In general, the main challenge we’re seeing customers grapple with is to cope with the speed of changing expectations for networks, and the demands to add more flexibility and visibility to their network. It’s a goal shared by many enterprises trying to find smarter ways to manage networks while being thrown curveball after curveball — everything from cloud computing to bring your own device initiatives.
The challenge for customers is further complicated by the blossoming of “hybrid” operating models, which could mean a hybrid cloud computing environment, a hybrid of wired and wireless networking, a hybrid of corporate-owned and personal mobile devices, or all of the above. All of these things are putting pressure on network managers to implement new tools and best practices that help them keep up with more diverse network requirements.
We are in the front line of helping organisations redesign and upgrade their networks to meet these changing demands. If we take for example, wireless technology; deploying this has caused many organisations a lot of problems. This is because it’s not always easy to successfully design and deploy wireless access layer solutions. It requires multiple skill sets, rarely found within a single organisation. In addition to the normal networking skills, IP security etc., a wireless network will be deployed throughout the physical fabric of a building.
A provider needs to have experience in providing connectivity to these distributed wireless access points as well as a comprehensive understanding of RF technology. In our experience, people sometimes forget that a basic requirement for a wireless network is a robust, well planned and deployed wired one! These requirements play to our strengths as we have been implementing wired networks for twenty five years and have been working with wireless networks since their introduction in the market.
It’s the same principle for SDN or network infrastructure management. The fact that we build networks at the basic cabling level, right up to the infrastructure management layer means that we fundamentally understand how all the various technologies fit together, how and why they’ve evolved and we aren’t relying on third parties to help fill knowledge gaps. As a result, we’re able to be the customer’s long term partner for managing the network and we can ensure they’re never struggling to keep up with the rate of change.