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Posts Tagged ‘syndicated’

We’re about to enter the third phase of the cloud,
one that will fundamentally change the way we live.

Most technologies go through some period of being overhyped and failing to live up to inflated expectations set forth by the vendor community. Cloud, however, has been the exception.

Cloud services have become ubiquitous — you’d be hard-pressed to find a company today that isn’t using at least a little bit of something from the cloud. And many organizations have directives to utilize cloud services first, when available. Make no mistake: The cloud era not only has arrived, but is taking over.

However, we are on the tip of a cloud transition point. In fact, I think we are about to hit the third phase of the cloud — one that will fundamentally change the way we live, allowing us to do things we couldn’t do without the cloud.

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As compelling as this network option might be,
some questions need further exploration.

Not only has WAN transformation been talked about for decades, but SD-WAN in particular has been a red-hot topic for the last couple of years. Investors seem to believe the market will stay this way as well; over the past couple of months both VeloCloud and Aryaka have raised additional funds to be able to meet the explosion in user demand for SD-WAN.

One of the core tenets of my research is that the best opportunity to gain customer share is when markets undergo transitions, which is why we see so much startup activity in this market right now.

Why Is the WAN in Transition?

That’s an easy answer. Legacy WANs are broken and have been for decades. Prior to becoming an analyst I was in corporate IT, and back in the ’90s we discussed WAN transformation. However, unlike today, there really wasn’t a viable alternative at the time. Also, traditional WANs were inflexible, inefficient, and overly expensive. It wasn’t holding the business back so most IT departments took an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude regarding the wide area network.

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The cloud has been a core component of almost every organization’s IT strategy for the past five years. However, I believe we are reaching a cloud “tipping point” where it will be used for dramatically different things than it has in the past.

The first wave of cloud growth was fueled by organizations looking for a cheaper alternative to running servers on premises. The next wave of cloud growth will be driven by organizations looking to fundamentally change their businesses through the use of advanced technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Over the past year, we have seen a veritable cornucopia of AI use cases included playing poker and Go, writing news stories, filing insurance claims, driving cars and writing code. This current phase of cloud moves it from being a “nice to have” to an absolute, slam dunk, need to have as it’s almost impossible for a business to have the scale and elasticity required to power an AI platform.

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When thinking about the ramifications of Avaya selling
off its networking business, take the long view and relax.

The Green Bay Packers, led by struggling QB Aaron Rodgers, started off the 2014 season 1-2. The always-calm Rodgers told the panicked Packers’ fans to R-E-L-A-X, and the team ended up finishing 12-4 — winning its division but losing in the NFC title game to the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks.

Rodgers’ message to fans not to panic so early in a long season resonates with me as I think about the news coming out of Avaya yesterday regarding the sale of the data networking business.

We’re obviously very early in Avaya’s bankruptcy cycle, with the Chapter 11 filing coming about six weeks ago. Another piece of the puzzle fell into place last night, when the company announced that Extreme Networks had offered to buy Avaya Networking for $100 million. I see no need for Avaya customers or channel partners to panic; making rash decisions so early in a prolonged cycle can end up bad, so take a breath and see what happens.

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Combining Avaya’s networking business with
Extreme Networks creates a company with best-in-class
products that span the entire enterprise network

The fate of Avaya’s networking business has been the subject of speculation for well over a year now. In December, I wrote about the most likely suitors for the business. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen Avaya remain a “full stack” solution provider and keep the group, but it appears that wasn’t in the bankruptcy cards.

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