GENBAND perspectives 2017 conference

The GENBAND Perspectives 2017 conference in Los Angeles did a good job of highlighting the relatively smaller division at GENBAND – Kandy.  Additionally, the company highlighted its advances towards an NFV World, its participation in so-called “Network Evolution” (upgrading old PSTN and VoIP systems to new VoIP and IMS systems).

Kandy.  I asked CEO David Walsh to compare its business to publicly traded Twilio.  He highlighted some differences between the two:

  • GENBAND/Kandy owns its own intellectual property
  • GENBAND/Kandy has a different target customer – it is going after large service providers and enterprises; his viewpoint is that Twilio is going after the ‘long tail’ of the market like small websites and such.   (He did concede that Twilio’s relationship with Uber is a significant one).
  • GENBAND/Kandy’s go to market approach is different; it is focusing on SPs

NFV.  The company highlighted its VNF Manager, and we understand that it can perform some aspects of orchestration when operating specifically on GENBAND VNFs.  Additionally, the company and its partner Wind River (Intel) explained that using WIND ABS (its software virtual switch) and the DPDK capability, for many VNFs, can see as much as a 40x improvement in performance compared to running in a virtualized environment not using these two technologies.

Network Modernization.  About half of GENBAND revenues last year were related to services; and a meaningful percentage of total revenues are associated with network modernization.  Several customers made presentations discussing their experience in moving to new VoIP systems, replacing PSTN and older VoIP systems.  We learned a few interesting things relating to this modernization:

  • British Telecom explained that voice minutes of use have been down 10% Y/Y ever since iPhone introduced (it wasn’t clear if BT meant BT’s results or those of the industry; we view this 10% figure to be too great on an industrywide basis, but directionally, it is correct).  By 2026, the company expects 100% cutover to VoIP.  By then, voice will get embedded into apps and / or is on mobile.
  • During the main presentations, we learned that there were 25M lines of Nortel gear in the installed base (PBX and Switches)