Hyper-Competition Returns to Enterprise Networking

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Huawei’s entrance is making the news, but networking market competition has been increasing across the board from a number of suppliers.
  • Increased enterprise networking competition sharpens the minds of suppliers and certainly benefits buyers.

The past two years have seen a remarkable resurgence in competition within the market for enterprise networking technology.  While there has always been a fairly strong collection of suppliers in this area, the emergence of Cisco as the dominant market-share leader has relegated true competition to those vying for small percentage points gained in geographical, segment or vertical niches.  Now, however, with transitions taking place in terms of multi-gigabit bandwidth demands, wireless integration and data center architecture, all players in the market sense a new opportunity to challenge the incumbent. Continue reading “Hyper-Competition Returns to Enterprise Networking”

Interop: NAC is Back

A. Braunberg
A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets:

  • Several vendors have announced enhanced network access control (NAC) products for addressing BYOD
  • The Trusted Computing Group announced a new revision to an important NAC standard (TNC IF-MAP)

I spent the week in Las Vegas at Interop and one of the meta-themes at the event was the issue of how to deal with consumerization of IT and the associated business policy of allowing employee-owned devices on corporate networks. (i.e., BYOD). As I have noted before on this blog, consumerization of IT has far-ranging impacts on enterprise IT requirements and product development strategies. This includes products being enhanced to support the increasing traffic requirements inherent in broad deployment of mobile devices, but it also includes old products finding new life when applied to mobile use cases. A great example of the latter is the re-emergence of NAC to address consumerization of IT. Continue reading “Interop: NAC is Back”

Live from CTIA: New Solutions and Simplified Development for M2M

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • CTIA Wireless reinforces familiar themes, as M2M service providers strive for differentiation, BYOD spawns new solutions, and NFC-enabled mobile commerce inches closer to reality.
  • There are interesting announcements from M2M MVNOs and other members of the ecosystem, as well as from the mobile operators themselves.

CTIA Wireless 2012 in New Orleans is still in progress as I write this, but the first two days provided a good sample of the enterprise mobility and M2M solutions being demonstrated and announced during the show.  AT&T made the first M2M announcement, regarding its new ‘Digital Life’ all-IP wireless home monitoring system, which allows consumers to monitor and manage water, power, thermostats, security cameras, and other home devices using any Web-enabled devices.  There were also a number of other M2M announcements at the show. Continue reading “Live from CTIA: New Solutions and Simplified Development for M2M”

Interop 2012: Attendance Improved, Vendor Excitement, Energy High

M. Spanbauer
M. Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:                

  • Interop attendance and vendor participation are often a bellweather for interest across much of enterprise IT
  • Several strong announcements once again highlight the importance of this show to vendors and the anticipated press and customer reaction

The weather is nice, the Mandalay Bay is busy, the Eye Candy lounge is once again packed in the evenings which all point to one thing: Interop is back in Vegas.  Over 350 vendors are demonstrating on the trade floor this year and the pitches appear to be well attended.  Additionally, the various technology and business tracks are also nearing capacity for the most part, which indicates significant buyer interest.  For the most part, it looks like the show is regaining its glory with new management and the associated benefits of some economic recovery. Continue reading “Interop 2012: Attendance Improved, Vendor Excitement, Energy High”

Carriers Make Their Moves in Cloud-based Contact Centers

C. Whelan
C. Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • Hosted contact center features are gaining a more prominent role in carriers’ business-class telephony solutions.
  • Hosted contact center solutions fit well with carriers’ hosted voice solutions from the enterprise to the mid-market.

As business IP telephony services continue to evolve, hosted contact center features are playing an important role in carriers’ cloud-based voice solutions.  Business is increasingly conducted online, and the contact center function is a critical element in business communications with customers.  Hosted solutions being marketed by contact center specialists today include fundamentals such as automatic call distribution (ACD), intelligent call routing (ICR), and interactive voice response (IVR).  However, these services can also include integration with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, chat, click to call, reporting and call analytics, and mobile customer engagement.  Social media such as Twitter and Facebook also play an important role: Businesses need to be able to monitor and respond to customer complaints that may be posted in the social media universe.  Some of these hosted contact center specialists have teamed up with carriers, letting carriers sell services that include these new features.  For example, in late 2011, Verizon announced that it was partnering with inContact for its new Virtual Contact Center offer; the partnership lets Verizon offer a more sophisticated, comprehensive suite of services to its customers.  Similarly, AT&T’s Hosted Integrated Contact Services, based on the Genesys platform, include multichannel capabilities for e-mail, chat, and social networking.  Continue reading “Carriers Make Their Moves in Cloud-based Contact Centers”

Analytics in the Cloud: Making the Right Connections

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • ‘Big data’ analytics could have major implications on the ability of providers to move workloads seamlessly between and among clouds based on processing needs and other requirements.
  • Vendors and providers alike are gearing up for future needs by investing now in the technology to provide the underlying analytics to automate decision support and drive higher-level computing.

‘Big data’ is one of those great nebulous terms that gains traction in part because it is vague enough to be all-inclusive.  In spirit, big data resembles the amorphous nature of the cloud by offering such an undefined scope that its potential seems nearly endless.  Massive volumes of mobile and other data can provide organizations with deep insights into complex pattern phenomena such as consumer behavior, which can be potentially priceless to a company trying to grow market share.  However, without a way to process all this data, the information is practically unintelligible. Continue reading “Analytics in the Cloud: Making the Right Connections”

Telephone DoS: Who Are You Gonna Call?

B. Ostergaard
B. Ostergaard

Summary Bullets:

  • Recent hacktivist attacks have been aimed at the corporate phone lines, criminal hackers will launch combined DDoS/TDoS attacks
  • The good news is that MSSPs are bringing on TDoS mitigation solutions

On April 12, 2012 a hacktivist group with the ominous name ‘TeaMp0isoN’ targeted the UK counter-terror agency, MI6, claiming to be motivated by the recent decision at the European Court of Human Rights allowing suspected terrorists to be extradited to the United States. However, the attack was not the usual DDoS barrage against the MI6 Web presence. Instead, the group created a wall of phone calls for a period of 24 hours, which meant nobody else could get through. They used a script based on the Asterisk software with a SIP protocol to make calls to the agency’s offices non-stop, basically launching a telephone-based denial-of-service (TDoS) attack. Continue reading “Telephone DoS: Who Are You Gonna Call?”

Dual-Mode Telephony Solutions Fall by the Wayside

Brian Riggs
B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise FMC solutions may no longer be aggressively marketed, but they are still available.
  • Device security, management, and application enablement have taken over as top enterprise mobility concerns.

A few years back, there was such a rage for enterprise FMC solutions that maintained voice call continuity while transitioning a call in progress on a dual-mode mobile phone between a cellular and a WiFi connection.  It seemed every time I turned around there was some new VC-backed enterprise FMC start-up – Agito, Divitas, Comdasys, Varaha, OptiMobile, Telepo, QuesCom, NewStep – focused on this. Continue reading “Dual-Mode Telephony Solutions Fall by the Wayside”

The Open Network: Why Setting Developers Loose on Network-Hosted Resources Is Great

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • App developers are business rainmakers; big carriers are consolidating and expanding network-side APIs to recruit them.
  • Upcoming APIs such as network-layer control and call control (including collaboration) will raise the recruitment drive ante.

It’s finally happening: Carriers have long supported open networks, but they are now truly ‘opening’ these networks wide for customers to incorporate with their software.  This is not new to M2M players, or for customers that use carrier e-bonding.  Carriers give M2M developers access to software hooks that let them push data around via SMS, MMS, and even WAP; operators also can provide network-side location-based services.  E-bonding is at the other end of the scale, providing complex, automated connectivity to a carrier’s management interfaces. Continue reading “The Open Network: Why Setting Developers Loose on Network-Hosted Resources Is Great”

The Natural Collaborative Interface is No Interface

B. Shimmin
B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise social networking vendors are beginning to focus their efforts on embedding collaborative functions within external applications and services.
  • The real magic, however, rests in making transparent the ties that bind all applications, their content and the  humans that use them.

I’ve been watching the middleware and software development space for some time, which has made me somewhat biased toward the idea of applications talking amongst themselves and greatly appreciative of the difficulties involved in doing so. This unifying act of connectivity and machine-level collaboration is so difficult in fact, that not every company has found pure middleware, service oriented architecture (SOA) nirvana. It’s interesting then and maybe a bit surprising to see enterprise social networking (ESN) begin to play a similar unifying role, at least for humans and the content they interact with in their daily travels. Continue reading “The Natural Collaborative Interface is No Interface”