Three Key Networking Trends for 2016

M. Fratto

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise SDN momentum is still slow to pick up indicating that enterprises are struggling to find relevant use cases or use cases with sufficient benefit.
  • Integration capabilities industry wide need to improve including technical implementations and go to market tactics that prioritize accessibility.

I dislike yearly predictions. If I could make accurate predictions I’d be rich and living on a beach somewhere pondering my next fruit and umbrella drink. But, I can see what enterprises are asking for from vendors and how various vendors are responding to those demands. The big picture end game that creates a great vision and makes for an exciting keynote on stage pixelates when it comes to practical questions on how products and services can positively impact an enterprise. I think there are three critical changes in the market occurring in 2016.

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The Most Important Enterprise Development Technologies for 2016

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Behind many recent integration, mobile, and PaaS announcements is a strong API story

• Microservices is one of the year’s biggest phenomenon but it’s still not for everyone such as a small team of developers using a single language

In response to new application development imperatives, companies began leveraging the cloud and new services such as mobility, agile app development and automated infrastructure to digitize IT and business processes in 2015. A number of new technologies are becoming available as-a-service to address developer and IT operations requirements to mobilize applications, integrate new apps with backend data, and leverage cloud-based application infrastructures and architectures to achieve faster and more nimble development. These key technologies which will drive enterprise initiatives for achieving digital mandates in 2016 are API services, cloud services, microservices, and mobile services with a new emphasis on user experience (UX) design. (For an expanded version of this blog, please see Technologies Enterprise Buyers Need to Get Their Head Around in 2016.) Read more of this post

As 2016 Beckons, What Should Telecoms Buyers Look for from UC Solutions?

G. Barton

G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

• Enterprises should look at vendor platforms beyond Microsoft and Cisco and demand interoperability between platforms and applications.

• Unified communications (UC) and mobility are now intrinsically linked.

2015 has been the year that UC solutions have really started to achieve market traction. Take-up is far from universal, but for most UC features CA’s own research suggests that usage amongst enterprises is above 50%. The uptick in usage is down to a number of factors–for example, falling prices and the maturity of the technology–however, it is the improvement of the business case for UC that seems to have had the biggest impact. Vodafone, for example, has reported a strong response from customers following the development of new proof of concept demonstrations and a new approach to training and educating its workforce. So the initial message for enterprise users is that a conversation with your provider concerning unified communications is likely to be more centred on achieving better business outcomes, and therefore a more worthwhile experience. Read more of this post

The Impact of Embracing the Open Enterprise and Permitting BYOD on Corporate Security

J. Stradling

J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • There were numerous high-profile breaches in 2015, such as Sony and VW.
  • Breached data events have driven up the importance of enterprise ICT security, with new threats emerging as more companies allow end users to bring their own handhelds and use their own apps.
  • There is a growing focus on threat intelligence.

The enterprise segment is evolving towards an ‘open enterprise’ environment, whereby the staff are able to use their own mobile handsets and leverage whichever apps they choose to do business. The ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) environment opens new chinks for cyber-criminals to try to exploit, which in turn drives the company security officer to seek better methods for securing the integrity of corporate data. The increasing number of security incidents in 2015 is driving demand for security services, with a corresponding jump in allocations of ICT security spend. Read more of this post

No Doubt About It: SD-WAN Products Are Popping Up Like Daisies

M. Fratto

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Since 2012, the number of new products, product updates, and startups selling SD-WAN has been steadily increasing.
  • SD-WAN is attractive for both enterprises and service providers seeking to broaden their service portfolio, all of which will make for a very competitive field.

There’s nothing like a good visual to see if a technology is taking off. While putting together some data for a report on SD-WAN, I created a timeline of product launches and major product updates. To save space, I just listed the vendor, product, and version/feature. The items are ordered relative to each other, and I used dates from press releases or from conversations with the vendor. SD-WAN products create an over-the-top network between locations such as offices, data centers, and cloud services. SD-WAN relies on automation to create paths through the network based on policy requirements and definitions which may include path selection, application classification and management, and reporting. I’d even go so far as to say that any definition of SD-WAN requires encapsulation of traffic between sites as a fundamental component. Read more of this post

Vendors Shouldn’t Underestimate the Importance of Validation in Switch Disaggregation

M. Fratto

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Most companies don’t have the people, processes, or desire to do their own in-depth validation of disaggregated switching products.
  • Networking vendors won’t succeed unless they take the lead by validating integration and offering technical support and professional services.

There’s no doubt that customers want integrated IT systems both for internal systems and for delivering services to their end users. While IT will, at times, perform some of the integration work itself, the reality is that enterprises strongly prefer more guaranteed, out-of-the-box integration between systems. DevOps is cool and all, but let’s face it: most enterprise IT shops are not capable of DevOps because they lack the developers to ensure smooth integration. This is why validated integration is so important for enterprises. Granted, validated integration is no guarantee that systems will actually work well together, but it does provide assurance that if they don’t, the vendor or integrator can assist in problem resolution. Read more of this post

Enterprise Data and Analytics Market Outlook for 2016

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• The enterprise data and analytics marketplace has been struggling to hold onto traditional philosophies of control, governance, and discipline, while simultaneously looking way ahead to a future that’s free from such constraints.

• How will that play out over the coming year? We think IoT will emerge as a service, data preparation will permeate data discovery tools, and data itself will form a new marketplace.

The end of each year always seems to race toward us, the closer we get the faster it approaches. Within the U.S. perhaps that’s because we always have a stack of our major holidays in the last month and a half of the year. Perhaps it’s just that the new year, like any good waypoint on a journey, forces us to take stock of where we’ve been and contemplate what lies beyond that arbitrary horizon. And suddenly we’re living two lives at once, which can feel pretty crowded and frenetic.

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Looking Back and Ahead, Commercial SDN/NFV Offers Hit Full Steam in 2015

B. Washburn

B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • 2015 was a big year for more operators making more SDN/NFV-enabled services available, reaching more places.
  • SDN and NFV promise efficiencies of virtualization and dynamic bandwidth, but the technologies provide many ancillary benefits as well.

For companies interested in dynamic networks and network virtualization, 2015 was a banner year. While network function virtualization (NFV)-powered services had already begun gaining ground (just two examples are NTT Com and CenturyLink), dynamic bandwidth provisioning was still limited. Verizon (with Dynamic Bandwidth for Private IP), Level 3 (with former tw telecom’s Adaptive Network Control) and Masergy (with Intelligent Service Control) were established competitors. AT&T had just begun introducing its SDN-powered Network on Demand service in its local service footprint. Telstra’s PEN remained an Asia-region network. Read more of this post

Microsoft PowerApps Challenge Salesforce Lightning as Low-Code MADP Market Heats Up

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Microsoft PowerApps, its new mobile app platform for citizen developers, eases the ability to mobilize traditional business apps.

• PowerApps and other low-code development platforms will drive business to vendors’ cloud services.

One of the year’s most significant development trends has been the expansion of application development frameworks to provide the “citizen developer” with low-code tools. Microsoft is the latest to join the fray of application platform and MADP vendors in offering such toolsets. Read more of this post

Future Collaboration and Communication Vendors Haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past

T. Banting

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

• ‘Good enough’ capabilities further commoditized communications in 2015, threatening established platforms (i.e., PBXs and dedicated video conferencing rooms).
• The decentralization of IT budgets and the democratization of buying decisions are likely to drive the proliferation of cloud-based services in 2016.

Those of you familiar with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will recall that Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who shows scenes from Scrooge’s past in order to demonstrate to him the necessity of changing his ways. As the year comes to a close, what trends gathered pace throughout 2105 and what should vendors pay specific attention to in 2016? Read more of this post