Opening Up Secure Network Access

September 10, 2008 10:26 AM | 1 Comment

"Business executives are extremely concerned (and rightly so) that their organization may be the next publicly disclosed data breach story in the Wall Street Journal." That's how I led off a recent article, co-authored with Jon Oltsik of the Enterprise Strategy Group, on network access control (aka secure network access).

Secure network access authenticates users wanting to access the network, performs endpoint health checks, and authorizes network and application access based on role-based policies.

Network access control tied to one vendor's switching platform has been used as part of a lock-in strategy by network vendors. In a hyperconnected world, the last thing you want is a 'closed' access control strategy.

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UC: You Can Be Booked

September 8, 2008 11:02 AM

If UC is in your future, you may be interested in this book and associated certification program.

It is targeted at IT professionals and decision makers in organizations considering UC deployments. It focuses on how UC deployments must be designed from a business process perspective, rather than as driven from a technology perspective.

The information provided is generic and applies to whatever supplier you have or are considering

You can review the first three chapters on-line, including a Forward by Nora Freedman of IDC.

If you go down the UC certification path, you will tangibly show increased value as an IT professional.

Cisco Energy Tax No Joking Matter

September 4, 2008 2:05 PM | 1 Comment

You may have seen our recent ads on, for example, CNN.

Nicknamed the 'Nortel Piles' and 'Nortel Holes' commercials, these ads talk to the piles of money enterprises are wasting on the Cisco Energy Tax, and on the leakage of IT budget through the holes created by the Cisco Energy Tax.

They are clever and get the message across: You can save 40% on your energy bill by moving from Cisco to Nortel.

The commercials are not just clever marketing, but reflect the facts as verified by the Tolly Group.

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A recent Wainhouse survey suggests that UC has shifted from being a strategic imperative to becoming a tactical challenge.

Two ways of reading this.

One is that when viewed solely from the perspective of raising personal productivity, then, UC is no more strategic than unified messaging was.

The other is that CXOs have business problems to solve and technology alone is seldom the answer.

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With its recent acquisition of PostPath, a maker of e-mail and calendaring software, the word on the street is that Cisco is positioning to strike at Microsoft's Exchange crown jewels.

This is not inconsequential for "Microsoft shops' looking for UC solutions.

Cisco has been telling enterprises to buy their UC now, and that interoperability with Exchange/OCS environments will come later.

The relationship between Cisco and Microsoft is already pretty precarious on the UC front with competing UC solutions.

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This has got to be one of the slickest and simplest security solutions for remote users, that I have seen.

Secure Portable Office.jpg

Just plug in your Nortel Secure Portable Office USB key into your Windows PC, and
...... your user identity is authenticated using Aladdin Knowledge Systems eToken strong authentication and password management,
...... a secure VPN connection is established,
...... your PC is virus scanned, and
...... you are presented with a menu of authorized network applications you can access.

No pre-installed software, no URLs to remember, and your corporate policy moves from paper to the field while incurring a very low TCO.

Check it out yourself and let Nortel Global Services do the rest.

First, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, then the London 2012 Olympics chose Nortel technology.

One ... and then two golds.

Then General Motors Place in Vancouver, the home of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, decided to go with Nortel to deliver a UC experience to their fans.

That's a hat trick.

Now the New York Mets baseball club is loading up the bases in their new 42000-seat Citi Field stadium with Nortel technology , making it a technology showpiece.

That's a grand slam for Nortel and our customers.

If you're like me, the people with whom you work are all over the place. So how do you get the job done? You have some traditional tools: phone calls, email, audio and video conferencing, web presentation tools. You have new tools such as Unified Communications and telepresence if you're lucky enough and the people are in the right place.

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Hyperconnectivity and UC For Kicks

August 21, 2008 7:01 AM

The AC Milan football/soccer team has won 18 officially recognized international titles, more than any other club in the world.

AC Milan.jpg

To enhance its performance, MilanLab was established in 2002 as the team's High Tech Scientific Research Centre, the primary purpose of which is to optimize the psycho-physical management of the athletes.

To this end, they have partnered with Microsoft to develop a UC-enabled athlete monitoring system to track the total state of physical, mental and social well-being of each athlete, balancing three principal functional levels: neurostructural, physio-chemical-biological, and mental. The ultimate objective is to manage optimized training programs around these dependencies, void injuries and speed up recovery when injuries occur.

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Context ACEs Presence

August 19, 2008 12:02 PM

Last week, I met with an investment bank, who was very impressed with our UC application solutions for its Sametime environment. The focus of our discussion was around Nortel's Agile Communication Environment (ACE), our solution for both Sametime integration and communications enabled applications.

During the lively discussion with the institution's networking, desktop and application folks, it became clear that UC presence alone was of limited business value compared to context-enhanced UC.

For example, the stock price drops- knowing a financial analyst is on the phone may be of little value, but knowing that the analyst is speaking to a client who has shares in the stock has great value.

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Nortel Opens Up To Pingtel

August 15, 2008 9:32 AM | 5 Comments

You have probably read about Nortel's Software Communications System 500 (SCS500), a Unified Communications (UC) SIP-centric software solution for SMB (30-500 users), and that our go to market includes IBM and Dell.

What you may not know is that the SCS500 is based on open source from SIPfoundry, and blends the best of both the open source framework and Nortel's experience and expertise in voice, data, multimedia and unified communications.

Now we have bought PingTel, an open source pioneer. Where does Pingtel fit it?

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Low Cal PCs

August 13, 2008 7:24 AM

With Olympic fever run strong, couch-bound watchers may want to think about how to combine work with fitness. Of course, work can be replaced with watching the amazing Michael Phelps bring in the Gold (again). Walk faster;)

Ran across a health-oriented workstation developed with help from the Mayo Clinic.

The next step could be a green solution- when you stop pedaling or walking, your PC shut downs and your day is done!

Save Twice on the Cisco Energy Tax

August 11, 2008 9:01 AM

I've written extensively about the Cisco energy tax.

We have run into tow type of situations.
1. Enterprises with Green initiatives and someone who is accountable, immediately embrace 40% lower energy efficiency with Nortel (over Cisco) and start asking all the right questions (e.g. "Are we really best served by putting all our networking investments in Cisco's coffers?")
2. Others understand the Cisco energy tax but come back that they don't see or own the monthly energy bill, and so they don't have the budgetary impetus to change what they are doing.

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Olympic Fever Hits Beijing

August 8, 2008 7:36 AM

The stats are awesome:
- $400M IT budget
- Keeping track of 200000 accreditations, that includes, as well as athletes, judges and coaches, 21 600 journalists
- Moving, processing and storing data for 10,500 athletes, participating in 302 events in 28 sports at 39 competitive venues over 7 cities
- 1 million pages served per day across 1100 servers

And the world watches:
- 4 million spectators at the event
- An estimated 4 billion television viewers
- An expected 11 billion web hits

And we, at Nortel, know what technology it takes to stage such a world class event, since we are helping deliver flawless communications experiences at both the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and the London 2012 Summer Games.

You may want to read the technical paper I wrote on a behind the scenes view of the first all IP Network that we are building for Vancouver.

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Last December, I blogged on the fact that I had unplugged my desktop phone (replacing it with a LG-Nortel USB phone 8501), though I observed that this wasn't for everyone!

Well I attended the Nortel Technical Conference, and in fact hosted the final day, and won a new desktop phone- sort of.

Bluetooth retro handset.jpg

Actually, the handset is a Bluetooth device married to my cell phone. Look carefully- no flexicord of olde.

What could have been my grandfather's rotary dial phone is my improvisation for a handset cradle- some place to put my new handset.

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