Oracle predicts that mainstream implementation of Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) for service providers will happen by 2018, but coaxing customers into leaving behind their legacy hardware for NFV will not happen overnight.
Speaking to CBR, Gordon Rawling, director of EMEA marketing for Oracle Communications, said that fear is one of the main challenges facing NFV adoption.
Rawling said: "I think there is a tremendous amount of fear from the network side of service providers.
"They were born and grew up delivering basically 99.99999% availability and they would have been hung drawn and quartered if that network went down."
Gordon Rawling, EMEA marketing head, said a main benefit of NFV is its ability to upscale to meet user demand
It was last month when Oracle announced its latest product in the attempt to convert service providers to using NFV. Its Application Orchestrator aims to support service providers in their migration to NFV, enabling them to move away from the more rigid network architectures designed for a few select services to a flexible platform that can be automatically reconfigured to support current and future services.
Rawling continued: "I think there is genuine fear and uncertainty in terms of them knowing it won't do fail them. They need to have a good level of assurance that their network will be there.
"Anything that touches the networks that can impact the user experience, anything that has a direct impact on brand value, is basically considered open heart surgery."
But Rawling said that, whilst he cannot mention any particular providers, there are a number of 'clever' ones that are looking at how NFV functions can capture value for them today.
Last month, Spanish operator Telefonica announced it will be deploying NFV 'instantly' after teaming up with Intel and Red Hat to build a new platform.
The company said NFV will help it shorten the time to market for new services, reduce costs, reuse infrastructure and avoid vendor lock-in.