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‘From: No Jitter’

Turnkey service masks complexity for global organizations.

The interest in software-defined WANs (SD-WAN) has exploded over the past few years as businesses look to use WAN budget dollars more efficiently and improve application performance. Despite the popularity, global solutions are few and far between as most SD-WAN service providers are regional in nature.

NTT Communications, the ICT solutions and international communications provider inside NTT, today took the covers off of a global SD-WAN service that spans 190 countries. Additionally, NTT Com becomes the first global service provider to transform its own network into one that is 100% software defined, enabling it to offer customers a broad set of additional WAN services. Looking ahead, the software-centric nature of the network should allow NTT Com the ability to roll out new, value-added services much faster than is possible with a traditional network.

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In executive center briefings, company showcases the roles
Breeze, Equinox, and Oceana can play within a digital organization.

I recently had two opportunities to discuss digital transformation with top Avaya customers gathered for events at the company’s executive briefing centers. In hosting these events, Avaya’s goal was to educate customers on the meaning of “digital transformation,” provide examples of digital organizations that hit close to home for those in attendance, and, of course, showcase the arrows in its quiver they could use to achieve their own digital transitions.

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Cisco expands the benefits of the Apple device
fast lane to macOS devices and developers.

In the mid ’70s, the fine band the Eagles wrote a song that goes, “Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind”, which peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100. About 40 years later (yikes, I’m old), Cisco and Apple formed a partnership aimed at giving iOS business users a network “fast lane,” providing an experience that would hopefully cause them to lose their minds (in a good way!) — at least when compared to a more traditional mobile experience that is often inconsistent and at times frustrating.

The initial joint Cisco-Apple “fast lane” prioritized Cisco Spark and WebEx application traffic running on iOS devices over other types of data on Cisco networks. Also, iPhones and iPads automatically select the best Wi-Fi access point so real-time apps like VoIP and video have superior quality. Without the partnership, users could have a diminished experience, given that Wi-Fi is a shared medium and people watching March Madness or the latest Dave Michels–Zeus Kerravala video on the office network are consuming all the bandwidth.

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Administrators just need to attach the tags, log into the application,
and configure the assets to start enjoying the benefits immediately.

Since its inception, Aruba, now a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has been a leader in Wi-Fi. Once of the defining characteristics of Aruba that has enabled it to avoid the commoditization curve is that it’s always found a way to add value to its solutions above and beyond connectivity. Much of the industry has been competing on price for years, but Aruba has used security, location services, and management as differentiators. I recall a conversation with a CIO a few years ago that told me that he considered Aruba to be a security vendor dressed up as Wi-Fi solution provider.

This week at the HPE Discover event in Las Vegas, Aruba added to its history of Wi-Fi innovation by announcing an asset tracking solution that is integrated into its wireless infrastructure. The solution is comprised of the following components:

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Releases new IoT Operations Platform and partners
with Microsoft with aim of simplifying deployments.

Cisco this week held its Internet of Things World Forum under the unusually sunny skies of London, a solid location choice for this fourth-annual event given the level of IoT activity going on in the city for years now.

I believe London still has the most cameras of any city, for example. These it uses to improve citizen safety as well as to generate revenue by taking pictures of license plates and charging car owners a “congestion” fee for entering Central London. Within a decade every major city will likely have almost every square inch covered with a camera, and London has been leading this initiative. Also, its subway system switched over to near-field touch-and-go entry/exit with its Oyster smartcards maybe 10 years ago now. The more digital and people-friendly the city is, the better the experience for citizens as well as the scores of tourists that hit London annually.

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Toshiba will be one more step in the
journey of the transformation of Mitel.

With Rich McBee as its CEO, Mitel has had a singular vision: Roll up many of the smaller UC vendors to create a supplier with enough size and scale to give Microsoft and Cisco a run for their money. While there are dozens, maybe hundreds of companies that fall into the broad category of “unified communications,” the dominant share held by the top two players effectively creates a duopoly. The coming together of a number of smaller vendors could eventually create a third vendor strong enough to go toe to toe with the big two on a global scale.

During McBee’s tenure Mitel has acquired Aastra, prarieFyre, and a couple of technology tuck-ins. The company also took a shot at both ShoreTel and Polycom, the latter of which was broken up at the 11th hour by Siris Capital. Yesterday, the next piece of the puzzle fell into place as Mitel announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transfer the unified communications assets from Toshiba Corporation.

Earlier this year, in somewhat a surprising announcement, Toshiba stated it was exiting the unified communications market. While it’s true that Toshiba share had been sliding and it had lost its way as an innovator, it was still a shocker given it has about 3% market share in the U.S. and 4% in Canada, as well as a number of blue chip customers such as Whole Foods, Firestone, and Lowes.

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