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Hello, my name is Keith Kidd, President of NTAF and director at Verizon. Welcome to the first installment of the blog for the Network Test Automation Forum, or NTAF. Ownership of this blog will be rotated among NTAF members, with new entries coming every month.

Launching a new industry forum requires energy, determination and a strong commitment from its members. Organizations such as NTAF challenge existing business relationships; turning customers, partners and competitors into a dedicated team with a common objective, in our case interoperability is that objective. NTAF was formed by an amazing group of visionaries with highly committed companies and individuals who share a desire to improve upon the network testing business. We agreed to work together to build a community and an environment that addresses industry challenges in order to improve the future of our industry and our companies. Thank you so much for the commitment you have already made to NTAF’s success in our first few months of existence.

Since publicly launching NTAF in March 2010, I am extremely pleased to welcome four more such dynamic companies to the NTAF membership roster, namely; Linkbit, Polystar, TCS and Tech Mahindra. Like the Founding Members, each of these companies has made an investment of time and resources to support the NTAF mission and each of these members understands and appreciates the significant value of their investment.

According to Dmitry Gorin, Co-Founder and COO of Linkbit,

“NTAF membership fees were the best association/marketing money we have ever spent. NTAF membership enables an ever-important visibility into the latest market needs and activities. This is the place where Vendors and End Users are all working together on solving the most pressing issues of the industry.”

Naturally, I agree completely with Dmitry’s remarks. However, Dmitry didn’t invest in NTAF because of the companies that were members; rather he joined because he agreed with our vision of how the tools we utilize should interoperate with one another. Our Technical Committee has been meeting and formulating a plan for interoperability since January of this year. In April, we held the Technical Committee’s first face-to-face meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. With representatives from every member company present at the meeting, the Technical Committee began the serious business of laying the foundation for what will become our industry’s automation standards The Technical Committee intends to have a prototype available for members to begin working with in the 3rd quarter of this year with the objective to have the first rendition ready for vote by the beginning of 2011.

Since its inception in March of this year, NTAF’s Marketing Committee has also been hard at work promoting the forum by establishing the building blocks of a vibrant and comprehensive, strategic marketing program. The program utilizes targeted social media like the NTAF Group on LinkedIn and more traditional marketing elements to get the word out to others in the industry about what we are doing at NTAF. The Marketing Team arranged for NTAF representatives to speak at the first Network Automation Conference in Paris in June 2010 leading to at least one inquiry about NTAF from a prominent network equipment manufacturer. The Marketing Committee is now busy strategizing about what future shows and events NTAF will benefit from being a part of.

NTAF’s impact on the network testing industry will be determined by its membership. I encourage you and your colleagues to join NTAF and to become involved. Participate on the various NTAF committees, join the NTAF Group on LinkedIn and spread the word about the work NTAF is doing for colleagues and customers alike.

Thanks again to all NTAF members for all the work done to make NTAF a success!



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