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Ariel Efrati | CEO | Telco Systems

Telco Systems: Fostering Advanced Computing for Seamless Digital Transformation

In the digital realm, floodgates of data have long been opened. The deluge is pouring into the networks and threatening to choke the channels leading to bandwidth limitations and latency issues.

A sluggish network not only induces a vivid upset but also affects productivity and monetary losses for businesses. Edge computing is a topological solution that brings processing capabilities closer to the end user. Demand for new applications means the time is ripe for an edge – consumers want low latency for real-time experiences and enterprises require local processing for secure and resilient operations.

Under the leadership and expertise of Ariel Efrati, CEO, Telco Systems fosters innovation that enables a fundamental evolution in organizations computational and technological frameworks, allowing them to effectively leverage the edge.

Telco Systems is advancing organizations’- digital transformation with Edgility – its smart platform for edge computing that accelerates service deployment. With Edgility, Telco Systems stands at the forefront of the ongoing redefinition of the world’s digital architecture by serving flexible, scalable, and future-proof edge computing and virtualization solutions.

Insights Success interviews Ariel on how Telco Systems is providing high-performance systems to businesses leading to the futuristic digital embrace:

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

What was the initial idea behind the inception of Telco Systems?

Telco Systems is a well-established company that’s been around for over four decades, developing high-performance network communications software and hardware solutions. Our purpose is to provide the highest level of network service innovation to Communications Service Providers, Managed Services Providers, System Integrators and Large Enterprises. Telco Systems is one of the founding members of the Metro Ethernet Forum, provisioning for standardization of transmission and network connectivity between Service Providers, and as such has long-standing recognition and powerful relationships throughout the Telecom networking industry.

We’ve been providing state-of-the-art solutions for layer-2 network connectivity since our inception. From that, we gained expertise in the new trends and the networking needs of the Telcom industry and the IT and networking around it. We started with the evolution of SD-WAN and the requirements for security around it and for cloud computing and edge computing.

Our deep insights and connections with the telecom networking industry have laid the foundation for understanding the upcoming business needs developing around edge computing.

What are the primary objectives and philosophy of Telco Systems?

Traditionally the Telecommunications industry was centered around hardware functions, and devices that can efficiently and with low latency resolve complex networking challenges. However, modernization and the extreme digital transformation that is underway led to the conclusion that software is the precursor of innovation, which has enabled cloud computing, smartphones, and more. The need to take legacy hardware-based solutions and virtualize them has become an essential requirement for any organization in digital transformation, and Telco Systems is at the forefront of this transformation – anticipating and servicing its customer’s needs as they undergo their journey. Networks must be software-defined, oriented, and operated. Telco Systems went through a similar transformation – we were (and still are) providing complex solutions in the hardware domain and recognized that there was a real need for deep software functionality on top of the hardware.

Our goal was to provide value-added functionality on top of any virtualized hardware to allow our customers the freedom of choice. The next step in our journey was technically complex but conceptually simple – to take all the richness and availability of those complex networking mechanisms, completely abstract them from the hardware, and bring all the functionality into the software. We’re very proud that our Operating System and Management & Orchestration solutions enable very complex networking functionalities and network function chaining, based only on software, completely abstracted from any hardware that our customers choose. This means that our customers can utilize any generic off-the-shelf compute power and still get very powerful compute and networking mechanisms on top of it.

What are your top-notch offerings that have a strong foothold in the industry?

Digital transformation has created a new type of perimeter for the IT industry, business resources and services virtualized and cloudified. As the digital workspace continues to evolve, more business resources are pushed to the network’s edge, and IT services infrastructures continue to grow. The complexity and cost of managing tens, or hundreds of thousands of edge devices, running multiple applications across widely distributed sites has increased exponentially.

To address and simplify these complexities and to enable an agile, cost effective, and manageable infrastructure of IT services at scale, Telco Systems developed Edgility – an open, hybrid platform for edge computing, that brings cloud-native environments to the network edge while reducing complexity and improving operational efficiency. Edgility enables full automation for the deployment, operation, and lifecycle management of thousands of edge devices and IT services across widespread distributed sites, connected through multiple network providers. Edgility provides simple and intuitive operation and management of edge devices and services at scale.

It simplifies the deployment of any service by creating a secure control layer for the operation, management, and administration of edge devices and the applications they are running. Edgility enables our customers to select the hardware and software components that best fit their needs and budget. Edgility’s zero-touch provisioning expedites deploying new services without the need for on-site technical personnel. At the same time, its vendor-neutral open architecture enables our customers the flexibility to deploy software solutions and utilize devices from any vendor. Edgility’s small footprint operating system can efficiently run multiple virtual services on our customers’ choice of edge devices, including extremely low power devices, delivering up to 60% reduction in Total Cost of Ownership, as well as at least 45% reduction in carbon emissions. Obviously, both TCO and carbon emissions are critical focus points today for organizations seeking to improve their service profitability as well as decrease their environmental impact.

Edgility is composed of two elements: Edgility OS is a high-performance, small-footprint operating system that turns any box into a fully operational edge device. Optimized for maximum resource utilization, Edgility OS delivers high throughput even on low-resource edge computing devices. Edgility OS supports hybrid virtualized and containerized functions/ applications from any vendor, allowing our customers to deploy and run multi-service workloads. Edgility Central is a powerful, Management and Orchestration platform that enables our customers to manage multiple edge devices, applications, network functions, and service policies across multiple sites via a simple and highly automated UX.

What are the roadblocks that Telco Systems faces in the ever-changing landscape of the business world?

This type of movement for digital transformation is always a complex movement. Your organization already has a setup. It’s already working with some methodology. The mere migration from one process to the next is complex for any organization, but in many cases, there is a crisis point or a moment of urgency. E.g., the supply chain has been disturbed – we know that post-COVID, the microprocessor industry’s supply chain has become challenging, and this is the right moment to change something and transform.

Telco Systems enables our customers to continue to do the same processes they’re used to but on generic hardware. This is the first and immediate step for them. They have justification and can immediately see the benefits of moving to a system that manages all their generic hardware devices universally. By switching out their hardware, they already start to reap the benefits of this different way of thinking. All our customers go through similar stages, where they are opening up new sites and facing timelines of many months just to connect the new sites.

With Edgility, they can deploy generic devices, connect them to the network and continue to use the same mechanisms that they’re used to, with Edgility managing and orchestrating the entire setup. This is the trigger that enables them to move from their current mode of operation to the future. The typical organization has been undergoing a vast transformation from hardware to software and to a cloud-based architecture. With software, it doesn’t matter where the application is deployed, as long as it’s connected and you can access it, That’s just the first drive towards innovation.

The second drive is around applications that must be deployed on-site or as close as possible to where the data is created. We’re talking about applications for analytics and monitoring, for instance – integrated functions where the networking is essential. in all these cases, we’re taking applications that were moved to the cloud at some point, and we’re bringing them back to the source of the data. That’s what empowers the emergence of edge computing; whether it’s enterprise edge or telco edge, the analytics and the various operations that are performed on the data will need to be kept very close to the source of the data. In addition, there are security issues, GDPR, and all the network applications that need to be kept as close to the networking environment as possible. Our customers decide where their compute environment

will be and how to integrate with applications on the cloud, so we essentially create service chains or workload chains where part of the workload is local, and part is on the cloud.

This requires tight integration between different modes of operations and between the network and the applications to ensure the flow of data will run correctly and efficiently. And that’s literally where Telco Systems operates – at the intersection of cloud computing, telco edge, mobile edge compute and enterprise edge computing environments.

How is your company adapting to market orientation?

Just a decade ago, a typical organization had its computers for employees, a dedicated, expensive network line between sites, as well as an internal data center or server where they could store data and the applications they were using. Within a decade, we moved from a completely localized hardware-oriented environment into an utterly abstracted software environment in which, rather than using networking lines, we can finally make use of the internet and control it – for example, through SD-WAN.

We moved from internal servers and data centers to cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based doesn’t mean that you don’t use any hardware, but as an enterprise, it means you don’t have to deal with the hardware anymore, just with the software on top of it. It means that you can minimize costs, reduce expertise needs, and increase your agility and your pace of innovation. It means you can offload the underlying infrastructure problems to someone else. And this evolution has actually empowered a tremendous boom in business innovation. For instance, applications that can be deployed at the click of a button and don’t require complex installation and complex integration. Everything can be done remotely on the cloud or in an abstracted software environment. And we achieved all that in less than a decade. As an industry, we should be very proud of this achievement.

However, it’s important to understand that Cloud Computing and Edge Computing are not the same. In many cases, edge computing is erroneously referred to as an extension of cloud computing or as simply taking cloud computing and placing it at the edge. The key difference however between the edge and the cloud is scale. While cloud computing infrastructure is built out of several data center sites, the edge can span across 10Ks and 100Ks of sites and physical devices each running multiple applications. While management systems developed for cloud compute can manage 100K applications, they are not designed to manage 100K physical devices at distributed sites. With edge computing, a high level of automation is essential, and secure remote management and orchestration tools provide support and full lifecycle management from a central location, reducing customer’s reliance on DevOps teams.

Edgility is at the core of all this. In the past, we had networking devices and small computing devices, and we needed to manage each and every one of them separately, and every change entailed a complex process that could take months or more. Today we need to instantiate network functions or compute applications in different locations, in external or internal clouds, in local or remote or distributed devices. We want to be able to do all this with a single click, automatically. We want to address every device or site remotely. We want to be able to do everything from a software and automation perspective rather than from a hardware and manual perspective. Edgility ensures that each and every device on your network, in your enterprise, can be unified and connected, and universally approachable. Organizations that are just beginning to think about Digital Transformation, or are in the early stages of their own transformation, find the concepts of abstraction and openness too complex. These companies have ingrained processes that they’ve developed over decades to deal with internal challenges and are generally at a slower pace of innovation. They have yet to accept that strategically they must undergo the same digital transformation that their customers are already undergoing. They have a long learning curve ahead of them and we can accompany them and guide them throughout this process of implementing edge compute.

On the other hand, you have organizations that have already strategically embraced the necessity to transform their business into a digital-first business. In that environment, they intuitively understand that they need to be able to automate the processes that they’re running across their thousands of sites. Simply updating or changing applications, service chaining, integrating networking, monitoring the network – all of these topics are extremely complex and require very specific expertise and dedicated teams. These organizations inherently know that they must abstract all of this. They know that they want to be able to replace hardware easily if it doesn’t fit their need. They know that they want to be able to update applications with one click and increase or reduce the compute necessities for these applications on the go. It’s already become a mindset for them. When they see Edgility, they immediately say – “That’s exactly what we need – I knew there had to be something like this in the market!”

What is your stance on implementing innovative technologies?

A powerful wave of innovation is going on today, with 5G as the catalyst for much of it. We see it in Artificial Intelligence, we see it in video which has low latency requirements, in Analytics and Gaming, and more. These are sectors that are beginning to understand how to utilize these technologies and will leverage them very soon. The enterprise domain is creating immense amounts of data and accelerating the amount of data created every day. This forces us to find new ways to analyze this data and act on it, and that means that we need to develop new underlying mechanisms to treat the data and make use of it. We’re going to see Artificial Intelligence and Analytics extracting even more actionable information from data, which means we will see more and more of the underlying infrastructure adapting itself to enable that, and Telco Systems with Edgility is literally at the center of all that. Just ten years ago, nobody thought of moving to the cloud. Today, we – Telco Systems, with Edgility, are the innovator in an industry that’s already at the forefront of innovation.

What is the next chapter for Telco Systems?

Innovation sparks from the ability to integrate complex apps that run across multiple environments – for example, an IoT small form factor device or an edge device with some compute power, or the cloud with extremely large compute power. The ability to migrate applications in and out of any environment and connect them will be the solution of choice for enterprises moving forward. Telco Systems with Edgility is at the center of this transformation with a solution that manages all of these environments under a unified and universal platform.

The industry is still extremely nascent – we are still very much at the beginning of the digital transformation wave. But the market is going there. Every operator is beginning to build a telco edge compute, or a mobile edge compute environment – it’s not yet leveraged. Still, they’re starting to see and implement the technologies they know are going to be used in the applications of the future. And we are at the forefront of the innovation around these technologies and solutions. We’re seeing a considerable trend veering into actionable IoT – where our devices will not just provide us with data but actually deliver and act upon actionable information from this data.

Once our devices are able to become actionable, there will be a sizeable chunk of the overall industry moving into typical IoT scenarios. We’re already starting to see this in the transportation industry and in agriculture, where supply chains are being disrupted, and we’re starting to see some very interesting solutions. This, however, is still quite a closed garden that requires tremendous integration. But very soon, we’ll see the democratization of these processes, where every organization will want to install their own IoT mechanism with sensors that can analyze close-range data. So, the cycle of creating large amounts of data, analyzing it on site, and acting on it, continues. We’re at the beginning of this movement. As soon as devices can act on information, we’ll see an explosion of technologies and solutions around it. Edgility will be the basis for efficiently and transparently managing all of this.

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