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Strategic Networking

Strategic Networking

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Published by: PISEYMEN on Sep 02, 2009
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Position Paper Strategic NetworkingImperatives for the Real-Time Enterprise
New business realities bringprofound implications for network and informationmanagement strategies. ITexecutives have had toreassess the way they build,manage, and use the ITinfrastructure. Under constantpressure to do more with less,they have to constantly push for more competitive and proactiveinformation managementmodels.The networking technologyadvances of the last decade --particularly optical, Ethernet andIP networking, and broadbandwireless -- have fundamentallyreshaped businessenvironments in ways that aresimultaneously advantageousand detrimental. In a businessclimate that is more punishingthan ever to the inefficient andthe slow-moving, businessesare under pressure to managetheir information assets moreeffectively, efficiently, andwisely.The IT infrastructure is nolonger an adjunct supportstructure; it is the essentialfoundation for enterpriseperformance. How informationis obtained, validated, stored,accessed, distributed, and howreal-time collaboration isrealized across an increasinglyvirtualized organization ... theseissues are central toorganizational survival andprofitability. The role of the CIOhas clearly transitioned frommanaging a cost center to astrategic partner in the businessat the cabinet table, recognizingthe importance of the ITinfrastructure has on businessoperations, workflow andrelationship with customers.Can the IT infrastructure beleveraged to make employeesmore productive? Can it beleveraged to create newrevenue opportunities and helpcreate stronger engagementwith customers? Can ITrevolutionize the very nature of how business is done? Howcustomer contacts take place?How information about suppliersand customers is shared andused?Nortel says yes. The threebusiness realities identified inthis paper drive the definition of three networking strategicimperatives for IT, whichsupport the delivery of thesevalues. Partnering with Nortelcan position the enterprise towin.
Business Realities Facing ITBusiness Reality #1:
Therules of the game havechanged: Meeting regulatory compliance and security requirements are table stakes.
There was a time when thebusiness world operated like aMonopoly game -- Stay on apredictable path that marchesaround the board, deal with thecards as they fall, grow as bigas possible. Do this, and youare virtually assured of accumulating wealth. Those oldrules have changed. Today’sbusiness game is more like thereality TV show “Survivor,”where success rests on theability to forge close alliancesand constantly adapt to newchallenges. In August 2003,viruses, along with overt andcovert hacker attacks, caused$32.8 billion in economicdamages, according to a reportfrom mi2g, a digital riskassessment company based inLondon. mi2g also notes thatthe "Sobig" virus aloneaccounted for $29.7 billion of economic damages worldwide.Security breaches, and resultingloss of productivity and accessto confidential data, is costingenterprises millions of dollars,but the security imperative goesbeyond these financialincentives. Governmentregulations are placingadditional requirements onenterprises. Examples includethe Sarbanes Oxley Act oncorporate governance and theUS Patriot Act; industry specificregulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act for the financialindustry and the HealthInsurance Portability andAccountability Act (HIPAA); andsecurity-related regulations
outside of the US such as theData Protection Directive in theEU. These have wide-rangingimpacts on security, includingrequirements for encryption,disaster recovery and businesscontinuity, archiving andconsumer privacy. Failure tocomply with these regulationscan bring civil and criminalpenalties.Regulations at all levels,accelerating security attacksand vulnerable networks -- nowonder IT executives areputting security and disaster recovery at the top of their investment priorities.
IOS vulnerabilities already out there or yet to be discovered  present a major challenge tonetwork administrators and security professionals. It isincreasingly difficult not only to plug the operating system'ssecurity holes. Patching IOS requires replacing each IOS version with an updated version,then rebooting the system and making sure that the improved IOS doesn't interfere withnetwork cards or other network devices plugged into the router or switch. "To fix it, you have to put a whole new image on adevice and restart it," said JohnPescatore, VP for Internet security at IT advisory firmGartner.
Business Reality #2:
Time to X is the key metric: Reducing time to decision, time toservice and time to revenuesis the path to the real-timeenterprise
“Next Big Target” by LarryGreenemeier, InformationWeek, November 7, 2005
Speed to market is critical intheir industry. This has as muchto do with business processesand the ability to accessbusiness information in a timelyfashion, as it has to do withproviding increasinglydistributed employees with thecollaborative tools, starting withbusiness-grade telephony, towork more effectively across thevirtual enterprise. Jack Welch,the legendary CEO of GE, hasbeen quoted as saying “Anorganization's ability to learn,and translate that learning intoaction rapidly, is the ultimatecompetitive businessadvantage.”What is impeding enterprises asthey attempt to increase their real-time communicationseffectiveness? Knowledgeworkers and others with theneed to communicate and/or collaborate are faced with anumber of pain points including:
Losing productivity whenaway from the office (thelack of geographicflexibility).
Using disparate systems(e.g. telephones, roomvideo conferencing, email,Instant Messaging, fileservers) to communicateacross teams.
Managing multiple contactnumbers and inboxes (thelack of service ubiquity).In addition, many enterprisessee regulatory and securityliabilities arising from employeesusing public communicationsservices, especially InstantMessaging, email and other Internet-centric services.On the customer side, theimpacts can be even moredramatic. Now that customerscan leap to the competition withthe click of a mouse,organizations need to managethe intrinsic value inrelationships -- looking at the fulldynamics of interactions withcustomers. That requires atechnology infrastructure thatsupports a unified, relationship-based view of customers,spanning all touch points andsystems.The technology reality is thatvirtually all vendors and mostenterprises are adopting IPTelephony as the foundation toaddress real-time collaborationand mobility requirements of enterprises, business continuityand to enhance customer engagement throughvirtualization and enrichment of contact centers. Nortel’s view isthat IP Telephony is a keyenabler of what it refers to as“real-time convergedcommunications” (aka UnifiedCommunications by the Gartner Group, and more generallymultimedia
communications),made up of voice, InstantMessaging, video andapplication sharing,conferencing, combined withpresence and ultimately locationintelligence. While each of thesemodalities can be deployed on aone-of basis, convergedcommunications brings thesetogether and provides aseamless user experienceacross all these media. Thesecapabilities come together toenable the real-time enterpriseand result in dramatically moreeffective collaboration withresulting shortened time todecision. They provide theability to enable engagedapplications to further productivity and to enhance theenterprise customer experience. They allow the organization toengage the right resources to
address the opportunity at hand,whether these are in the officeor out of the office, on the localarea network or wide areanetwork, connected over wireless or wireline connectionsor using voice or datacommunications.
Gartner Group (February 2005) positioned Nortel a leading  player in their Magic Quadrant analysis, high on ability toexecute and high on vision inthe Unified Communicationsmarket 
 At the same time,Gartner Group positioned Ciscoas a niche player, low on ability to execute and low on vision inthe Unified Communicationsmarket 
Nortel proof points:
Nortel itself has deployed 20000 SIP multimediaclients across its highly distributed and mobile work force.
 A 100-person investment bank is first to deploy SIP and real-time converged communications across theentire company.
 A financial stock exchangehas deployed a highcapacity pico-cell wirelessLAN to provide reliablemobility across its trading floor.Gartner in its Cisco IP Telephony Update (April 2004)said that “The trust Cisco hasbuilt up in data networking hasgiven companies a false senseof security in relation to its voicebusiness. Cisco has also been party to some high profilefailures” citing a stategovernment (400,000 end  points), a city government (8500 end points) and a financial institution (7500 end points).
Business Reality #3:
Youhave to do more with less:Too much money and resources on day-to-day operation! 
CIOs face several difficultchallenges in this regard.Security threats continue togrow in sophistication andintensity. Enterprise trafficcontinues to grow fromincreased use and from newenterprise-wide applications.IT staff are already stretched tothe limits with the daily tasks of managing, upgrading andengineering their networkingand computing environments,and yet are expected to addressnew opportunities whether in theform of new customer serviceinitiatives or mobility. Meanwhileit’s not getting any easier to find,hire, train, and retain skilled staff to run these complex ITenvironments.If you keep doing the samething, you'll keep getting thesame results. It’s an old adage,but still true. If the presententerprise network architectureis expensive to manage,troublesome to maintain, shorton bandwidth, and inflexible togrowth and change, deployingmore of the same equipment or adding additional features andfunctions isn’t going to solve theproblem. If the network growsin ‘intelligence’ and the expenseof performance, IT headachesonly turn into migraines.This reality has twocomponents: capex and opex.Replacing network switches androuters that can't do the job maybe a necessity, but paying highpremiums due to procurementpolicies or vendor lock-in justserves to exacerbate thebudgetary crunch. Opex isheavily driven by devicecomplexity, and for thoserunning IOS this can be aserious drain on resources.Opex is also driven by networkcomplexity, caused by movingnetwork intelligence out to everywiring closet or even wirelessLAN access point.
"IOS has become large,monolithic, and bloated withfeatures and functions," said Forrester Research analyst Robert Whiteley. “It isincreasingly difficult ... to get customers to update to thenewest versions. The customer heel-dragging is caused by IOS complexity and by the work involved in upgrading.“ 
Strategic IT NetworkingImperatives
Many enterprises have to facethe fact that the networks theyhave deployed do not and oftencannot deliver the security,reliability, short delays andlossless operation required byreal-time convergedcommunications. For example,loss of voice can result in
“Next Big Target” by LarryGreenemeier, InformationWeek, November 7, 2005
“Cisco charges up to70% more thanrivals…Some customersare sick of gettingsqueezed like that”
Business Week Online,February 2003

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