Most Hyperconnected Sport Goes Virtual

December 23, 2008 8:42 AM

Last month I introduced you to the most hyperconnected sport in the world.

On Sunday Nov 9, thirty solo racers left in an around the world solo, non-stop race (the Vendee Globe) in their 20m/60 foot 'formula 1' racing yachts. The fasted time todate? 87 days, 10 hours, 47 minutes and 55 seconds.

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A recent headline, as headlines should, caught my eye and those of some of our enterprise customers. But while the article itself is much clearer, the title is totally misleading- Nortel is not selling its enterprise Ethernet business.

Last September, Nortel did announce its intention to sell its Metro Ethernet Networks business, a unit that focuses on service provider markets and has some pretty impressive optical technology leadership.

The enterprise Ethernet business, a key product portfolio in our enterprise business, is likewise going strong.

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Formula 0 Race and The Cisco Energy Tax

December 17, 2008 3:08 PM

Last summer in Rotterdam, six teams competed in a Formula 0 race, a new zero emission race series took place on a .5Km track. Each car was powered by a commercial fuel cell that produces electricity from hydrogen.


How does this relate to green networking?

We are certainly not about to introduce an Ethernet Switch powered by a fuel cell.

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Nortel web.alive Makes Virtual Splash

December 15, 2008 12:29 PM

"In the area of B2B virtual worlds ..., Nortel is the company to watch." So ends a report by Rich Tehrani. What excites Rich is a recent demo we gave him of Nortel's web.alive, a collaborative, browser-based virtual world application for enterprise use that provides an immersive, interactive and web integrated world with 3D voice and graphics.

I have covered web.alive (known as project chainsaw) in previous postings, but here I want to expand on where I see web.alive resonating with enterprises.

There are 3 areas, all of which fit with the participation culture of new millennials, whether customers or employees:

1) e-Commerce: Significant reduction in abandoned shopping carts resulting in increased sales, and higher customer satisfaction, all through a seamless migration from a company's portal into a 3D virtual store front.

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Quite a headline in these economic times.

In fact, WiPro received the Network World Asia IT All Stars Award 2008 for its innovative use of technology (specifically Nortel UC) to keep up with recruiting 20,000 new employees per year, this across its 55 industry-facing 'Centers of Excellence' spread across the globe.

WiPro may not be a household name to some. It's the world's largest independent R&D Services Provider with over 95000 employees serving 928 clients, including IBM, Microsoft and Hyundai.

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Today's Wall Street Journal article on Nortel raised some eyebrows and a formal response that "no bankruptcy filing is imminent" and a reminder that there are other, more positive, views in the industry.

My personal reaction was a little bit like that of Mark Twain who it is reported to have responded to a gratuitous obituary, "The report of my demise has been seriously exaggerated".

Just under a month ago, I wrote up a blog posting on another headline- "Nortel-Aggressive Measures to Weather The Storm"- that likewise greeted my morning coffee.

You may be interested in my thoughts then and still now, in which I concluded that "I think Nortel is better prepared than it was even a few weeks ago to come out stronger in the end".

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December 8, 2008 4:12 PM

I have got to agree with Forester on their perspective on IT in these economic times. They say "execs will clamour more and more for IT projects that reap real value". Absolutely- CIOs need to align their investments with the business needs... and develop metrics that illustrate progress towards this objective.

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AT&T Cuts and Hyperconnectivity

December 5, 2008 4:05 PM

It's been all over the news:.AT&T cutting its headcount by 12000.

But what does this have to do with hyperconnectivity?

Look below the covers. While its wired subscriber base is shrinking, AT&T is reaping the benefits of an 11.5% growth in worldwide smart phone sales (Gartner), in AT&T's case riding the iPhone wave.

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You might have missed it, but Nortel is the worldwide leader in Carrier VoIP (cf. Dell'Oro Group), having shipped 100 million IP Powered Home and IP Powered Business. ports to 320 carriers, and to two thirds of IDC's worldwide listing of top 20 carriers.

Nortel is no slouch in enterprise VoIP either, and service providers are key partners in this regard.

For example, Verizon Business has just announced that it is adding a new IP PBX platform, the Nortel CS 1000 to its portfolio. The CS 1000 SIP trunking capability has been rigorously tested and certified with Verizon Business, providing agility and improved price performance over legacy ISDN approaches.

Extreme Energy Claims

December 1, 2008 2:31 PM

Extreme Networks has copied Nortel's campaign of attacking the Cisco Energy Tax, but then hides energy consumption behind unreal 'best practices', and creates a closed calculator tool.

Virtually all Extreme's estimated "savings" are based on their assumption that all phones/ports are powered off - every night, weekends and holidays. Basically Extreme's "Green IT" best practices design recommendation is that customers power their network down the equivalent of 106 days out of the year to save electricity. For the vast majority of companies that I talk to this approach does not make either business or operational sense. Reject this best practice and the result is higher energy bills and TCO with Extreme solutions.

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Security is Critical.... Ooops!

November 27, 2008 4:57 PM

According to data recovery firm Kroll Ontrack, human error is the number one cause of data loss.

Some of the most memorable mishaps:
1. A customer "washed away" her data after putting her USB memory stick through a washing machine cycle.
2. A scientist was fed up with his hard drive squeaking, so he drilled a hole through the casing and poured in oil. The hard drive was completely destroyed, (but he did stop the squeaking).
3. A photographer noticed that ants were living inside his external hard drive, so he sprayed it with insect repellent. The ants died, along with his data.

It's not just about technology;)

R&D Transformation On Track At Nortel

November 24, 2008 12:43 PM

You might have seen John Roese's blog, in which he, as Nortel CTO, talked to the transformation of R&D in Nortel.

Most visibly, the R&D program has shifted to what we call "20-60-20"- 20% is late-lifecycle spend, 60% is focused on growth and mature product activity, and a full 20% is directed to emerging and new technologies and markets, such as those in application software. An excellent example of the latter is the Nortel Agile Communication Environment, communications integration software.

Some are asking, whether this transformation is still on track given that John is leaving Nortel at the end of the year and given the state of the world economy.

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The moderator/consultant of a recent user/vendor roundtable I attended, asked an interesting question: "What would vendors like customers do to differently?"

On thinking about it, I think that what we want to see less feature-driven RFPs, because
1) Feature lists reflect what can be done rather than what the enterprise needs or is using.
2) Feature lists tend to be backward rather than forward looking, and get in the way of identifying new ways of achieving the same or better results.
Feature lists dictate one particular how, rather than the why or the what.

So what we want to see is more business-driven requirement documents, which
1) Identify the business, application and user needs- the why
2) Identify IT operational and technological/architectural needs - the how
3) Identify the most important business results- the what.

Thanks for asking.

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Last week, I attended a user/vendor roundtable (literally, around a boardroom table in a law office) organized by a well respected Canadian consultant. There were some dozen customers, Nortel and Microsoft, and Cisco and Avaya. It was intended to provide insights and practical advice to the attendees.

In general, I think the format was very conducive to a good and generally friendly exchange of information over a 2 hour period.

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Verizon is basing its managed Telepresence service on a partnership with Nortel. The service provides "complete setup and management of telepresence conferences, including pre-connected and configured video circuits, and the ability for users to make conference reservations online."

Makes sense to me. The service will leverage Nortel's extensive global infrastructure of Multimedia Network Operations Centers.

My guess is that Cisco didn't make the short list, because their solution is a closed system locking the customer and the service provider into Cisco, from cradle to grave.

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