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[EFM] Standards assumptions - was PMD considerations


You are making the assumption that the standard will "rubber stamp" an existing
product. That almost never happens - mostly because it is rarely in the
interests of vendors to approve the standardization of a competitor's product.
It is much more likely that the standard will resemble an existing product but
will be incompatible. Many examples of this are available.

So, with that said - some responses to your points:

Fletcher E Kittredge wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Dec 2001 14:26:29 -0800  Hugh Barrass wrote:
> > 2. If the customer has a solution which they are deploying, what is
> > their purpose in requesting a standards effort? It seems that they
> > have a supplier and a product that meets their needs.
> If I understand the question, as someone in a similar solution, we
> would like a standard because:
> 1) Our investment would be protected because we could resell the
>    equipment.   Example: try selling a LAN City modem vs selling a
>    DOCSIS modem, If it is a standard piece of equipment, we can
>    depreciate over the standard 3 years.  If it is proprietary
>    equipment, then we don't know that we can resell it, so it has to
>    be paid for in one year!  Make that model work.

When you buy it, it is proprietary. A standard made later will be incompatible -
you lose!

(e.g. what you are buying now is a LAN City modem, prior to the DOCSIS standard)

> *
> *2) Our investment will be protected because if the vendor goes out of
> *   business, we can buy from alternate vendors.
> *

The later standard (which is supported by multiple vendors) is incompatible -
you lose!

(if the vendor doesn't go out of business, they may decide to make a
backward/forward compatible version. Then again they may decide to drop the old
version & leave you in the lurch anyway).

> 3) Better documentation will be available,

You should buy equipment with better documentation! If you rely on a standard
(for a PHY) for your system documentation you will be sorely disappointed.

> **
> ** 4) It will be easier to sell because customers will have been educated
> **    in the product,
> **

It will probably be the case that overall adoption of the technology will
increase comfort levels. The "rising tide which raises all boats" will help the
pre(non)-standard product. Some products are not going to float on the tide -
they're already sunk...

> 5) Investors will understand your business,

"investors" and "understanding" rarely go together :-) Pre-standard DSL saw
Northpoint & Rythms stock prices soar - as the standard settled the stock sunk
without trace...

> 6) We will be able to hire personnel already trained in the standard,

Again, same argument as for the documentation. I hope you are not equating PHYs
with systems.

> 7) We will be able to find open source and third party software to meter,
>    monitor and manage the equipment,

You may be able to persuade your vendor to implement standard MIBs for
pre(non)-standard equipment. However, if 2) is taken into account, you may be

> 8) In the long run, equipment should be cheaper and more of it should
>    be sold.

But if you are installing equipment now (as in my example) you will not benefot
from this. Your more cautious competitors may benefit - to your detriment...

I don't mean to sound negative (well, actually I do!) - many system customers
are disappointed in this manner. You should view the standards effort as a means
to define the type of product that you would like to buy when the standard is
finished - not as a means to recover mis-spent capital on pre(non)-standard
equipment. Also, if a vendor tells you that their equipment is compatible with a
yet to be written standard - DO NOT TRUST THEM! (even if they are a big
networking vendor with a bridge logo).