The second fundamental change impacting third-wave product design is a new architecture. Given the ingredients of cloud technology, ubiquitous connectivity and sensing, a device-to-cloud architecture would seem right. Just capture the sensor data, upload to the cloud, and analyze. However, a device-to-cloud architecture (often called a cloud-oriented architecture) is the exception today, not the norm.

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Computers used to look like computers. Of course, we saw an evolution of form factors from large mainframes to portable mobile devices, but this was a measured evolution with user interface paradigms anchored around screens and manual input methods (e.g. keyboard, touch, voice). If we transported a DEC VT100 terminal user from 1978 to the present day, they might be surprised by the vivid color and graphics of a laptop or touch screen computer, but they would instantly understand how to interact with it.

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The Economist describes the current state of the Internet of Things (IoT) as a “quiet revolution” that is impacting both product and service firms across all sectors of the economy. Their 2013 survey found that 75% of companies were exploring uses and applications leveraging the IoT.

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The OpenDaylight community has launched its much awaited software release, the Helium, an upgrade to its former OpenDaylight controller called Hydrogen. A detailed look at the features introduced in Helium makes it clear that the community is targeting to fill the gaps left by the previous deployment in various networks. Many OEMs and Service Providers are embracing the OpenDaylight Hydrogen release to primarily develop Proof of Concept (PoC) solutions.

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Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) along with Software Defined Networking (SDN) is emerging to be a disruptive technology, introducing many innovations in the service provider network architecture. Service providers are looking at ways of optimizing cost, increasing ROI and simplifying the management of their network infrastructure, and NFV and SDN provides them with unlimited possibilities.

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2013 was abuzz with SDN, SON, VoLTE, and WiFi. Even though these technologies are there for quite some time now, they generated far more interest in 2013, than ever. We expect them to bring about some of the biggest disruptions in the communications domain in 2014. Let’s look at what our experts have to say about the future of these technologies.

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