Is automation the right path for improving network management capabilities?
According to industry expert Pam Snaith, a product marketing manager in the enterprise systems management business unit of CA Enterprise Systems Management, "one decision to make regarding network configuration and change management is what solution you are going to deploy -- a niche stand-alone application or one incorporated into your fault and performance management solution."
The more tools you have, Snaith says, "the less integrated the management of various technology domains and the less efficient your IT staff will be." As she explains, a niche tool only exhibits its excellence in its native environment: "With many different vendors and platforms, the amount of manual correlation is significant and you lose the opportunity to speed up and clean up change processes."
A single tool has the advantage of allowing administrators to have control of who has viewing access, Snaith explains, "or can perform configuration tasks, further reducing errors. The combination of a single tool, plus automation, will bring clarity to change management." So for a change of pace, she says, try automation.
Choosing a managed network services provider? There are five things you should consider.
Service Offerings. The MSP should focus on understanding your unique service needs, and meeting them with a business orientation that goes beyond offering all customers a "cookie cutter" solution. The provider should offer network connectivity in a variety of access speeds from DSL to DS3, allowing you to select the right speed for each user or remote location. For your voice communications, a managed service should combine business-class phone service and high-speed SDSL or T1 Internet access into one low monthly rate.
Network Coverage. At a minimum, the chosen provider should offer more than just a high-performance, highly secure, and converged voice and data network. National network coverage with a Tier-1 Internet peering infrastructure is essential to delivering high-performance access to the Internet and the organization's internal network.
Cloud Telecomputers, a software vendor working in business applications and IP telephony, will be exhibiting Glass, its Android-based platform for desktop business smartphones, at the Metaswitch Forum 2010 in Orlando, from September 21-24.
"We are excited to introduce Glass to the Metaswitch user community and demonstrate this platform which enables customized, integrated phone features and applications for businesses," said Jim Willenborg, Cloud Telecomputers founder and chairman. "Glass brings the desk phone into the 21st century and renders all traditional methods of business communications obsolete."
The Glass platform has been enhanced since its launch last year, company officials say, to include "upgrades that enable businesses to save money and increase productivity." Examples they give include gtap to dial -- "by integrating contacts into the desk phone, users can locate numbers and place calls in less time. Users can even tap to dial a phone number directly from a Web page or email message."
There's also instant screen sharing. "Anything displayed on a user's PC, such as a presentation or spreadsheet, can be instantly shared via a Web browser using the Glass platform. Glass accelerates communications," company officials say.