March 06, 2014

Bridging the gap between business intelligence and network management

_0078_162488938

According to the Harvard Business Review (www.hbr.org) many business managers rely on ‘gut instinct’ to make important decisions, often leading to poor results. However, when managers insist on incorporating logic and evidence into their decision-making processes, they make better choices and their companies benefit.

The same can be said for managers in the ICT arena, particularly corporate network managers. In today’s highly connected world, it’s difficult to ensure the integrity of mission critical networks without a detailed analysis of user engagement and an understanding of the user experience.

According to the HBR there are three ways to introduce evidence-based management principles into an organization. They are:

  1. Demand evidence: Whenever anyone makes a compelling claim, ask for supporting data. Don’t take someone’s word for it.
  2. Examine logic: Look closely at the evidence and be sure the logic holds up. Be on the lookout for faulty cause-and-effect reasoning.
  3. Encourage experimentation: If you don’t have evidence, create some. Invite managers to conduct small experiments to test the viability of proposed strategies and use the resulting data to guide decisions.

Would it be possible to introduce these three elements into the tasks assigned to the network manager?

The answer is ‘yes’ provided the manager is given the opportunity to integrate with network data that carries the context of users, devices, locations and applications in use and then given the opportunity to mine this captured data to gain insights into how and why systems and users perform the way they do.

Up to now, the capture of network data has, in most instances, been basic and its subsequent analysis largely based on ‘gut feel’ – particularly if companies have lacked the big-budget software and hardware systems needed to achieve these goals.

Fortunately, a new, first-of-a-kind solution has come to market, able to provide in-depth visibility into application use across the corporate network, helping organizations to deliver significant, cost-effective improvements to their critical technology assets. It achieves this by:

  1. improving the experience of connected users
  2. enhancing their understanding of user engagement
  3. optimizing application performance
  4. protecting against malicious or unapproved system use

The solution is Purview, a recent release from Extreme Networks. It leverages breakthrough technology to bridge the gap between business intelligence and network management through a single integrated view. Purview helps organizations improve the user experience, while meeting the growing needs of users for improved network performance and security.

It’s been endorsed by no less a luminary than Rohit Mehra, vice president, network infrastructure, IDC, the premier global market intelligence firm. “With the explosion of enterprise mobility, social and collaborative applications, network infrastructure is now viewed as an enterprise IT asset and a key contributor to optimizing business applications and strategic intelligence,” he says.

“Solutions such as Purview are unique in terms of providing rich application analytics integrated within a network management platform, so enterprise IT is enabled with deep visibility and control of data, applications and users, for better business decisions, easily and efficiently.”

It has also earned its stripes by being adopted by the NFL (National Football League), the most popular sport in the world – with more than 17 million attendees at games in 2013 – as its official WiFi network analytics solution.

“We want to deliver the most immersive and connected experience for our fans at the stadium and Purview can help enhance the fan experience through its advanced analytics capabilities,” says Michelle McKenna-Doyle, NFL CIO. “In delivering insight on user application preference and usage, our teams are able to best use WiFi technology to deliver an exceptional game-day experience.”

For companies facing the challenge of obtaining deep network insights in order to improve application performances and leverage business analytics, Purview is the answer.

I’ll leave the last word to Jay Dickey, CIO of the Darmstadt Hospital, a medical faculty linked to the German universities of Heidelberg/ Mannheim and Frankfurt.

“Purview makes our network strategic, bringing my IT department to the business table with our CEO, the head of medicine and our board members,” he says. “Purview has also spurred a positive attitude change amongst our employees, as application response time has decreased significantly.”

About The Contributor:
Martin MayRegional Director, Africa

Martin came to South Africa in 1992, relocated by Cabletron Systems to begin operations in Africa. May has driven Extreme Networks forward in Africa and is a leading advisor in the areas of infrastructure security utilizing technologies such as NAC, IDS/IPS and network-based security.

See My Other Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *