This week, Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P., has an
exclusive interview with the internationally respected authority, Dr. Manfred
Dr. Reitenspiess is Director Business Development
of SAFE 4 Continuous Services (SAFE4CS) at Fujitsu Siemens Computers in Munich, Germany.
SAFE4CS is a high-availability middle-ware to address the growing demand for
carrier-grade applications and services in the telecommunications and
e/m-commerce markets. In 2004, Manfred served as elected President on the
Service Availability™ Forum, www.saforum.org,
an industry consortium of leading communications and computing companies that
are focused on creating and promoting open, standard service availability
programming interface specifications for on-demand, uninterrupted communications
Manfred has a proven track record of more
than 10 years in the telco arena acting as principal consultant for mobile
business solutions and as development director for Unix-based
core-telecommunications products (Service Control Point, Web Integrated
Information and Communications Platforms).
Prior to this, he was a CERN, Geneva fellow and was system
software architect for fault-tolerant, secure, distributed multiprocessor
systems with an extended stay at Intel in Portland, Oregon and BiiN Computers in Nuernberg, Germany.
Dr. Reitenspiess gained a Ph.D from the
University Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany
in 1983 with a thesis on 'Specification and implementation of security
properties in software systems'. He is the elected speaker for the
"Security and Safety" division of the German Computer Society (GI).
Manfred contributes his world-renowned expertise in program committees and as an
organizer of national and international symposia (e.g. ISAS 2004 in Munich, Germany)
in the security and advanced telecommunications areas. Manfred is also
co-author of patents in the area of communication and information convergence.
Due to his expertise and widely sought
reputation for excellence, Manfred is in high demand worldwide as a lead
presenter at conferences. (For example: Wireless Enterprise Track, 2005
Wireless & Mobile WorldExpo held in Toronto on May 18th and 19th.)
Q: Manfred, with your distinguished background and considerable notable
accomplishments, thank you for taking the time to share your deep insights and
widely regarded expertise with our audience.
A: It is a pleasure for me to share my
expertise with the CIPS audience of distinguished individuals and
Q: Your long history of innovation and
career successes provides a rich background of experiences. Share the many
important events throughout your life that led to your current position. What
lessons did you learn? Which major challenges did you face and how did you
A: Throughout my career, I was very closely
following security and availability related topics and application areas. At
the same time, taking advantage of new technical trends was decisive for my
career. Let me give you just a few examples, Stephen.
In 1985 when working at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, I got a call from Siemens asking me to work on a new joint project
with Intel. The project allowed me to apply my university security and system
design background in a revolutionary, extremely secure, high-availability
system development. Results of this project have been brought to market in a
number of implementations.
In 1993, I was asked to take over
responsibility for the design and implementation of a Unix based Service
Control Point, the core function in advanced Intelligent Networks which have
later been used in mobile and fixed telecommunications applications worldwide.
Last, but not least, in 2001, I represented
Fujitsu Siemens Computers in the foundation of the Service Availability Forum.
The SA Forum standardization is decisive for the wide introduction of
availability functions in commercial off-the-shelf computing environments for
the telecommunications and enterprise markets.
It turned out that the combination of new
technical trends, core competencies and personal integrity and perseverance is
an extremely helpful entry for business success from a personal perspective as
well as from a corporate perspective. I still would like to mention that some
additional economic and business background would have been even more helpful
from my personal perspective.
One of the major challenges I was facing
was the long-term aspects of the security as well as the telecommunications
business. This is why perseverance is so important.
Q: Describe in more detail your current
areas of focus.
A: With the development of advanced,
high-end telecommunications services such as Intelligent Networks,
carrier-grade of these services is a must. A number of high-availability
functions and corresponding interfaces have been developed by Fujitsu Siemens
Computers, which have been sold under the brand name RTP4 Continuous Services
for more than 5 years. With the evolutions of the SA Forum high availability
specifications, I am responsible for the planning and marketing of a standards
compliant implementation of these services under the brand name SAFE4 CS. A
first televoting service based upon the SAFE4CS standards compliant
implementation has been shown at CTIA Wireless in March 2005 in New Orleans. In
this responsibility, I am also representing Fujitsu Siemens Computers on the
board of the Service Availability™ Forum.
In the SA Forum, I am active in the
marketing working group in different functions, with a recent focus on
marketing programs such as CTIA Wireless.
Last but not least, as speaker of the
security division of the German Computer Society, I am focusing on integrating
a number of safety and security activities on a national and international
level. An important step was the organization of the International Service
Availability Symposium 2004 in Munich, where we were able to bring together academia and industry to
discuss future strategies in the use of academic research and its
transformation into industrially exploitable results.
Q: What growth opportunities do you
forecast due to shifts to convergent telecommunications and information
technologies using open, standardized system platforms? What is the value to
A: Technology convergence on network layer
(IP protocol) and execution platform layer opens a wealth of growth opportunities
for component and computer vendors, for ISVs, for network equipment
manufacturers, for operators and, last but not least, for enterprise customers.
One key value from this paradigm shift is
the change in the overall value chain and in the opening up of a number of
interface layers, which can be used to create new, interchangeable products and
services. The ART4 CS (Application Ready Telco Platform) from Fujitsu Siemens
Computers is an excellent example for this opportunity as it brings together a
number of computing standards, networking components such as Advanced TCA
blades, high-availability middleware and related integration and maintenance
Another key value is the narrowing of the
technology gap between telecommunications networks and the enterprise IT
infrastructure. This will open new business and outsourcing opportunities for
service operators (important to compensate for the shrinking revenue stream
from voice transport). Enterprises will be able to use the evolving IT based network
infrastructures (supporting the expected level of quality) of the operators to
focus on their core competences.
Q: What new business options do you foresee
for network operators?
A: In addition to the outsourcing
opportunities mentioned above, network operators now take more and more
advantage of the convergence of media and entertainment services based on
digital standards. Operating one network for all types of services and data
reduces costs and creates the opportunity for new integrated services such as
Push to talk, interactive games on mobile devices or the offering around music
Q: Share your views on the “service quality
assurance” drivers for outsourcing vital business processes today and into the
future, and the impact of “quality supporting functions” on their decisions
(security, availability, scalability)?
A: In all customer inquiries of importance,
(e.g. Forrester named unreliable IT systems with 16% as the most important
cause for reduced B2B project productivity reduction), security, availability
and scalability are indispensable for the success of new network services or
for the exploitation of increased outsourcing opportunities by enterprises.
Adequate processes and architectures need to be applied as a foundational prerequisite.
Beyond that, the broad use of security, availability and scalability functions
in the development of new applications needs to be promoted and facilitated.
Standards are the adequate means to achieve this goal.
Q: Talk about the first standards based
products and their interoperability on exhibition at SuperComm 2005.
A: A number of standards compliant
components and products (Software and hardware) will be shown at SuperComm 2005
underlining the statements above. For example, Advanced TCA blades from
different vendors will be shown in combination with SA Forum compliant
middleware and services. Another example is the support of a number of
platforms by high-availability middleware components. For example, already at
3GSM in February in Cannes, SAFE4 CS was shown on the Fujitsu Siemens Computers ATCA platform
as well as on IBM’s BladeCenterT systems.
Q: Can you comment on your work with the Service
Availability (SA) Forum to accelerate the standardization of suitable
availability functions and meet the highest quality expectations of businesses?
Also describe your current work on the validation of labs and on the
installation of a viable business model. [Ed. note: The SA Forum standards are
referenced in OSDL requirements specifications.]
A: As mentioned above, I am personally
involved in the SA Forum marketing working group (MWG). The MWG is responsible
to “Promote and facilitate their [the SA Forum specifications] adoption by the
industry”. In particular, starting in 2004, the number of articles and
presentations could be increased considerably. In 2005, promotional activities
have been intensified by the participation at CTIA and SuperComm, support for
ISAS 2005 in Berlin April 25/26, and plans for activities in Europe and Asia.
Of course, the agreement with a test lab to
assure the independent certification of product compliance with SA Forum
standards is another important step forward for the adoption of SA Forum
standards. An important aspect in my involvement is to make sure that the
validation process is implemented as smooth as possible to have as many
products as possible being certified at affordable costs.
Q: The SA Forum is engaged in the
specifications for APIs for the hardware platform interface (HPI) and high
availability (HA) services for application programmers (AIS). Plus you have
your work on a standard object model for system entities and standard
distributed systems management interfaces for providing common management
application access. Can you go into more detail about the System Management
A: The content of the planned systems
management specification from the SA Forum consists of two major components.
1) Distributed management for the
Application Interface Specification (and Application Management Framework).
This is further broken down with the SNMP management definition of the AIS and
AMF specifications, the Web based common information model portion of the
specification, as well as the underlying notification API and new configuration
XML portions of systems management.
2) Distributed management for the Hardware
Platform Interface (or HPI) specification. This again defines the SNMP
management underpinnings for HPI, the extensions to the CIM model to support
HPI, along with the ATCA mappings to HPI.
The SA Forum has over the course of 2004
been involved in the creation and evolution of SNMP management instrumentation.
We are in the second generation of SNMP agent design, for both HPI and AIS/AMF.
The HPI MIB was a collaborative effort between the OpenHPI open source effort
and SA Forum. The AIS and AMF MIBs were developed by the SA Forum. As of Feb
28, 2005, the second generation of these SNMP MIBs is available to the industry
at large from the SA Forum as an experimental set of MIBs to provide a preview
of the management technologies, and provide an opportunity for industry input
on the work as it is progressing from the SA Forum before it is formalized.
Currently the SA Forum is working with the
Distributed Management Task Force to define a management model for AIS
Services, the AMF, and the HPI interfaces. The DMTF technologies afford the
implementers access to several open source object managers compliant with the
DMTF specifications and APIs.
The realization of the DMTF technologies,
WBEM (Web Based Management), provides a well realized communication model,
transport encoding, integration with SNMP and DMI, a well realized event model,
and pervasive industry support with the IETF, the Open Group, Storage Network
Industry Association, and many more organizations.
Q: Can you share with us three case studies
that illustrate your work and best practices for enterprises?
A: 1) Paper “Value generation by
availability and open standards” Abstract: Technology shifts to convergent
telecommunications and information technologies based on open system platforms
offer network and service providers and their customers’ new growth
possibilities. Most of all, the flexible, often mobile connection of employees,
customers or suppliers to distributed corporate networks by highly
standardized, IP-based communication networks opens up new opportunities for
the optimization of business processes. Linked to this are new business options
for network operators, who will be able to provide their corporate customers
with suitable outsourcing offers.
However, corporate customers are only
willing to outsource vital business processes if respective quality guarantees
are accepted by the service provider. On the basis of open system platforms,
this is only possible by usage of appropriate quality-supporting functions
(security, availability, scalability). That means standardized interfaces for
scalability and availability functions must be provided for. Manufacturers of
communications and solution components, but also network providers have
organized themselves in the Service AvailabilityÔ Forum to accelerate the standardization of suitable availability
functions. Thus, network providers are now able to offer their corporate
customers services and meet their high quality expectations. Furthermore,
companies are able to concentrate on their core processes without compromising
the quality of network-based business processes.
2) Fujitsu Siemens Computers Solutions Facts “Advanced Televoting Service
based on Application Ready Telecom Platform ART4CSTM”
- The Business Challenges of Next Generation Network and Service
- Is Your Infrastructure Ready to Address these Challenges?
- Are Your Suppliers Ready?
- Fujitsu Siemens Computer’s Answer: ART4CS™
- The Advanced Televoting Service - based on ART4CS™
- Advanced Televoting Service - in detail
3) Fujitsu Siemens
Computers Solutions Facts: «RTP on Linux»
- Linux is Ready for Wide Deployment even in Critical
Applications such as Telecoms
The Linux Business Case
Market Evolution and Requirements
- Transition to Linux - The Do’s and Don’ts
Potential for Cost Savings
- Linux and Its Use in Telecoms
- Carrier-Grade Requirements: Some Remarks
- Service Offerings
- Security Considerations in Applying Linux
- Source Access and Openness of Sources
- Security and Confidentiality when Using Linux
- Availability of Open Source Applications or Systems
- Linux and RTP4 Continuous Services™
- Full Support for Linux by Fujitsu Siemens Computers
- Business Opportunity of Carrier-Grade Solutions Are Based on RTP and Linux
Linux in Production Mode Environments
Q: Can you describe the success factors in
the telematics value chain and your views on technology, industry, and market
A: Despite a close correlation between
telematics and telecommunications, the telematics value chain has developed in
a different manner due to considerable differences in the value chain. A number
of players such as car manufacturers, network operators, media companies, road
administration and public institutions create a much more homogeneous view on
the business model and on the overall business potential.
However, in many cases, the car can be seen
as a mobile device such as a mobile phone or a PDA for navigation. The access
to a mobile network is a necessary precondition. A number of services will be
very similar (e.g. gaming, music, navigation). However, other services such as
finding a parking lot downtown or allowing remote service of the car via the
Internet will create value to customers.
Q: What are the key challenges for the
Telecom value chain?
A: It will be extremely important for players
in the telco value chain to understand the ongoing technological and business
transformations and map them to their respective business models.
Proprietary technology is out, and know-how
and expertise in standard IT paired with the excellent know-how of the telco
operators and their customers need to be combined and applied to the
development of new services and business models. This will not be without pain
as we have to cope with a huge installed base using proprietary solutions.
Network and service operators need to
understand the potential of convergent, IT based standard technologies in their
relationship with their corporate customers. Their procurement processes need
to reflect these findings.
Q: Share your views on the Asian
marketplace and specific areas we should be watching. Why?
A: The Asian market will need close
watching for two reasons:
1) As standard IT allows one
to take advantage
of large scales in manufacturing, a traditional strong-hold of Asian
2) The huge number of potential users in
the Asian market also creates tremendous business opportunities for advanced,
new services (if the local buying behaviour is well understood).
Q: Manfred, you are in an ideal position to
make predictions. So make your top predictions in any areas of your choosing
and provide specific time frames? What are the solutions and the value to
businesses? Who are the winners and losers?
A: 1) Standardized availability interfaces
will become common place in the next two years starting with applications in
the telecommunications market. This will allow ISV and service implementers to
sell their services independently of the underlying architecture or user
environment. Network manufacturers and operators need to use those interfaces
to implement the necessary cost reductions and to take advantage of the
evolving software and solutions market for their business.
2) Standardized availability functions will
penetrate the enterprise market (e.g. finance), thereby eliminating the needs
for proprietary, expensive development of cluster technologies in a number of
middleware (e.g. database systems) and application products (such as customer
interaction services) within 5 years. Early adopters of these standard
technologies will be able to take advantages of the changes in the value chain
due to a wider market (based on standards) and reduced costs (less complexity,
HA functionality available on the market).
3) Security technologies will make it to
the standards based IT platform market within 5 years, thereby eliminating the
need for proprietary, expensive development of crypto technologies,
authentication and auditing. See 2 for details on business values and
4) Virtualization will create additional
flexibility in the provision of computing power to advanced, standards based
application suites within 5 to 10 years. The standardization of advanced
platform capabilities such as availability, security or scalability will be
required for this to happen. This will allow completely new business models to
be developed based on the separation of the computing platforms from the
applications and application environments running on them. Computer
manufacturers, IT centers and ISVs need to be able to absorb such changes in
their business models and development models.
5) The continuous standardization of
platforms and development environments will accelerate the potential for new
integrated services in the telecommunications and telematics markets (and more
such as entertainment and media) within 10 to 15 years. The scalability for
services will multiply the business opportunities for all players of the value
chain, if they understand this model and transform their business accordingly.
Q: What are your favorite information
links, tools, and other resources? Why?
A: 1) Daily and weekly newspapers still
form an important part of my information sources as they are reliable and
2) Without my notebook, business would no
longer be possible for me. The mobile phone and a PDA are supportive tools.
3) The availability of hot-spots has become
a given for my regular business interactions. This importance is expected to
increase with the introduction of peer to peer or operator supported VoIP
4) Networking within Fujitsu Siemens Computers,
but also with business contacts outside the company are another trustworthy
source of information, back-ground, as well as latest news. This includes, of
course, analyst studies from well known market and technology research
Q: If you were doing this interview, what
three questions would you ask and then what would be your answers?
A: Q1) What is your expectation of the
speed of adoption of standard technologies (hardware architectures or software
programming interfaces) in the telco area?
A1) Standards platforms and technologies
will find their way to wide use and deployment within the next three years.
Q2) What are major inhibitors?
A2) Major inhibitors are existing
deployments and implementations and the available know-how base. As IP networks
and information technologies will become prevalent in the standards based,
off-the-shelf approach, changes in expertise, development technologies and
infrastructures will be required.
In addition, telco operators have not yet
migrated their procurement processes to take the effects of convergence and
standards based platforms into account. Standards such as SA Forum
high-availability interfaces need to show up in their requirements.
Q3) What needs to be done to speed up
adoption of standards based platforms?
A3) As the migration to new platforms and
development environments is not without pain, the business values and cost
savings must be clearly understood and proven. This requires more involvement
of the decision makers with a business and cost view. Technological
improvements and new developments must be accompanied by parallel business
models and analysis.
Q: Manfred, thank you for taking the time
to do this interview and sharing your invaluable expertise with our audience.
A: Stephen, I enjoyed the interview as it
also helped me to structure and consolidate a number of ongoing evolution
steps. I would see the interview as extremely worthwhile if I could get a
number of decision makers in the telco and telematics value chain start to work
on their future business models and priorities.