Decoding the Symbols and Anecdotes of Open Innovation and Transparent Collaboration ~ Platform perspective

RedHat Summit is one of the technologist’s community events which over the years acclaimed reputation of open innovation and transparent knowledge sharing .Therefore it is natural to see techies from around the globe coming together with common vision of sharing , learning , growing together .One can consider it a one stop shop for all industries that leverage power of software to grow, from Lockheed martin F35 design, Exon Mobile deep-sea exploration, DT IT Digital platforms, Delta airline journey to open platforms and innovation, Banking and financial systems digitization or Telco’s pursuing to evolve through power of openness and innovation. Each of story has a lesson in its own and industry shared joint responsibility to obviate the issues of vendor lock in and the customers success stories from different industries support for benefit of all as a collective goal.

However, with so much influx of information and hearing perspectives from different markets and different mindsets it is probable to get diluted between a marketing theme and what is actually possible. It is therefore important to decode symbols and anecdotes as I grabbed them in this year’s RedHat summit held in Boston, U.S from May 7 to May 9  2019 . as follows .


Promote the Spirit of Open source is through collaboration and belief

Open source by its spirit stands on the ground that sum of collective effort will outweigh the sum of individual efforts. Infact Open source is nothing more than collaboration and belief of sharing that should benefit all.This collaboration opens the new channels and opportunities in each industry we operate by reaching a new possibility

What I liked most was a symbolic depiction from Apollo U.S Program which only made possible after we set high possibilities something which obviously was not possible with technology possibility of that day

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Making money through transparent innovation

During last few years we have seen so many companies joining the band wagon of open source but still the industry has not able to benefit in full way from all of the promised achievements . I think this issue happened because still we need to collectively enforce idea that if you get you have to give and that embracing the fact that it’s all about dependency not independency which makes ecosystem as the ultimate winner of this transformation

Open source is not only about products but also partnerships

Bringing People and technology together

All benefits from points highlighted above can be achieved only if we have Platform and tools that will enable industries and teams to come together to explore opportunities together. Hence the platform must have following characteristics.

  • Accepted unanimously across all industries
  • Supports collaboration using open and shared principles between different teams
  • Open enough to steer new innovation
  • Free enough to experiment and grow, After all this is so important for dollarization of technology

Platforms and Tools are innate to materialize Digital Transformation

Team empowerment

Despite of all lucrative promises why many industries (Specifically Telco’s) have not really able to reap full benefits i think is because to realize truly immersive targets we must empower teams with tools and trust them. This is the only way to take us forward from an industry dominated by a few vendors to the open dominated by best ideas and best solutions.

Culture and Trust is useless with out capability and vice versa

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Smooth Operations

Being innovative and reaching for the moon is one thing and running smooth operations is something else. Specially troubleshooting of opensource is difficult than one can even imagine. This is an area that require thoughtful analysis and support.

Alignment of operations will decide how quickly we can get rid of old infrastructure

Transfer technology equity to less innovative industries

This question is being asked to me by many teams, in summits, workshops, interviews every where. We all know specifically for Telco industry only the T1 CSP’s have pockets and muscle to rise to the real challenge. As industry we owe a collective responsibility to transfer the equity of what we learnt in the form of clear reference architectures and tools that are programmable, customizable and less costly.

To put in a perspective Edge and distributed cloud is a big opportunity that require public web scale cloud companies like AWS , Google , Azure and others to pass Innovation to less innovative industry which needs tooling for clear use cases like AI, ML, Deep learning , AR and VR etc to mention a few .

As industry we owe collective responsibility to build something that can be consumed by less innovative industries and clients


Client Success Stories IBM, Delta, exon mobile, Lockheed martin

RedHat summit 2019

Ideas Exchange -The Cube

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Saad Sheikh  ☁

Open Networking. So Who am I and What I Exactly Do ?



I think our professional life should be a journey which will help us rise from a fountain to become lake and evolve to a stream that will finally find its way to the big sea .

This bigness and fullness can only be achieved if one believes on comradeship and sharing and this is why I have started and managing my blog post and sharing page here

So who am I ? obviously my aim here is no commercial because i do a nice job for living . However i do expect i contribute to community and learn in a two way manner . This is what I have strived for all my career .

In few words I can summarize my career as follows

I am Senior Architect with a passion to architect and deliver solutions focusing on business adoption of the Cloud and automation covering both Telco and IT markets. With 15+ years of diverse experience in ICT including (10Yrs in Telco) and 5 Years in ICT (Telco +  IT) I proved my capabilities as Solution Architect, System integrator and Transformation advisor. I am focused in defining NFV/SDN/Cloud solutions based on web-scale architectures, HA, reliability and horizontal scale with a passion to map business requirements to robust E2E technology architectures meeting client’s requirements in most cost-effective manner. Ability to solve complex problems through architecture homogeneity and converged solutions. My work in carrier Digital transformation focused on Platforms including Clouds both Open stack and container platforms, carrier grade NFV, MANO, DevOps CI/CD, 5G and Edge Platforms, TaaS platforms and journey towards unified clouds including transition strategy for successful migrations to the Cloud .

  • Telco Domain:  NFV/5G/Core /EPC /VAS /Wireless (GSM /UMTS /LTE )/IMS /VoLTE /VoWiFi/MPLS & IP
  • IT/Cloud and Orchestration Domain: Cloud, DC virtualization, IT Applications deployment, NFVI including Server, Storage, SAN, SDS , CI/CD DevOps , NFVO and Orchestration ,MEC and Edge Clouds including 3rd party App development
  • Networking: Infrastructure Networking and SDN

for freelancing or knowledge sharing you can reach me at

Current Work Profile

Currency my work affiliation is with STC as Chief Architect consultant for NFV,SDN,Cloud and 5G Program . Specially focused to build solutions that can serve for company evolution towards Kingdom’s 2030 vision focusing around Cloud and Networks Automation .



Current Consulting Profile

As Chief Architect and President Advisor , I lead the company consulting and services business in 5G , Cloud and Enterprise solutions offering together working with 25+ partners  contributing my part to build the future of  Telco , IT and Enterprise business in Middle East .




Adoption challenges in Open source and opportunities for niche System Integrator

In 2019 the IT and Telecom industry has really come to synergy point through the power of open Source solutions. I still remember days in September 2012 when we are firstly looking the Open Source solutions .It was really difficult that time to even think the Open Source can integrate the so called real Isle Industries of IT and Telecom. However the fact is that big Companies already doing production ready work for consolidation of IT and Telecom Datacenters.

What is most exciting for me is that I started 2019 with a CXO workshop asking the way forward to include the Banking Application on the same Data Center. Obviously at this time the idea is very vague because the Banking as we all know requires highly secure and reliable. Many of the ideas of traditional IT and Telecom cannot be directly applied there .However the message is clear the future IT services will cover whole Ecosystem and infact each industry is Just like Application appliance .

The Cloud Based infrastructure is an idea which is so important to develop in multi tenant environment because each vertical will come with its own set of requirements. It is clear that there is huge market demand for this and actually no vendor can eat all this market though many will try to do this.

This type of Cross industry and Multi tenant solutions will strongly depend on the power of Open Source solutions to couple the solutions form many vendors as a module. The concept which is known in industry as a micro service .However the integration of all these Open Source is very complex especially when it comes to adaption and matching CIO requirements. It is because although the solution can be Open but customer requirements can be customized. It is because no customer want to live in a house build on the wish of someone .The Personalization of each customer solution is very important.

Obviously all customer wish to transform to an agile infrastructure and reduce OPEX but really what must be there first steps like how to select the Components from the Open Source Solution? What must be there Cloud, VIM, MANO, VNF, Repository etc. This type of question many CXO already put to vendors and the answer of each vendor depend on its business model like what is there Ecosystem without delving to details whether it can satisfy customer real needs

I think this strategy is damaging the NFV adoption on a wider scale, because vendors want to push a solution while the best strategy for open Source solution must be a Pull solution which matches customer needs. Without this it is difficult to increase the real demand of NFV and Open Source Projects

After selecting the software the next daunting task must be how to make it functional.  The product view of this scenario is to develop all applications as a VNF Appliance through image file. It means any application can be available and only usage is licenses. However the story is not so simple. Infact it is in stark contrast to the Idea of App Store as prevailing in IT industry.

The part of such endeavors must be how to efficiently use these images to develop a service, something customer really need, way to auto test and auto deploy the service and obviously how to apply Puppet, Ansible and Chef Play books schemes to achieve it. I mean to say just the Appliance and their abstraction is not enough how to model the service and make it interwork is key to success for this realization

This type of open Solution ecosystem will support the wide range of adoption across the industry; maybe we will see the NFV going live in both Private and Public Clouds and the application will be as freely distributed as the Windows of today

However with more and more open solutions the dilemma to integrate them will become more and more important question by all CIO’s , not only this we will come to a situation where customer will question the reliability and performance of open source solutions in commercial deployments ? Can SI can use all open Source tools and offer something a single Pane glass operations modeled around Open API’s and programming abstraction .

This is the real value of System integrator, the Hercules the IT and Telco industry waiting for years.

Can 2019 be the year of that SI’s making an impact? The story is open and the best team will make it happen. System integration team has to listen to customers listening to the industry, partners and customer alike to solve the issues of Ecosystem.

Collaboration is the key and sharing of experiences to solve industry issues is critical to be the System integrator of choice for the industry