IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization
29 June-3 July 2020 // Virtual Conference

Distinguished Expert Panel

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Virtualization and the Edge in the Roaring 20s

3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.: Virtual Room 1

Amit Tiwari, Affirmed Networks, USA

Ian Hood, RedHat, USA

Martin Taylor, Metaswitch, UK
Prayson Pate, ADVA, USA

Rohit Arora, HPE, USA

Panel Moderator: Larry Horner, Intel, USA


Virtualization in the roaring 20s, where are we today and where do we need to be heading. The virtualization journey continues, although some may contend we are walking in circles or have hit a pause from which it may be difficult to restart. This panel will discuss both the progress we’ve made as a community, where we are today – and by virtual of that positioning, where we are not, and what the next near term goals should be, along with the ‘big rocks’ that remain ahead of us on this journey.

This panel, which is comprised of industry-leading experts from the edge to the core, will explore the progress and roadblocks that remain today in the virtualization journey.  Today Edge is all the rage in conversations with CommSPs, why now and what is different, we’ve been talking about the Mist and Fog for some time. The panel will explore the opportunities at the edge, discuss the role 5G fills and consider alternatives, use cases that bring revenue to the CommSP will also be discussed.  The panel will also discuss how the CommSPs can compete with the Hyper-scalers.  Is this the classic ‘Cooperation’, or are the CommSPs heading toward being a common carrier? One recent report shows CommSPs as only having 21% of the Edge/Enterprise 5G opportunity.


Larry Horner is member of Intel’s Communication Service Provider team in the Data Center Group. His efforts focus on accelerating the transformation in the global communication provider network, the ‘CSPs’. His work at Intel covers all aspects of the carrier transformation including virtualization from innovation to scale deployment from the enterprise premise equipment into the core. In this role as a trusted advisor to the leading accounts in the CSP community.

Larry holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He holds patents in fundamental transitioning to the all IP network. He has held various senior level positions in the NEP community. Larry was both a PMTS and Area Manager of ATS for a U.S Tier 1 carrier. A Senior Member of the IEEE, he is Chair of the local Communication Society, the North America Region 5 ComSoc representative and serves on the board for the International IEEE NFV SDN conference.

Amit Tiwari is Vice President Strategic Alliances & Systems Engineering at Affirmed Networks. In this role, Amit has built the critical eco system around NFV SDN solutions that is critical for Service Providers to be able to deploy disruptive software solutions for their mobile core networks. Prior to this role, Amit served as Vice President, Product Management at Affirmed Networks driving the product direction from the early days of the company into productization of the Affirmed Mobile Content Cloud and Affirmed Service Automation Platform. Before Affirmed, Amit led the Global Mobility Practice, at Cisco. Prior to that he worked with top Mobile Operators globally as Vice President of Solutions Development at Starent Networks, which was acquired by Cisco. He was responsible to ensure that the Starent solution was incorporating key technology trends required for fast integration into mobile networks. Previously, he held product management and applications engineering roles at 3Com and US Robotics where he worked with some of the largest service providers worldwide. As Director of Product Management, Amit was responsible for the core platform of Enhanced Data Systems product line that provided the industry leading subscriber management platform at the time. He was responsible for software development for large service providers like UUnet, Prodigy back in the early days of the Internet as an Application software developer. Amit started his software engineering career with UNIX systems programing and client computing during his early college work. He holds an Honors diploma in Systems Management and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. Amit completed all course work for his Master’s, M.S. in Applied Computer Science but the early Internet bug caught him prior to completing his thesis and degree in CS. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Illinois State University.

Ian Hood is Chief Technologist, Global Service Provider business for Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source technologies. Ian brings more than 35 years of engineering and telecommunications technology leadership to Red Hat. Acting as a catalyst and trusted advisor, Ian brings together a wealth of industry and open source community insight to help our customers flourish in the digital transformation era.

More recently, Ian was responsible for global service provider architecture at Cisco, leading their SDN/NFV vision and business transformation strategy. With his extensive background in system engineering, product management, and business, Ian has proven expertise in helping organizations navigate and succeed in today’s fast-paced competitive environment.

Ian grew up in Owen Sound, just a few hours north of Toronto in Canada, and spent the first half of his career designing and building communications networks for operators and governments around the world (e.g Petronas Towers, MCI/Verizon, SBC/ATT, Canada Post, Bell Canada, Telus, Rogers, Department of Defense, CSIS, Bank of Canada) and was the chief communications engineer for the Canadian global embassy network (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Ian is a very active and sought after speaker for engagements at many emerging technology, industry, and customer forums. Ian is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario, and holds a B.A.Sc. (Honours) in Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo.

Martin Taylor is chief technical officer of Metaswitch Networks. He joined the company in 2004, and headed up product management prior to becoming CTO.

Previous roles have included founding CTO at CopperCom, a pioneer in Voice over DSL, where he led the ATM Forum standards initiative in Loop Emulation; VP of Network Architecture at Madge Networks, where he led the company’s successful strategy in Token Ring switching; and business general manager at GEC-Marconi, where his team delivered the passive optics for the world’s first PON field trial.

Martin has a degree in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. In January 2014, Martin was recognized by Light Reading as one of the top five industry “movers and shakers” in Network Functions Virtualization.

Prayson Pate is is SVP Solutions Marketing and CTO Edge Cloud at ADVA, where he is an evangelist for network functions virtualization (NFV) who speaks at industry events and writes on this subject and other areas of innovation.

Prayson has worked at Siecor FiberLAN, Bell Northern Research (BNR), and Larscom. He then became a co-founder at Overture Networks, which was acquired by his current employer ADVA. Prayson is a named inventor on nine patents. He has degrees from Duke University and North Carolina State University.


Rohit Arora is an Enterprise Architect in the Telco organization at HPE. He has been with HPE for more than four years and is currently responsible for driving HPE’s 5G, vRAN and MEC strategy towards Telecom service providers. Before HPE, Rohit was at Ericsson where he worked as a Sr Solutions Manager in the pre-sales organization. Rohit graduated from University of Southern California with an M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering.

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