option for integrating vendors and telecommunication technologies; although they are not official standards, they have significant communities that can help support and improve the solution. Opensource tools are also cheaper to adopt than proprietary solutions, so it’s easier to introduce them into the customer environment.

And last but not least, REST API-based development is key to facilitating integration in the current market. This is because, although different vendor systems use different telecommunication technologies, REST APIs will help build a wrap-up solution between different technologies, thereby giving the end user only one interface to manage – completely transparent of the number of vendors making up said interface. The REST API should ensure that any tasks that can be performed directly with the vendor tools, can also be executed via REST API methods. Although this solution can add complexity to the whole system (usually in the implementation phase), it helps end-customers obtain a single view of the network.

All Teldat systems, including SD-WAN are designed to facilitate and simplify integration between the different systems in our customers networks. Consequently, they are based on standard protocols, use REST APIs for inter-system communication and consider opensource alternatives wherever possible.

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