Telecomm Teams Come to Bell Micro and HP for NEBS Expertise and OEM Service

The value of OEM service is apparent to many types of business, and none more than telecomm. The precise technology requirements and service expertise which is required by telecomm businesses raise the bar for OEM providers like Bell Micro. Bell Micro has capitalized on these requirements by carving out a successful niche within the OEM market in which Bell Micro could be said to be the undisputed leader.

To quote Wikipedia, NEBS is the most common set of safety, spatial and environmental design guidelines applied to telecommunications equipment in the United States. Developed originally by Bell Labs in the 1970s, this standard is still in place today as a common standard shared by the largest US Telecomm companies including AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth, and Qwest. These companies created the Telecommunications Carrier Group (TCG), a group formed to maintain the NEBS standards across the industry in the US.
To be usable in a telecommunications central office, equipment must be NEBS-certified. The process for becoming NEBS certified is time-consuming and expensive, requiring months of testing and rigorous review of system specs, all to prove that the NEBS standards have been met by the systems. HP offers a server platform which is NEBS certified.  The HP ProLiant DL380 G6 is the most used when NEBS needs are required however HP also offers BladeSystem carrier-grade platforms as well. 

The challenge for OEM businesses which serve the telecomm industry or whom are telecomm service providers, is the need to customize NEBS-certified platforms. These OEM teams may need to customize the platforms by adding third-party components, like new video cards, boards and other components.

Doing this enables better solutions delivery, differentiated service, and improved capabilities to meet specific customer requirements. But, making these changes nullifies the NEBS certification and requires that this expensive and time-consuming process be repeated. To overcome this challenge, Bell Micro’s Build OEM Better programs facilitate bringing custom NEBS-certified solutions to market.

Bell Micro engineers have decades of experience serving telecomm business teams. These engineers know the NEBS certification standards, and understand how to piggy-back HP standard systems testing to facilitate custom changes with minimum re-test requirement. Bell Micro can lower the cost of developing a custom NEBS-certified system built on HP platforms by as much as 60%, according to their own internal records. Bell Micro engineers can also help to speed the process of bringing a custom solution to the telecomm market in dramatically less time.

Bell Micro engineers work in dedicated lab environments to spec, test, build and deliver custom telecomm systems for telecomm OEM organizations. Bell Micro teams are skilled in the selection and integration of third-party technology, and seamless assembly of the components to meet the specs.

These teams also stay ahead of HP end of life (EOL) cycles for any parts included in a solution, to ensure the long life of designed systems in the market. OEM businesses cannot afford to redesign and re-certify NEBS systems, making them particularly sensitive to EOL processes.

Bell Micro engineers describe staying current on monthly and even bi-weekly basis for some telecomm parts and systems, staying ahead of EOL announcements and ensuring that Bell Micro OEM customers are not surprised. It’s  common for Bell Micro to facilitate a last-time buy of components to enable an OEM business, to stock those components, and enable fulfillment of product delivery using the older component until the OEM team is ready to design and offer a next generation of their product.

In a recent discussion with the Bell Micro engineering team focused on telecomm business, the attitude was OEM customer focused. “We never want to force lines down,” stated one engineer on the team. “Our goal is to always stay ahead of EOL and provide options to our customers. For example, we’ve got one OEM customer still shipping the same product after seven years. We facilitate this by helping find parts from the secondary market, rehabbing, testing, and then enabling delivery.”

Bell Micro OEM business success is, at least in part, built on their knowledge, experience, and success in serving the unique business requirements of the telecomm market. Bell Micro engineers have an understanding of NEBS standards and how to work within the boundaries of the NEBS certification requirements that helps their OEM customers to bring innovative and better competing products to market more quickly, and at a lower cost.

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