By James Arnold-Roberts, Director, Genius Networks
So it's the first day of CommsVision and we're really looking forward to what is still one of the top events for the IT channel. Great venue, great speakers but a quick look down the agenda reveals an absence of the word 'network'. No big deal - we should praise events like this that get us away from the daily routine and take off our blinkers to look at the bigger picture. For sure, that's where opportunities are born.
At the same time, many would say networks are dictating the boundaries of the bigger picture, limiting or enabling the amazing solutions coming over the horizon. So to add some balance, here's my own agenda and how I imagine CommsVision would be if networks were top, middle and bottom of the agenda:
Economic growth may still be fragile in Europe, but globally there's plenty. Many businesses and even complete vertical markets (legal, media, etc) are banking on revenues coming from expansion into overseas offices or partners.
Communications are critical but building and deploying global connectivity isn't easy, particularly when dealing with the local service provider in a foreign land. Contracts, SLAs, legislation and even language can all conspire against helping the UK service provider trying to make a profit. How can we break these barriers and make things easier for network resellers to go global with their clients?
Network aggregators have opened the way for simpler, quicker provision of network solutions from our carrier cousins. As usual, though, competitive pressures drive services to be slicker, quicker and ultimately more profitable to the channel. A new wave of self-help tools, online services and partner portals are giving the reseller control and moving network pricing, provisioning and marketing into the fast lane. The human touch will always be all-important but just how far can automated processes help the reseller put more on the bottom line?
Thankfully, recent years have seen SIP rise to the position of power we always expected. Widespread deployment has helped remove the bugs and created service opportunities throughout the reseller channel. But what happens when you step outside the UK and the client wants a multi-national, voice deployment? Latency, jitter and a host of other network issues kick in and suddenly SIP doesn't feel like the mature solution we've grown to like. What are the answers and how do we unlock this door to international voice opportunities?
CommsVision has some eminent speakers with important things to say, and the above may look a bit 'me, me, me'. But I hope it strikes a chord with 'you, you, you'.
What would your CommsVision agenda be?