Telecom at OpenStack Summit: Here’s what not to miss at the show

Join Red Hat’s telecommunications team at OpenStack Summit Berlin, November 13-15, to learn about virtual central office (VCO), open platform for network functions virtualization (OPNFV), smart OpenStack cloud, Kubernetes, Red Hat Ceph Storage, and more. With more than 200 sessions and a number of extra events there’s a lot happening this year! To give your summit schedule some focus, keep reading for a highlight of key sessions, lightning talks, and events we recommend.

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Virtualizing the central office: Building a foundation for innovation

As service providers look to deliver more services closer to their mobile, residential, and enterprise subscribers, the central office is gaining importance in telecommunications service providers’ digital transformation efforts. PCMag estimates that there are more than 25,000 central offices in the United States alone. These offices connect service providers’ access networks to their metro and core networks. And while significant efforts have been made to modernize central offices over the past several years, the purpose-built, proprietary hardware traditionally used can limit agility and innovation. The next generation of services—including those depending on 5G networks—require a different way of thinking: a virtualized central office (VCO) based on software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies.

We expect the most effective VCOs to have modernized edge architectures built on an open, pluggable framework that will help service providers stand up and deliver more advanced mobile, residential, and enterprise services more quickly.

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What’s the future of open development platforms? Find out at an upcoming FINOS forum.

Cut support and operations costs. Modernize IT systems to better service customers and associates. Provide more personalized engagement opportunities that are channel-agnostic. These are just a few of the pressing challenges today’s financial services companies face. One way to help overcome these challenges is the adoption of open source technologies and more collaborative models like open banking.

Historically, the financial services industry has been more conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies and participating in more collaborative ecosystems – even if they have the potential to drive innovation and boost productivity. That may be due to the legal, IP, and compliance regulations that dominate the industry. So, for fintech developers to fully move out of their comfort zones and into open banking — defined as a network of financial institutions’ systems that fosters secure data sharing through application programming interfaces (APIs) – they will need secure continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines across the open source community software supply chain. That’s where the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS) Open Developer Platform (ODP) comes in.

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Preparing to be open in open banking

If I had to sum up a theme from my second day at Sibos, it would be open banking. Sibos is an annual week-long event that bills itself as a “premier business forum” for the financial community to gather and collaborate around payments, securities, trade, and cash management. At this year’s gathering in Sydney, Australia, a number of sessions have focused on initiatives around open banking and open APIs.

Several of the live polls throughout sessions at Sibos have focused on customer relationships – putting the customer (and partner) at the core, and building initiatives around that to become a more open banking institution.

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Innovate at Finovate – Fall 2018 Conference Roundup

The Finnovate series of conferences are a showcase for banking and financial technology (fintech) organizations to demonstrate the technologies and services they are pioneering. The week of September 24th, at Finovate Fall 2018 in New York City, 79 Fintechs presented in rapid-fire, real-time seven minute demos (with no slides) focused heavily on enhancing digital user experience, open banking, artificial intelligence (AI) and data.

The fintechs’ offerings on display were far ranging and addressed various user types, customers and markets within the FSI space. There were demos about the application of AI facial recognition at ATM machines, along with integration of your mobile device to enhance security and transaction experience.

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Want to uplevel your competition in banking? Remove cross channel friction and deliver customer choice

When you think omnichannel, you’re probably thinking of the movers and shakers in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries. Best Buy may come to mind as one of the leading brands to provide the coherent experiences customers want across different platforms. It seamlessly accommodates their purchase journeys by paying particular attention to what shoppers do on its mobile application in order to coordinate, personalize and improve their in-store outings.

That’s just one example of why retail is on a fast-moving upward track: McKinsey & Company has reported that the sector is growing between 40 and 70 percent annually.

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Staking a claim in digital-only banks

Big names in the financial services sector are moving beyond incorporating a few online and mobile banking features into their traditional products and services. They’re stepping into full-scale, digital-only banking: Chase has launched Finn, for example, and Citizens Financial Group has created Citizens Access. Reportedly waiting in the wings is a national digital-only bank from Citigroup, too.

These new brands stemming from established banks will be going up against competitors such as Ally and GoBank, who have made the digital-only bank space their home from their inception. By launching their digital brands, Chase, Citizens Financial Group, and the others that follow, are creating options for escaping the confines of their existing processes and technology environments.

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Deborah Bryant keynotes on open source in telecom at AstriCon 2018

Growing demand for streaming video, ever-expanding smartphone capabilities, virtual reality, the internet of things (IoT), and other next-generation technologies are pushing telecommunications service providers to adopt new business models and deliver more advanced services. And more and more, they are pursuing open source solutions to support these efforts.

Red Hat’s Deborah Bryant, senior director of open source and standards, will explore this shift and the dramatic role open source has played as a disruptor in telecommunications, in her keynote presentation at AstriCon 2018, October 9-11, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. The Asterisk PBX Project for which the event is named is one of the oldest and well-established open source community projects in telecommunications.

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Where to find Red Hat at ONS Europe 2018: Exploring containers, blockchain, and more

Here at Red Hat, we are excited to join partners, customers, and The Linux Foundation for the 2018 Open Networking Summit (ONS) Europe, September 25-27, in Amsterdam. We have a lot on the schedule for service providers, with presentations covering topics like moving your virtual machine virtual network functions (VNFs) to a container environment, blockchain for telcos, and an OPNFV tutorial.

Join us in the Red Hat booth for demos on OpenDaylight (ODL) and Kubernetes; Prometheus; and Kubernetes for network functions virtualization (NFV) – Multus and single root input/output virtualization (SR-IOV). And don’t miss the community-developed Virtual Central Office (VCO) 2.0 demo in the Linux Foundation booth to the left of the main entrance to the convention center, where our Red Hat team also will be available to answer questions.

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Events Update: Where to find Red Hat’s financial services team this fall

If there’s one thing open source gets high marks for, it’s the incredibly strong foundation of communities (there are more than 90,000 community members across 183 countries working on OpenStack alone!). And in our opinion, there’s nothing better than stepping outside our offices and into the communities, be they OpenStack contributors, Red Hat partners, and our customers. This fall, we have plenty of opportunities to do just that, with a solid schedule of events all over the world.

We look forward to talking with you about open banking, digital engagement, transactional efficiency, and more. Keep reading for details on where you can find us, and we look forward to seeing you wherever our paths cross this fall.

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