Global Innovators | Adnan Saleem – Driving Innovation in CPaaS Space


Global Innovators | Adnan Saleem |

This is the age of Digital Transformation and it is redefining how companies are run more efficiently, reach new consumers, deliver innovative user experiences and most importantly grow fast.

When it comes to embracing digital transformation – Communications Platform as a Service model (CPaaS) is spearheading a lot of innovation and helping companies stay on top of technological innovation.

A true Global innovator – Adnan Saleem is working as the Chief Technology Officer for Software and Cloud Solutions at Radisys – and driving a lot of innovation within the CPaaS space. He speaks with Zia Askari from about his innovative spirit and why it is important for the industry.

Innovations in CPaaS

How do you define innovation today and why do you think it is important for an organization of your nature?

At Radisys, we’re focused on innovation that disrupts the telecom industry with open telecom solutions, allowing service providers to transform their networks to meet the demands of 5G and IoT. Our solution portfolio includes 4G/5G RAN acceleration, virtualized and disaggregated access networks, and media analytics.

As service providers shift away from proprietary-network solutions from a single monolithic vendor to networks based on open reference architectures with open components from a multi-vendor ecosystem, smaller and more nimble vendors such as Radisys can better compete. This transformation also opens up the opportunity for our systems integration experts to deliver commercially deployable solutions.

Please share details of your innovation that you are driving or have been an integral part with?

As we transform how telecom networks are built, Radisys is working on delivering a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) offering. CPaaS is an enabling technology that abstracts the underlying network complexity while allowing application developers to leverage the network’s capabilities to more easily create mobile and web apps. It allows service providers to monetize their network investments and be used by third-party application developers rather than implementing new apps via complex telecom interfaces.

Radisys is working on delivering our own CPaaS platform with open APIs and SDKs that can be hosted by either the service providers themselves or systems integrators or enterprise.

Why is this innovation important for your organization and your end customers?

This innovation is important for Radisys because there are a great deal of assets in technology that we have utilized and worked to acquire in media processing and edge applications. With the recent acquisition of Radisys by Reliance Jio, we’ve gained additional leverage and synergy that has allowed us to create a complete CPaaS platform.

How did you conceive the idea for this innovation?

Within Radisys, one of our portfolio solutions is MediaEngine, a virtualized media server that delivers media processing and media analytics, enabling service providers and systems integrators to drive more value for IoT-based services. Initially, we were asked by our customers for the MediaEngine server to be exposed in a non-telecom API manner in order for the complex services it supports today to be more easily accessible for mobile and application developers versus being deeply embedded inside telecom networks. This was the genesis of the idea to develop our CPaaS offering.

CPaaS takes a much broader view to provide a full suite of communications services that includes facial and object recognition, messaging and IoT.

Please share details of some of the big or small difficulties / challenges that you faced while carving out this innovation for your company?

The main challenges throughout the development of CPaaS have revolved around prioritization. Since CPaaS covers such an extensive area from IoT devices, to real-time telephony, to AI and Machine Learning, it’s a matter of which of these aspects we should focus on. Determining our customers’ priorities will shape how Radisys evolves the CPaaS platform over time.

What does the future hold for this innovation now? How relevant will this innovation be in the coming years? Please share the roadmap for this innovation?

The development of our CPaaS solution is in the early stages now with a planned multi-year roll out. The initial roll out is expected to be within the year. Right now, we are defining the offering based on customer feedback and adding supplementary capabilities.

Please share details of some of the technologies / solutions where you are working on now and from where future innovation is likely to emerge?

We continue to focus on providing open telecom solutions that allow service providers to build out their 5G networks and transform their Central Offices into virtualized telco data centers built with open source hardware and software. Radisys is active in a number of open ecosystem communities, including the Open RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), that are supporting service providers operators with open reference architectures for network access disaggregation.

We are also developing advanced speech recognition and media analytics solutions that will support new applications. Our new CPaaS solution is an extension of our strategy as it will enable user-driven application development that combines all of the Radisys’ capabilities and more.

From Designing Codes to Creating Electronic Music

Please share details about your family?

I live in Vancouver, British Columbia and have been married for 27 years. We have two sons that are both studying at university. In my spare time, I enjoy creating electronic music.

In what way do you think your family helps you in terms of ideating well?

One of my sons is studying computer science at university, and he’s always getting me involved in what he’s doing at school and we discuss how it relates to what I’m doing at work. We like to do projects at home together using Raspberry Pi. It’s great to be able to experiment with new ideas with my son.

Creating innovation is not that easy – one has to look beyond the horizon, so what are some of the books or tools to innovations that have helped you personally on thinking aloud on innovation?

I prefer hands-on experimentation. These days it’s very easy and inexpensive to try out new ideas and to do rapid prototyping with either Raspberry Pi or Amazon EC2 if I need more compute resources.

Personally what is your way to process innovation so that it can see light of the day?

I find that it’s a combination of things. For me it’s important to get validation for the innovation from customer feedback as well as industry validation through participation in webinars and conferences and writing white papers.

CPaaS is not a technology fad, but rather is part of a much larger trend to enable technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning. I’m excited to be part of driving these technology innovations forward.