SDNCloud Computing, Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) can be seen as different expressions of an overall transformation which is going to impact Telecommunications and ICT industries. This trend (sometimes called Softwarization or IT-zation) is going to impact also several other industries, for example reducing costs by digitalizing and automating processes, optimizing the usage of resources and creating new forms of cooperation/competition in the value-chains. This transformation is mainly driven by ultra-broad band diffusions, IT advances (e.g., performance of hardware intertwined with down-spiraling costs), by the growing availability of software solutions (e.g., in Open Sources Software). In particular, SDN and NFV are creating the conditions to reinvent Telecommunications network and service architectures: in fact, in the long term most (if not all) network and service functions could be virtualized and dynamically allocated onto an underneath physical infrastructure, fully decoupled. This is going to move the competition from CAPEX-based models to OPEX-based ones, potentially changing business roles and relevant business models. Moreover, Softwarization will reduce the threshold for new Competitors to enter the arena, even with new roles: in fact, more and more in the future, technology development and adoption will be intertwined with business sustainability and regulation aspects. SDN-NFV will be exploited not only if they can be demonstrated to be advantageous (e.g., reducing costs); secured and trusted, but also if they will be sustainable from a business viewpoint (e.g., enabling new business models). At the same time, newly designed Telecommunications service scenarios will be looking for more and more enabling solutions and technologies capable of bringing the relevant business into reality.

The IEEE Future Directions Committee, with the consensus of all the societies and council presidents, has recently launched this new initiative, named IEEE SDN, as a cross-Society IEEE worldwide program addressing the main techno-economic aspects concerning SDN and NFV, as described above.

The IEEE SDN Initiative is composed by seven committees: Conference, Education, Publications, Publicity, Standards, Pre-industrial and Outreach. Along these committees, we expect to address specific stakes and challenges raised by network Softwarization that goes beyond technical issues to also encompass skill development and economics. With approximately 50 volunteers, we are building a very large technical community, counting today more than 3,500 experts, worldwide.

The IEEE SDN initiative has initiated an annual international conference, the IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization (NetSoft). It is important that within IEEE a number of Societies have been supporting in various ways the creation of this flagship conference of IEEE SDN, triggering links with various technical committees in these Societies, mainly the Communications Society and the Computer Society.


IEEE SDN Committee Chairs

Click on a Committee to contact the chairs

Steering Committee Co-Chairs

  • Antonio Manzalini, Telecom Italia
  • Eileen Healy, CEO, Healy & Co


  • Prosper Chemouil, Orange
  • Filip De Turck, University of Ghent; iMinds, Belgium


  • Marie-Paule Odini, HPE

Outreach Committee

  • Thomas Magedanz, Fraunhofer FOKUS
  • Christian Rothenberg, University of Campinas

Pre-Industrial Track

  • Cagatay Buyukkoc, AT&T
  • Clark Chen, China Mobile


  • Raouf Boutaba, University of Waterloo
  • Alex Galis, UCL


  • Alojz Hudobivnik
  • Latif Ladid, IPv6 Forum, Luxembourg


  • Alexander Gelman
  • Niranth Amogh, Huawei

Program Director

  • Tim Kostyk, IEEE Future Directions


Participating Societies

IEEE Communications Society IEEE Communications Society SDN/NFV Emerging Technical Committee IEEE Computer Society IEEE Consumer Electronics Society
IEEE Reliability Society IEEE Signal Processing Society‚Äč