Compliance and (In)Security

A. DeCarlo

A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • For all the emphasis on industry security standards and regulatory compliance, businesses too often miss the mark
  • For those that do not achieve compliance, security breaches are all too common

Nothing drives enterprise security spending quite like compliance. Angst over meeting or missing a mandate strikes fear in the hearts of CIOs and IT security directors everywhere. As a result, it is not at all unusual for a company to map its security priorities to government standards such as those laid out in the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) or industry specifications such as the healthcare-focused Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) specification and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) framework.
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When is a Tablet Not a Tablet?

Brian Riggs

B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Tablet-like mobile end points from Cisco and Avaya are distinct from consumer tablets
  • Cisco Cius and Avaya ADVD are distinct from each other

Cisco Cius and Avaya Desktop Video Device (ADVD) – They look like tablets: Mobile computers built into a flat touch screen, and are larger than a smartphone, but smaller than a laptop. They act like tablets with swipe interfaces. They have access to a variety of personal and video apps, and in Cius’ case, an app store. But they’re not tablets. At least IT managers shouldn’t think of them in the same way they think of tablets.
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Evolving Your Fixed-line Data Network to a New-breed, Flexible and Cost-effective Beast

J. Stradling

J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Putting applications and data in the cloud and running corporate video is likely to require a switch to next-generation IP and Ethernet
  • Service providers have become good at monitoring and managing how applications behave in the network to offer optimized solutions

Traditional legacy data networks (e.g., Frame Relay, TDM/leased line and ATM) might not be ideal workhorses for the next-generation corporate network, where more applications and data reside in the cloud, and where video communications need new jitter and latency parameters in order to work.

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Have You Considered the Need for a Session Border Controller in Your Contact Center?

K. Landoline

K. Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • VoIP and SIP trunking adoption are driving the need for SBCs in the modern contact center
  • Assessing the value of an SBC and selecting the appropriate SBC for your center is crucial

The transition from time division multiplexing (TDM) to end-to-end IP networks, coupled with the growing requirement for enhanced security and regulatory compliance in the customer service environment are major causes of the added intricacy involved in running a contact center today. As the use of SIP trunking becomes more common and the number of carriers offering these services grows, the session border controller (SBC), long an important element of service provider networks, brings to the enterprise the potential to address the many new and developing issues of the contact center. SBCs can simplify networks, add more intelligence to operations and introduce economic and operational balance to the new networking equation. As customer care continues to become an important competitive differentiator, enterprises must take action to ensure their contact centers are reliable and secure, that networks interoperate with wide-area IP/SIP networks and users experience efficient and economical operations.

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When Vendors Attack

J. Caron

J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors sniping at each other is nothing new – it’s just business
  • Increased competitiveness cannot be a bad thing for IT buyers

Who out there really could be offended by Cisco’s recently launched attack campaign on Juniper? Well, Juniper of course—but Juniper is a massively successful multi-billion dollar company perfectly capable of handling itself in such matters. My view is that pointing out competitor deficiencies—real or imagined—is part of the process; indeed, a healthy part of the process if done above board and within legal parameters. It’s a sign of heated competition and fear, and as we all know there is fun in fear. In this case, the fun comes from suppliers slapping each other silly, decreasing development cycles while increasing pricing pressure – you know, generally making the world a better place for IT and networking buyers.

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Context is King

A. Braunberg

A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets:

  • Security is a data management problem and context is metadata
  • Context drives better policy management and better policies drive better risk management

Context is a word you hear an awful lot these days when talking to security vendors. Everything it seems needs to be put into context, and by that security vendors typically mean that knowing the who, what, when, where and why of network traffic is very useful in determining the “legitimacy” of that traffic. It’s kind of like when firewalls became stateful, the realization that it’s better not to look at each packet in a complete vacuum. Context is the back story, if you will, of each packet traversing a network. Viewed from a data perspective, context is metadata.

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Are Managed Services a Viable Answer to Mobile Device Mania in the Enterprise?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Huge rise in mobile device usage in the enterprise is kick-starting use of telecom expense management (TEM), mobile device management (MDM) and mobile security
  • Current Analysis research shows that most enterprises still patch together solutions from third-party vendors; trust in managed services will take more time

In a recent Current Analysis survey of approximately 600 businesses in the U.S. and Europe, 82% of respondents noted that employee-owned mobile devices are accessing data residing on corporate networks or servers; however, only 60% of the companies explicitly allow this practice. Further, 73% of these businesses are planning to buy tablets for their employees, adding to the smartphone types and OSs already in the mix. Clearly the environment for managing costs, reining in the usage and application types accessed by employees, and centralizing device management and security is becoming very complex.

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Is Your WLAN Costing You Money?

M. Spanbauer

M. Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • Bring your own device phenomenon challenging WLAN bandwidth
  • Networks architected for 802.11a/b/g may be limiting worker productivity and therefore efficiency

A satisfied, network-connected worker is a valuable resource in practically any industry.  This has been the reality since wireless LAN (WLAN) technology, or indeed any network technology, was first brought to market.  Over time, the network service quality improved based on technology advancements, client end-point support grew and ultimately worker productivity increased.  However, this didn’t just happen overnight. The IT department worked hard to deploy 802.11a, then 11.b/g and now 802.11n networks to provide this powerful productivity tool.  Those in IT also know how painful it was behind the scenes with early management tools, intermittent radio noise reducing performance, security concerns and interoperability between client radios and access point radios.

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Hosted UCC Deployment: Enterprises Must Tread Carefully

C. Whelan

C. Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • UCC deployment is complex, even when hosted or managed by a third party
  • Enterprises need to look beyond the marketing and tread carefully when integrating UCC solutions

Marketing around carriers’ cloud-based unified communications and collaboration (UCC) services is reaching a fever pitch.  As vendors improved the quality and reliability of VoIP services, enterprises increased their deployments, and now they want to add collaboration features.  IT managers and corporate executives see hosted UCC as a way to reduce communications costs and increase employee productivity in a tight economic environment; carriers can use these offers to embed their services more deeply into an enterprise’s business.  Enterprise adoption of UCC in any form, whether fully hosted or premises gear managed by someone else, is still a complex proposition.

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IT Market Upheaval Drives Opportunity

J. Caron

J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • IT market upheaval is good for IT managers
  • New Current Analysis IT Connection blog delivers access to analyst thoughts

These are intensely turbulent times. This is true at a macro level, in terms of economic and socio-political change, but also true in the world of IT technology and services. From the hype surrounding the so-called convergence of networking and IT, to the bombastic (some would say obnoxious) revolutionary claims of cloud services, the world of the IT manager and executive really is changing, and this is really good news.

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