Collaboration and Communications: A House Divided

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:                

  • The Enterprise Connect event delivered on key social, video and hosted themes
  • Generally, though, the bigger Collaboration issues were sidelined—at least temporarily

Social is inevitable. Video is hot. Hosted is intriguing. Looking for themes from the 2012 edition of the Enterprise Connect conference held last week in Orlando? There you have them. And not a terribly surprising bunch they are. Indeed, the industry of technology suppliers and service providers dutifully followed through on promises to focus their energy on these issues at the event. Rightfully so, as these issues are the most important drivers for next-generation enterprise communications – a communications environment that embraces social networking techniques at its core, that handles personal video as if it was simply voice, and that can be deployed in any way that the buyer’s heart desires. Continue reading “Collaboration and Communications: A House Divided”

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”

Cloud Bullies Targeting IT

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:                

  • The cloud services industry is beginning to blame IT for slower-than-desired enterprise adoption
  • SPs and suppliers should focus on winning over IT managers, not alienating them

Service providers selling, technology suppliers building and financial folks investing are all beginning to play the blame game when it comes to the migration of cloud services into enterprise environments. It’s been my position, along with many others in the industry, that wide scale, truly flexible, multi-supplier Whatever-as-a-Service (WaaS) is a very long-term proposition for mid- to large-sized enterprises. The list of reasons why is lengthy, with questions about security and compliance the most oft-cited, along with significant issues around legacy apps migration. Certainly usage of certain types of cloud services—particularly software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings for functions such as HR administration and sales force automation—are selling briskly in all sorts of businesses, but especially at the lower end of the scale. And our own survey of 1,000 large enterprises shows that a very high percentage of IT shops are dabbling with cloud services to at least some degree. But dabbling it is—less than 5% of IT needs, in most cases—rather than investing heavily. Continue reading “Cloud Bullies Targeting IT”

The Long, Drawn-Out End of E-Mail as We Know It

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • E-mail has never been popular in business environments, so reports of its death are celebrated
  • If e-mail is going to die, however, it will be long and slow, with new approaches requiring e-mail integration at the very least

Not long after e-mail went mainstream in late 1980s people started to complain about it. In fact, it was nearly instantaneous. At first there was a hint of pride embedded in complaints about the number of e-mails received – the eye-rolling moan about the “hundreds of e-mails each day” that really served to illustrate the complaining party’s indispensable magnificence.

Continue reading “The Long, Drawn-Out End of E-Mail as We Know It”

Time to Take Experience to Another Level

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:  

  • Experience-level agreements offering guarantees beyond connectivity are an aspirational concept.
  • But competitive market drivers are pushing service providers in this direction, which is encouraging.

One of the 2012 IT market predictions I discussed during the Current Analysis webinar in December related to so-called experience-level agreements. As I noted during the session, predictions sometimes are not really predictions at all, rather, they are expectations or hopes. The development of experience-level agreements certainly falls in the latter category, for the desire of service providers to gain differentiation by changing the game in relation to their commitment to customers is truly aspirational at this point. Continue reading “Time to Take Experience to Another Level”

Productive Collaboration a Target for 2012

Jerry Caron - Vice President, Analysis

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise adoption of now-generation collaboration tools has been slower than expected
  • This could change in 2012 – if suppliers get the solutions right

The calendar made its ritual shift from one year to the next over the weekend – just another day, to be sure, but one that no doubt triggered a flurry of Facebook updates and a torrent of Twitter tweets with even casual users joining the devotees in contemporary online social revelry. Texting is so last century. And as for “Happy New Year” phone calls? Well, I did ring my octogenarian parents, and didn’t even use video. Continue reading “Productive Collaboration a Target for 2012”

Desktop Video is Beginning to See the Light

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Desktop video has always been a tough sell, but now the value is easier to prove because the cost is lowering.
  • Skype proved the people do like to use personal video—if it’s free (or relatively “free”) and easy. The same will apply in the enterprise.

The time is fast approaching for IT managers to begin taking desktop video seriously. This isn’t due to the dramatic improvements in the types of devices and services that support personal video, nor does it have much to do with the incessant marketing initiatives driven by certain suppliers that seem convinced customers are wandering in darkness and just don’t know what they are missing. Continue reading “Desktop Video is Beginning to See the Light”

Mobile Device Complexity Driving New Thinking

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:                

  • The chasm between IT and network management is clear when looking at the issue of mobility solutions
  • Network service providers are investing heavily in mobility solutions, however, which may change perceptions going forward

Two weeks ago in this blog I wrote about the chasm that still exists between IT and networking considerations in business environments, and a recent study just published by Current Analysis on mobile device management and consumerization provides yet further evidence of this fact. Mobility is now a way of life for IT managers, not an overlay solution. Due to clear business drivers, mobility is being horizontally deployed and supported in organizations – no longer simply on a department-by-department basis. And we all know that the sheer number and types of devices used to support mobility in business have risen exponentially in the past two or three years, thanks to consumerization. But when we asked approximately 600 technology managers in the U.S and Europe what suppliers they will look to for help with the inherent management challenges presented by this mobility phenomenon, very few indicated faith in their network suppliers. They ranked technology suppliers, integrators and even the device manufacturers themselves over their network and connectivity partners. Continue reading “Mobile Device Complexity Driving New Thinking”

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”

The Mystifying Struggle to Mix Enterprise and SP Infrastructure

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • The “golden thread” linking carrier infrastructure and enterprise CPE for managed services is a myth.
  • There should be added value, but most suppliers have failed to deliver it.

It seems to be such a straightforward, simple proposition. Service providers build managed network and application solutions using a certain supplier’s infrastructure, and the resultant service is terminated elegantly and powerfully with enterprise premises infrastructure from the same supplier. Goodness flows liberally in this setup, through supplier-specific value-add features, increased manageability and better security. The evidence suggests, however, that this rarely happens. The managed services golden thread is a myth. Continue reading “The Mystifying Struggle to Mix Enterprise and SP Infrastructure”