March 16, 2011

Planes, Trains & Networks – My View from the Road

We have all used the phrase “What a Small World” when we bump into a colleague or friend from years gone by. We may be standing in the departure lounge of an airport, in a line at Starbucks or at a downtown shopping mall when we see a face that we recognize. I believe this is a simple description of a far bigger dynamic.

I find myself on a lot of business travel to countries around the globe; most recently to Sweden and China among others, and over the course of the past 10 years it is becoming very apparent to me the world is shrinking.

The ‘shrink’ is not physical (although I’m sure the ice-cap contraction at the poles is very physical!) but I believe our world is shrinking in relation to the variations in both personal and professional environments in which we all exist.

What do I mean by that? Many years ago my discussions with customers around the globe could be characterized down to a country-by-country basis on many occasions – from the country’s fiscal performance, the global nature of their reach, the regulatory controls under which they operate and the landscape competitors would create in specific countries. All of these were specific drivers, and on many occasions, unique to each country. This resulted in specific requirements for the network infrastructure within those countries.

However, times have changed. We’re a global village now, and I’ve found that the needs of each country are no longer so unique. Infrastructure requirements are increasingly similar from country to country. In this way, the lines are blurring and the world is shrinking.

Today, organizations in Moscow are establishing themselves as cloud-service providers and doing so very quickly. The same is true in various cities around Australia and in North America. Infrastructure to serve the next wave of business communications – including consumer-centric devices like smartphones and tablets with video capabilities – is also high on the agenda in China, India, Brazil and Eastern Europe to name a few.

The drive for Enterprises to truly leverage their IT infrastructure to create competitive advantage can be seen around the globe – in China, India, France, Sweden and Argentina. Deploying architectural solutions that enable and support virtualized data centers is required…everywhere.

Many external influences are accelerating the pace of adoption of new technologies, from consumer smartphones to broad-scale adoption of tablets within the Enterprise; from personal/professional productivity apps to Infrastructure, Platform and Software as a Service solutions; and from the video-centric world of the future to the revolution in social networking. All of these technologies and architectures are placing extraordinary demands on existing network resources.

Remarkably, despite the differentiation in applications, in their use or location of deployment, there is an increasingly common set of capabilities and requirements emerging for infrastructure. Infrastructure needs to be more ‘aware’ of the context of a transaction or a communication; it needs to be more scalable to progressively extend in both capacity as well as scope as the business evolves, and it needs to be fully capable of delivering solutions in the new mobile world.

These are a few of many examples, so…how do you feel infrastructure and networks are changing in the world around us@f0


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Extreme Marketing Team

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