- AT&T has been working to transition away from hardware-based networking and toward software-defined networking as a service. As part of that effort, the company, which is more than 100-years-old, recently turned a major part of its internally developed infrastructure — known as Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) — over to the Linux Foundation.
- AT&T’s goal is to make ECOMP the telecom industry’s "standard automation platform for managing virtual network functions and other software-centric network capabilities," according to GeekWire.
- "There’s a huge amount of data that’s going to be streamed everywhere, put tremendous pressure on the networks," Zemlin said during a presentation alongside John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer, at the AT&T Developer Summit during CES this week. "Developers are going to have a direct hand in not only enabling great consumer offerings at a low price but also making the world better by participating in the code that’s going to run most of society."
Networked data traffic will only grow moving forward, said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin, and making ECOMP open-source will allow the network to adjust.
For many of those giants looking to modernize, open source has been the answer, as it allows for flexibility and a vast trove of material to draw from.
Other legacy companies like GM and GE have also been working hard to reinvent themselves for the digital age, recognizing that they must evolve or face potential extinction. GE CEO Jeff Immelt wants to make GE a leading software company by 2020, while General Motors CEO Mary Barra is working to shift that company to become more of a tech innovator and incubator.