MEF18: Set to Showcase Innovations and Disruptions around MEF 3.0 Framework


Metro Ethernet Form – is set to put spotlight on next generation-ready innovation aligned with the MEF 3.0 Framework – at the upcoming MEF18 in Los Angeles.

Stan Hubbard, Communications & Research Director, MEF interacts with Zia Askari from about the upcoming MEF18 – what telecom ecosystem can expect from this mega event and why it is important for the industry to attend this.

MEF18 is a global networking event that will be held 29 October-2 November 2018 at the JW Marriott LA LIVE in Los Angeles, California.

   Stan Hubbard, Communications & Research Director, MEF

What is the central theme for this year’s MEF18 global event?

MEF18 will assemble executives and other leading experts from more than 35 countries who are committed to accelerating worldwide adoption of assured communications services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks. Aligned with the MEF 3.0 Framework, these new, game-changing services empower users with the dynamic performance and security required to thrive in the digital economy.

Over the past year, MEF has noted the growing recognition that in this era of digital transformation, service providers must move quickly to address changing customer requirements and adapt to intensifying competitive threats. Executives at MEF-member service providers have emphasized it is imperative that they transform to deliver on-demand, cloud-like services over automated and interconnected networks powered by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), SDN, and NFV.

Aamir Hussain, Executive VP and CTO of CenturyLink, recently stated at an MEF member meeting, “Our industry is going through a massive transformation as customers are learning from an Amazon-like buying experience and a Netflix-like watching experience. They like simplicity. They like agility.” And they are looking for service providers to help them navigate through their own transformation. MEF18 will highlight the progress that has been made and what is needed to enable this transformation.

How do you think this event will help telecoms use their ecosystems to gain a business edge?

MEF18 will uniquely empower industry stakeholders with high-quality content, extraordinary peer-to-peer networking opportunities, and valuable insight into cutting-edge services and technologies like SD-WAN and LSO that will be critical to competing in the era of digital transformation.  You would be hard-pressed to find a more concentrated gathering of top strategic decisionmakers, influencers, and leading service and technology innovators than at MEF18.

We are particularly excited to have dozens of service providers and technology vendors collaborating in 20 Proof of Concept (PoC) demonstrations that will showcase different aspects of MEF 3.0 service implementation, including the use of LSO APIs for inter-provider and intra-provider orchestration. Service providers are leading many of the MEF18 PoCs, which illustrates the high priority they place on driving business, operational, and infrastructure transformation to take full advantage of the rapidly growing demand for digital services.

The event is on pace to be bigger and better than last year’s popular MEF17 event, attracting more than 1,000 attendees from more than 275 companies.  Among attendees will be more than 250 service and technology executives, 110+ expert speakers, upwards of 115 sponsors and partners, and more.

MEF18’s content, networking and special activities are designed to appeal to executives and other senior experts from communication and cloud-service providers, enterprises, government organizations, network technology suppliers, systems integrators, open-source projects, standards organizations, industry and financial analysts, investors, the press and others.

Please share details of some of the prominent speakers and technology tracks for this year’s event. How is this year going to be different from the others?

MEF is assembling an all-star speaker line-up for MEF18.  Speakers will include executives and top experts from AT&T, Comcast Business, Deutsche Telekom, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise, Verizon, Orange Business Services, CenturyLink, Equinix, Sparkle, Colt Technology Services, Ciena, Microsoft, McKinsey, Bloomberg, Intuit, AEG, and more.

Leading executive speakers thus far include the following:

Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global

Eric Cevis, President, Verizon Partner Solutions

Roman Pacewicz, Chief Product Officer, AT&T

Kyle Malady, Chief Network Operations Officer & Acting CTO, Verizon

Aamir Hussain, Executive VP & CTO, CenturyLink

Brian Lillie, Chief Product Officer, Equinix

Michael Strople, President Allstream, Managing Director – Canada, Zayo Group

Kevin O’Toole, SVP, Product Management, Comcast Business

Shawn Hakl, SVP Business Products, Verizon

Jean-Claude Geha, SVP of International Services & Technology, Deutsche Telekom AG

Stefan Schnitter, SVP Infrastructure, Deutsche Telekom Pan-Net

Josh Goodell, VP of Intelligent Edge, AT&T Business

Satya Parimi, Group VP, Data Products, Spectrum Enterprise

Franck Morales, VP of Marketing Connectivity Services, Orange Business Services

John Paul Hemingway, CEO SES Networks

Mirko Voltolini, Head of Network on Demand, Colt

We will have a special guest enterprise keynote from CIO Bill Martin of AEG, the leading sports and entertainment company that owns or operates more than 100 venues worldwide, including the STAPLES Center (LA Lakers, LA Kings), Sprint Center, The O2 in London, Microsoft Theater, etc.

MEF18 will focus on big picture service and technology trends – including SD-WAN, LSO, SDN, NFV, automated networks, etc. – during our workshops on Monday and morning plenary sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, there will be multiple Tracks with content tailored for enterprise, service provider, and technology vendor professionals, including:

  • WAN Exchange Track – Addressing Enterprise Transformation Needs: covering application-aware networking, SD-WAN experiences, and the benefits of end-to-end service automation across service providers and end-customers.
  • MEF 3.0 Migration Track: covering the journey to inter-carrier service automation, proactive service assurance with machine learning, and analytics, and the growing importance of universal CPEs.
  • The Future of Networking Track: covering automation of commercial interactions with LSO and blockchain, orchestrated multi-layer optical transport, and other hot topics.
  • The Journey to 5G Track: exploring inter-carrier cooperation in the era of 5G, how to leverage LSO, SDN, NFV to enable new services with 5G, and the role of agile, multi-layer optical transport services in the era of 5G, IoT, and hyperscale cloud.

A full MEF18 agenda and speaker line-up are available by visiting the Agenda and Speakers pages on the website.

What can attendees expect from this event – what are some of the big take-aways?

WAN service providers know they need to deliver services that offer the ease experienced by enterprise customers using cloud services. Rapid, user-friendly service delivery is extremely critical for the success of WAN service providers in a world where customers continue to ask for faster turn-ups without headaches.

Service providers recognize that they need to collaborate with each other and work closely with their technology vendors to create a worldwide ecosystem of automated networks that will support dynamic services.

The content, discussions, and demonstrations at MEF18 are all designed to enable service providers to transition from operating as independent islands of excellence to being integral players in a worldwide business federation of cloud-like networks that enable these dynamic services across multiple providers.

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