Looking Back on Mobile World Congress

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:        

  • My last blog’s predictions for MWC’s enterprise mobility themes focused on BYOD, the ‘connected life,’ and Nokia as a possible ‘comeback kid.’
  • While these were big themes, there were also many announcements and demos on MDM/security/MAM offerings (especially for Android),as well as recurring discussions on operator monetization and new service opportunities.

Mobile World Congress re-confirmed that enterprise mobility is a very important topic for many constituencies. While many of the themes we predicted were indeed major ones, there were a few others that were notable. Continue reading “Looking Back on Mobile World Congress”

With Network Dependence Critical, Is Downtime Acceptable?

M. Spanbauer
M. Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • For years, enterprises invested in ‘good enough’ networks merely to make sure the plumbing connected everything together functionally.
  • With cloud adoption rapidly increasing, fewer applications residing on-premises, and business continuity depending on 24×7 network access, enterprises need to re-think the network design and approach.

Enterprise networks were designed for years (and, to a large degree, still are) for three application areas: campus (or access), core, and data center.  With cloud and ‘anywhere’ access of mission-critical applications, users must have quality access to resources no matter the connection point.  Whether wired Ethernet, WLAN, wireless 3G/4G, or other means, downtime is unacceptable.  Yet, as RFQs go out, access resilience is missing or getting surprisingly low priority.  I contend that enterprises must raise the stakes and invest in redundant power, resilient management (whether in-box or in-stack), resilient protocols, and ultimately solid management interfaces (assurance, monitoring, orchestration, etc.).  Now, it is true that redundant links have become more prominent with the availability of commercial cable and DSL at aggressive prices (relative to fractional T and frame a decade ago), yet within the campus, surprisingly few switches or WLAN have RPS or resilient, distributed uplinks.  Continue reading “With Network Dependence Critical, Is Downtime Acceptable?”

Customer Experience Is King for the “New” Level 3

C. Whelan
C. Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • Level 3s integration of Global Crossing includes fundamental changes to the way it interacts with customers.
  • Level 3 is placing increased emphasis and investment on processes and tools to improve the customer experience.

Last week, Level 3 Communications held its annual Industry Analyst Roundtable, and the company provided a view into its integration of Global Crossing as well as future plans.  A recurring theme throughout the conference was improving the customer experience.  Use of the termcustomer experience’ can be just about as nebulous as ‘cloudthese days, but the way a company works with its customers is a critical element of customer perception.  Level 3 has been working to minimize missteps during the integration process, and to establish best practices that will set it apart from competitors going forward.  The carriersVoice of the Customerprogram includes ongoing customer surveys, customer service call recording, and other tools to monitor customer satisfaction.  Level 3 is also giving customers access to more information about its network and customers’ services, and it is giving employees tools to work with customers more efficiently.  Continue reading “Customer Experience Is King for the “New” Level 3”

Cloud for a Cause: Applying Social Media to Humanitarian Relief

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Social media can provide a wealth of information for businesses – and non-profits alike but the challenge goes beyond capturing the data.  Organizations need a way to effectively extract actionable information from what is truly Big Data.
  • Thanks to a gift from Dell of technology, funding, and teachings culled from its own experiences with social media, the American Red Cross is now ready to go through the cloud to capture critical information that can help the organization accelerate its responses to those in need.

For all the discussions around the cloud as a revolutionary force, when it comes down to the cloud it is really just a delivery channel for IT.  So whether that IT being delivered involves compute processing, storage, software applications, or data, the objective is to use the medium to promote more efficient and flexible consumption.  One resource businesses have looked to access through the cloud is data collected from social media.  Twitter feeds, blog posts, and Facebook updates can yield crucial information about things like brand influence, buying patterns, and product satisfaction that a business can then turn around to use for product development, marketing, and sales strategy.  Similarly in the very different world of humanitarian relief efforts, non-profit organizations are finding that social media can inform the way they respond to emergency situations whether they are natural or manmade. Continue reading “Cloud for a Cause: Applying Social Media to Humanitarian Relief”

Apple’s New iPad Will No Doubt Sell, but Will It Protect?

B. Ostergaard
B. Ostergaard

Summary Bullets:         

  • The new iPad will fast-forward the number of powerful mobile devices used by executives.
  • Managing the security of these devices requires a clear company policy and IT staff support.

The new iPad is out of the Apple bag and it will hit select retail shelves in just two weeks’ time.  This will no doubt ignite a new round of tablet feeding frenzy and increase the BYOD factor in companies around the world over the next three to six months.  However, apart from the added pressure on enterprise IT to cater for yet more powerful mobile devices, what will be the impact on the support organization from a security perspective?  We know from global statistics that lost or stolen mobile devices constitute a glaring security hole in the corporate and public sector ranks.  With a lot more (very attractive) mobile devices out there, it sounds logical that a lot more corporate data is about to change hands – literally. Continue reading “Apple’s New iPad Will No Doubt Sell, but Will It Protect?”

The Desktop is Dead, Long Live Client/Cloud Computing

B. Shimmin
B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobility within the enterprise has pushed a great deal of computing power down to the client in order to take advantage of services such as voice and video that are native to those devices.
  • But the real driving factor behind mobility, isn’t geolocation tools or two-way cameras, it’s the suite of cloud-based services that stand between enterprise systems and those devices.

When I first heard the late Steve Jobs describe the Apple iPad as a “magical device,” I was decidedly incredulous — an unusual state of mind for me, given my longstanding affinity for all things Apple. How could a super-sized mobile phone change things as Mr. Jobs suggested? As it turns out, the iPad (really, any Apple iOS or Android-based device) has somehow transported the entire industry back in time to circa 1996, when client/server computing architectures ruled the earth. Undoing more than a decade of work toward a lighter and lighter, Web-centric client model, the iPad and its ilk have pushed computing power away from the desktop and even laptop, putting it directly into the hands of an increasingly mobilized workforce. Continue reading “The Desktop is Dead, Long Live Client/Cloud Computing”

Charter Quietly Gets Down to Business with Fiber, Ethernet and SIP Trunking

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:        

  • In 2011, Charter Business added business capability, including long-haul services, EoHFC, and SIP trunking.
  • The cable industry bears watching as it moves up-market to grow business services revenue fast.

It is a misnomer that cable companies don’t “get it” when it comes to the opportunity for them to serve SMBs, enterprises, and wholesale partners.  Optimum Lightpath has a portfolio as complex as any telecom provider; Cox Business has built up a lot of resident telecom intelligence; Time Warner Cable Business Class and Comcast Business have pockets of resources that are very astute in delivering enterprise-class services.  The cable industry’s investments to build mid-market and enterprise-sized services have also been coming along, as all the major providers have bet big on switched metro Ethernet and, more recently, added ISDN PRI voice support. Continue reading “Charter Quietly Gets Down to Business with Fiber, Ethernet and SIP Trunking”

The Inseparability of IT and Mobility

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • It was clear at Mobile World Congress 2012 that mobility is no longer a thing, but a part of everything.
  • IT should move away from mobilizing applications and recognize that all (or most) applications are mobile.

The GSMA Mobile World Congress 2012 event held last week in Barcelona was remarkable once again not only for its now-customary vastness in terms of number of attendees/exhibitors (unparalleled now, I believe, in the telecoms space), but also for its scope.  No longer is this just a showcase for cellular technology and mobile networking.  The event is now used by technology suppliers, software developers and service providers of all sorts to hobnob, eat tapas and chug powerful coffee.  There certainly was a mobility theme for all goings on; that’s the foundation, after all.  However, what is clear is that all things in IT or other walks of life must be mobile to reach their potential, or even to be relevant.  So, it isn’t so much that the MWC event has expanded to embrace all walks of technology life; rather, all walks of technology life have become mobile. Continue reading “The Inseparability of IT and Mobility”

Some Thoughts from RSA about the Future of Threat Management

P. Musich
P. Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • Thinking outside of the box is required to dispatch the new types of threats attacking enterprise IT.
  • That type of thinking is not likely to come from traditional security vendors.

It is clear that security professionals understand that their defenses are bound to be breached, and some recognize that the attackers are relentless in pursuing anything worth stealing.  The blinders are coming off for many organizations that thought they had nothing worth stealing, and enterprises are looking around to find more effective weapons to defend their company valuables.  Sadly, what they are seeing by and large from traditional threat management suppliers are extensions to existing product lines, new features and clever marketing designed to pass off such incremental improvements as innovation.  While the need for thinking outside the box has never been greater than it is right now, there is little incentive for traditional threat management suppliers to do that, given their investment in existing technologies.  Continue reading “Some Thoughts from RSA about the Future of Threat Management”

Visions of Barcelona

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • MWC is a chance to listen to and interact with the mobility ecosystem (60,000 suppliers and end-users), which will be speaking loudly, excitedly and all in one place.
  • Three key trends to watch are the “connected life”, how to implement BYOD, and hopes by Nokia and RIM to generate new industry buzz.

I am writing this blog the day before I go to Mobile World Congress but it won’t be posted until the show is almost over. This is an experiment to test the theory that a good analyst can anticipate some of the main announcements and themes from the massive numbers of invitations to view products, attend demos, listen to pundits and meet both with top vendors and smaller players in the enterprise mobility market face to face. I am now looking into my crystal ball… Continue reading “Visions of Barcelona”