Author Archives: Nigel Stephenson

About Nigel Stephenson

Nigel Stephenson is director of market development, EMEA, within the Telco and Edge Cloud Business Unit at VMware.

Announcing VMware User Group for Telecoms Services and Operations

Announcing the VMware Telecoms Services and Operations User Group

In November I posted a blog overviewing an invitation-only Telco user forum, held on alongside VMworld Europe. Over 20 representatives from 10 customers began the process of building the first VMware community for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). The community will focus on supporting telecom infrastructure and services projects.

Delegates meet at Telco Customer Forum, November 2019. Barcelona

I’m delighted to announce that the Telcoms Services and Operations VMUG is now live!

Delegates agreed that the new community should meet through a combination of online and face-to-face activities. Coronavirus has had a massive impact on all our lives and face-to-face activity is no longer an option for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, VMUG is a fantastic online community platform.

Our first event will be on April 21st 2020: An Introduction to VMware Telco Cloud. You can register here or through the VMUG Group page. The webinar will provide the context for follow-on, deeper dives  and highlight some key technologies including Orchestration and Assurance.

Get Involved!

If you are part of a team planning or operating virtualised telecom infrastructure including NFV, or the next wave of Enterprise services such as SD-WAN, join the conversation by joining the Telecoms Services and operations VMUG or contacting for more information.

I would like to thank the teams at Telia, BT, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Swisscom and MTS for their input and support that has led to the creation of this group.

About VMUG: Officially launched in August of 2010, the VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.

VMware Customers back formation of a VMware User Group (VMUG) for Telco Cloud

At a special invitation-only user forum held on November 5th alongside VMworld Europe 2019, over 20 representatives from 10 Communication Service Provider (CSP) customers began the process of building the first VMware User Group (VMUG) community specifically focused on supporting telecom infrastructure projects for NFV and Telco Cloud.

VMUG, an independent and customer-led organisation, helps customers connect, collaborate, and network with fellow VMware users through a combination of ‘UserCons’ (delivered around the world), virtual events and webcasts. By launching a community within VMUG specifically focussed on the Telcom Infrastructure use-case, VMware aims to create a self-serve collaborative environment for CSPs to advance their ambitions to become cloud-first service providers.

The Event

The half-day event, held at the Renaissance Fira Hotel, was opened by Honore’ LaBourdette, VP GTM Telco Edge Cloud (TEC), who set the scene and the objectives for the day, which included actionable outcomes to take the community forward. Immediately following, Gabriele Di Piazza, VP Solutions TEC  provided  a deeper dive into the ‘telco’ announcements made during Pat Gelsinger’s general session at VMworld Europe earlier in the day; including the technology preview of Project Maestro. Project Maestro is a telco cloud orchestration solution that will accelerate the time-to-market of modern network functions and services while igniting operational agility through simplified automation, across any network and any cloud. You can read more in Gabriele’s blog.

“One of the highlights for me at VMworld Europe was the Telco and Edge Cloud User Forum.  It was great seeing CSP industry peers discussing the disruptive changes they are facing and how they are embracing the changes. Events like this forum allow CSPs to deliver what the customer is asking for today and what they will be asking for in the future.” Brad Tompkins. VMUG Executive Director.

Discussions then centred on the status of existing NFV deployments, which serve as a the foundation for Telco Clouds and how, as a community, we could generate greater success for our members. Experience in the room ranged from well-established multi-country, multi-vendor Telco Clouds to early phase NFV deployments. Key topics included operational transformation, automation and orchestration. There was also discussion on deployment strategies and the need to better specify requirements to VNF vendors to ensure operational success.

Going forward

It was agreed that the new community should meet through a combination of online and face-to-face activities and on a quarterly basis. Meeting agendas and topics will be driven by the community and supported by VMware. As a next step, a number of customers volunteered to act as advisors to shape the formalised VMUG group and the focus of the next event.

Get Involved!

If you are a VMware telecom infrastructure customer deploying NFV and Telco Cloud, and would like to be kept informed on the progress of this new user group, please contact

About VMUG: Officially launched in August of 2010, the VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.

Telco Solutions for Enterprises – “the focal point of VMware Telco Forum Singapore 2017”

VMware vForum Singapore 2017 was a success! Held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center on November 14, vForum is a complimentary one-day event ideal for IT and Networking Professionals seeking to educate themselves about the newest virtualization technologies and latest industry trends. For the 2nd year running, vForum in Singapore brought together a Telco Forum for Digital Service Providers.

A spotlight on 5G and IoT

“Internet of Things,” “5G,” and “Network Functions Virtualization” are the three main technology disruptors for the telecom market going forward, according to Ken Dilbeck, VP of Collaboration and R&D at TM Forum. Moreover, VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, recently stated: “We believe there will be two types of 5G developments: one that is built on 5G and one that isn’t successful.”

This is why it is imperative that CSPs seeking to beat the competition and adopt new technologies understand the value of NFV solutions. This year, Telco Forum Singapore featured sessions on digital transformation for the enterprise.

Daniel Alfredsson, Chief NFV Architect, from Telia Company, and Iskra Nikolova, Vice President Network Transformation for Singtel, joined us to share insights on deploying NFV for IoT and 5G services. Alex Tan, Chief Innovation Officer at M1, also joined us at the Telco Forum to speak about M1’s digital transformation journey, including their partnership with VMware for SDDC and their surrounding ecosystem. Walter Ching, Deputy Director for Information Systems at M1, also shared the business benefits derived from leveraging VMware solutions at a Fireside Chat with Bruce Davie, APJ CTO, VMware.

A Technology Panel discussion, involving various executives from Dell EMC, Intel, Pivotal, VMware, created a dialog about how important it is for DSP to be software focused and the tools necessary to drive transformation.

Attendees at the event had the chance to also hear from Analysys Mason and VMware Telco NFV executives. Topics included digital transformation, 5G, IoT, operational transformation, and zero-touch networks.

Telco Forum in South Asia & Korea – Inaugural Customers & Partners Appreciations Presentation

NFV Partnership & Engagements in SEAK – Ericsson Telecommunications Pte Ltd

Ericsson is a highly valued partner to VMware in the South Asia and Korea region.  Both organizations are committed to collaboration. Examples include, jointly set up an NFV Solution Lab, partnered together with Globe Telecom on the

TM Forum Catalyst project, as well as a large number of joint POCs. These helped to facilitate the testing of eco-system partners’ solutions on our mutual solution stack and foster greater traction on NFV adoption. Both companies also share the vision to accelerate the understanding of NFV among new graduate hires by providing a hands-on working experience with multiple vendors’ NFV leveraging the joint lab set up.

Partnership with VMware Cloud Solution for the Public Sector in SEAK – Singapore Telecommunications Limited

In search of a cloud infrastructure to support the Singapore Government’s private cloud, Singtel partnered VMware to provide the Singapore Government with a standardized cloud environment. VMware’s provision of the same cloud infrastructure to both government agencies and service providers enables secure interoperability between private and public clouds—bringing all of the benefits of a hybrid cloud approach. Created based on open standards with a global partner network of public cloud providers, VMware solutions allow public sector IT teams to move applications and data between clouds quickly and easily and cloud management simpler and manageable.

Innovative Use of VMware Cloud Solution for NFV and VAS in SEAK – PT XL Axiata Tbk

With more than 60 million subscribers, XL Axiata is one of Indonesia’s leading cellular service providers, offering various types of telecommunication products and services such as voice, SMS, data, and other value-added mobile telecommunication services with an extensive network around the country.

XL Axiata is among the first Indonesian telco to offer a virtual Packet Core, to support the fast-growing Indonesian market.  The solution runs on VMware cloud solution, offered agility, scalability, and security to XL Axiata, so as to better respond to market needs.

Innovative Use of SDDC in SEAK– M1 Limited

M1 built a Cloud-based Data Center based on VMware’s Software Defined Data Center with enhanced security capabilities. Together with their strategic partners, they delivered additional offerings to their enterprise customers. M1 has also announced that its next-generation Software-Defined Data Centre (SDDC) portfolio, powered by the VMware Cloud Provider™ program, provides container support through Pivotal Container Service™ (PKS). Other portfolios hosted on SDDC include their digital mobile remittance service where M1 mobile customers can access real-time exchange rates and remit funds to designated recipients anytime, anywhere. There are also further extension plans for IoT and Big Data Platforms.

Innovative Use of Technology to Drive Business Transformation – Globe Telecom

Globe’s journey to the cloud began with them re-energizing their cloud strategy. It involved transforming the cost of systems by driving cloud economics, improving customer experience by enabling self-service and providing cloud brokering services.  In addition, they aim to improve their speed to market and build a culture of innovation in Globe. The partnership created between Globe and VMware are strong examples of how we could drive Industry and Business Transformation hand in hand.

Compelling Use of VMware Automation Solution for Internal IT Cloud in SEAK – StarHub Limited

StarHub was one of the pioneers on Singapore Telco market to leverage VMware to deliver a more agile and flexible infrastructure to support their business. StarHub realizes the possibilities of the agile and flexible IT infrastructure with the virtualization of critical applications, optimizing hardware resources and savings by providing higher availability and scalability. This provides a seamless and better experience for their customers.

For more information on the NFV elements of vForum contact Emily Ng at

For more information on VMware NFV solutions:

VMware NFV Solutions: 

VMware Customer and Partner Testimonials:

Industry’s first Open VNF Onboarding Hackathon a great success!

MWC 2017 was the venue chosen by VMware, Intel and Cloudify to kick off a co-innovation project to address one of the biggest challenges to the rapid deployment of NFV-based services: VNF onboarding. Continue reading

MWC 2017: Mobile Network Operators might never be the same again

This article was first posted by Constantine Polychronopoulos on LinkedIn


On every front – from content and media, to consumer and enterprise IoT, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 5G and soft-radio transmitters, sustainable development, and network virtualization (the core themes framing events at MWC2017) – operators face intense competition to deliver relevance and value to subscribers. The key consideration in all of these areas is in knowing where to begin. It’s also about knowing where to end what has gone before.

Continue reading

Don’t miss the VMware NFV activities at Mobile World Congress 2017!

MWC-bannerVisit VMware at Stand K10, Hall 3.

VMware will be hosting a range of activities and things to do at this year’s Mobile World Congress; from an experiential demonstration of a 5G world, through to IoT and the connected car . See how VMware is not only helping service providers generate value today, but is shaping the future of NFV!

Below is a summary of the main activities for your event planner…

Continue reading

VMware, Intel and Cloudify to sponsor the first VNF On-Boarding Hackathon at Mobile World Congress

VMware, Intel and Cloudify to sponsor the first VNF On-Boarding Hackathon at Mobile World Congress; a critical new initiative to accelerate the adoption of telecom services over virtualized infrastructure.

Continue reading

The three top habits of tomorrow’s successful service provider

This blog was first posted by Gabriele Di Piazza on LinkedIn here

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Fit for purpose

There will be two types of Communication Service Provider (CSP) in the next few years: those who will have embraced transformation and championed change within the organisation, and those who have adopted a follower approach. Success is most likely to lie with those embracing transformation and change. Within these organisations, preparations underway now will see the gap widen between them and those following as they begin to realise the power of a software-defined service capability and deploy different strategies and tactics to the CSP of todayThey’ll have different teams, skills, and services. Continue reading

VMware is Shaping the Future of NFV at Mobile World Congress 2017

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VMware will have a significant presence at this year’s Mobile World Congress, including a range of Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) demonstrations and presentations at our booth in hall 3, stand K10. Continue reading

Network Functions Virtualisation – ‘a key focus for VMware vForum Singapore’

VMware vForum is here again!  The Singapore vForum will takes place at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center on 15th November. vForum is a complimentary one-day event that offers a unique setting for IT and Networking professionals to engage with experts and learn about the latest virtualization technologies, tips, and trends in the industry.


A focus on Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV)

With the potential to bring much needed operational agility, service differentiation and cost efficiencies to telecoms services, NFV is fast becoming the key topic among Communication Service Provider (CSP) strategists and network architects.

Many believe that early adopters of NFV will transition from a short period of learning into accelerated deployments of new and innovative services. Late adopters run the risk of market erosion through lack of competitiveness and differentiation. Continue reading