Disrupting the status quo is the way forward

By Merri Mack
Tuesday, 13 April, 2010
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Orcun Tezel* tells Voice&Data why there has never been a better time for corporations to get maximum value from their network vendor.

This is an economy in transition. The recession of 2009 has fundamentally changed the IT landscape. Even as we return to global economic growth, the way that corporations purchase technology solutions will not revert to previous free-spending behaviour for some time - if ever.

Throughout the history of the IT industry, we’ve seen patterns emerge, particularly during challenging economic times. In the 90s, innovation was the focus and the industry leaders emerged as customers looked to do business with those companies that displayed the highest degree of innovation.

As the industry evolved, we ran into the economic downturn in early 2000. During that time, customers boarded the flight to stability. They were interested in doing business with the biggest firms that they were confident could survive the downturn, and could provide for most if not all of their needs.

As we emerge out of the biggest economic crisis that the world has faced since World War II, a new trend - Flight to Value - is emerging. Organisations are moving away from putting all of their networking eggs in one basket, and are resisting paying a premium for their network infrastructure.

Buyers are seeking more value, and it is fair to assume that every major IT purchase will be made with scrutiny from finance and purchasing. The era of ‘business as usual’ is over. We are in an era where enterprises want good value with uncompromised performance.

There has also been a shift in ways of working. This is a world that depends on IP network connectivity. Consistent with the globalisation and ‘flattening’ of the world, work today is performed with the IP network at its core, increasing dependency on business connectivity.

Companies must compete globally, so the curtailment of travel budgets has put pressure on the network to support new applications and methods of collaboration. The distribution of labour, combined with the desire to optimise the value of technology expenditures, has increased the need to move many core technology functions to IP. IP-based technology is no longer an operational convenience but essential for any organisation.

The need for anyone to connect and use business-critical applications from anywhere, the mass globalisation of business in-sourcing and outsourcing, and the fact that more users and more applications drive more sensitive bits/bytes over the network, place new needs on the fundamental communications infrastructure of every organisation. Older architectures may not be suited to keep up with this accelerating change in application requirements.

Fortunately, this is an opportune time to consider IT upgrades and refreshes. The IT vendor landscape has undergone a major shift over the past five years, with suppliers displaced by new technology, business models and cost structures.

Customers are already demanding no-compromise networking. The critical criteria driving customer decisions are low cost, high levels of service and technological innovation. The network must not only cost less to acquire, but also to power, operate, manage and secure.

From a technology perspective, what will lead a transformation is the ability to leverage the network as an open platform for service delivery solutions. This redefines the business value of the network.

3Com believes the network can be used to embed collaborative business services that are available to all connected devices and users. Enterprises need to see the network as a foundation for services that touches everything and everyone, with the potential to improve business collaboration, increase mobility, reduce security risks and bring together business services like voice, messaging, information protection and application optimisation. This is the starting point for defining the economics of networking.

* Orcun Tezel is the Technical Director of 3Com Asia Pacific based in Singapore. He leads a regional team of technical sales engineers who are technical experts across 3Com’s technology portfolio. With Orcun at the helm, the team promotes technical solutions to the sales organisation and business partner community.

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