Yes and No
[AC as I am employed by one of the big tin-shifters and I am sure my views don't align with our formal communications]
I think that SDN/NFV have great value -- but major carriers will end up being selective how they use them. Some functions can, and will, certainly be virtualised -- and cost savings will be achieved. On the other hand, some network packet handling, and even some software functions, are still critical to handling massive data flows and keeping stability.
I have worked in this area for over 30 years and used to design and code high end routers. I have seen horrible behaviour of networks under stress once packets start being missed, control messages being delayed, etc. Although my technical skills are out of date, I am certain the problems have not got any easier.
I still believe SDN is mainly an Enterprise (not Carrier) technology and that NFV will be applied selectively. The article is correct that there is a trend for less intelligence in edge equipment but there is still a lot of value (i.e. cost for the carriers) in that gear. And that still requires expensive, specialised hardware (for example, for video, as well as just shifting packets around as fast as possible) and also bespoke software.