Azzurri is Right – Bandwidth isn’t Everything When it Comes to the Cloud

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Bandwidth is important, but CoS/QoS and network monitoring services are also important.
  • UC, contact centre solutions, and the cloud are natural bedfellows.

The ongoing Eurozone crisis and the growing realisation that the downturn is for life (or at least the next few years), and not just for Christmas, is affecting the way enterprises spend. Companies that were holding back on investment and waiting for the storm to blow over have now realised that investment is necessary both to stay competitive and to increase business efficiency. The cloud is logical choice for these customers as it reduces the need for capital outlay and is usually available and paid for on a flexible, on-demand basis. However, the cost saving potential of cloud based solutions can be damaged when providers are also offering higher bandwidth services (EFM or fibre) with a marketing wrap that suggests this extra bandwidth is necessary to support cloud based services. Continue reading “Azzurri is Right – Bandwidth isn’t Everything When it Comes to the Cloud”

Ouch, Quarterly Financial Reports Highlight Managed Service Quality Issues

B. Ostergaard
B. Ostergaard

Summary Bullets:

  • MSSPs are having to invest more in improving their service quality, as customers get more critical
  • The solution could be better overall customer support and more security outsourcing

Reviewing the latest Q3 2011 financial performance metrics, a common trait is emerging: many service providers (carriers like Verizon and IT service providers like T-Systems) are investing a lot of their revenues into improving the quality of their managed service delivery – which has put a dent in Q3 profits. Some are making the investments defensively because customers are complaining; others are doing it proactively to avoid future grief. Continue reading “Ouch, Quarterly Financial Reports Highlight Managed Service Quality Issues”

The Public Cloud May Be Smarter Than You Think

B. Shimmin
B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Traditionally, public cloud collaboration services offer little customization options outside of white label branding.
  • Partner- and customer-led PaaS ecosystems are ushering in new opportunities to both integrate and extend collaboration services in the cloud.

Cloud-borne services have proven their value time and again in cutting infrastructure costs and soothing the upgrade, downtime and support aches and pains traditionally suffered by IT on a daily basis. Of course, as with most gift horses of this caliber, it’s best not to look them too closely in the mouth. Upon closer inspection, enterprise customers of full-on multitenant, software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings have found a distinct lack of flexibility. They may be able to apply custom branding, conduct basic back end data queries, and in some cases modify the UI to display select components, but that’s typically where the sidewalk ends in terms of customization.

Continue reading “The Public Cloud May Be Smarter Than You Think”

Network Equipment Vendors Well Positioned in Mobility Deals

A. Braunberg
A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets

  • Network equipment vendors are well positioned to be preferred providers of enterprise mobility solutions.
  • These vendors should not ignore a place on mobile endpoints, however and should deliver secure connectivity, management and security.

I introduced a few data points from Current Analysis’ recent Mobility Survey in my last mobility blog post post (see “Addressing the Adoption of Tablets and Smartphones in the Enterprise,” October 27, 2011). The takeaway from that post was that enterprises are strongly inclined to purchase tablets and smartphones for employees to use at work and that these organizations want to manage those devices. That data leads to an obvious follow up: what vendors benefit from enterprise purchase of these devices? Continue reading “Network Equipment Vendors Well Positioned in Mobility Deals”

Your Friendly Neighborhood 100 Gbps Modem

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • 100 Gbps wavelength deployment appears to be picking up, a year later than expected.
  • A good deal of optical gear is using 25 Gigabaud modem techniques to achieve 100 Gbps.

I have been on the fence about 100 Gbps wavelengths for a while now.  Sure, the technology will become mainstream eventually.  However, 10 Gbps long-haul waves came through the door years ago and ramped up fast; they are cheap and plentiful on competitive routes.  Meanwhile, major U.S. service providers touted that they would add 100 Gigs commercially by late 2010, but well into 2011, the U.S. service providers as a whole had only confirmed operating a handful of 100 Gbps terrestrial routes internally.

Continue reading “Your Friendly Neighborhood 100 Gbps Modem”

Defining Buzzwords: An Exercise in Futility

Brian Riggs
B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Don’t worry about how UC or collaboration is defined
  • Focus on what problems communications solutions can solve at your company

UC, collaboration, telepresence: Those are three of the big buzzwords in the markets I track as an analyst looking at business communications solutions. People – analysts in particular, but also executives and marketing managers – love to discuss endlessly exactly what they mean, precisely how they’re defined. But here is a secret: It doesn’t matter. Continue reading “Defining Buzzwords: An Exercise in Futility”

Network and IT Only Converging in Theory

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • The convergence of network and IT in the enterprise may be inevitable, but it is a very slow process.
  • The persisting split means that network operators are not considered IT suppliers, but they deserve examination.

It has been obvious for many years now that the systems to deliver and manage applications in enterprises would become less disparate and more intertwined.  We have been operating under the assumption that the computing, storage and software platforms used to support applications would blend together with the network and telecommunications platforms used to distribute them.  Certainly, the increasingly virtualized and distributed nature of most business organizations mandates that network and connectivity concerns are no longer an afterthought in application architecture, but an integral concern.  As a theory, this convergence of IT and communications systems is just about irrefutable, but is it really happening? Continue reading “Network and IT Only Converging in Theory”

Make Educating End Users about Policies and Threats Part of Your Defense

P. Musich
P. Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • Educate end users on the reasons behind corporate security policies and the nature of social engineering to help reduce risky behavior.
  • Ensure end users understand corporate policies around the use of personal smartphones and tablets for accessing corporate resources.

With this year’s huge rise in the awareness of advanced persistent threats (APTs), now would be a good time to focus on educating employees not only about corporate policies and government mandates, but also about the growing risk that these APTs pose to the organization.  By educating end users about the reasons behind the policies, as well as the nature of such attacks, security professionals can get better buy-in from those end users, increasing the likelihood of changing risky end user behavior.  Given the focus of these APTs on gaining entry through more sophisticated spear phishing attempts, encouraging a heightened vigilance among end users could be an additional tool in the security practitioner’s toolbox.  With attackers’ proclivity for identifying users within the organization which have the credentials to access systems with sensitive data, and then sending e-mails that appear to be legitimate and contain links to sites with malicious code or attached documents infected with malware, end users become the weak link in the chain of trust.  In addition, the combination of the growing BYOD phenomenon and the upcoming Christmas shopping season makes this an ideal time to remind end users of the dangers of careless Internet usage as well as corporate policies regarding smartphones and tablets.

Continue reading “Make Educating End Users about Policies and Threats Part of Your Defense”

Systems Integrators vs. Mobile Operators: Which Are Best Suited for Enterprise Mobility Requirements?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • IT service providers have long-established relationships with large enterprises, offering a range of advisory and managed IT services that now includes managed mobility services.
  • Operators may provide managed wireline services to large enterprises, including  managed, secure VPNs, as well as a wealth of fixed and mobile access options.  They may also provide managed mobility.  How does an enterprise decide where to go for their mobility requirements?

Recent research conducted by Current Analysis shows that a relatively small percentage (25-35%) of businesses currently utilize external service providers for mobility management and security, but this is changing.

Continue reading “Systems Integrators vs. Mobile Operators: Which Are Best Suited for Enterprise Mobility Requirements?”

Buying Networking by the Drink Could Be Just What the CFO Ordered

P. Musich
P. Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • It is too soon to tell whether subscription pricing for networking equipment is a growing trend, with only two vendors offering such choices, but it is worth tracking.
  • Network operators should think about what it would mean for their network infrastructure upgrade process and explore with their network provider of choice whether it is considering adding such a pricing option.

What if you could buy your networking infrastructure in the same way you can buy cloud-based SaaS, PaaS, or name your XaaS?  If you could pay for it out of your OpEx budget, through a subscription model that allows you to pay as you grow, would you do it?

Continue reading “Buying Networking by the Drink Could Be Just What the CFO Ordered”