Interop 2007 Buzz: Security to Web 2.0: Page 3

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What Do IT Managers Really Want?

Since so much trade show buzz is generated by marketing and PR, rather than by the true concerns of IT managers, NetQoS and Network Instruments representatives sought out engineers and IT pros to ask them what they were really focusing on at the show.

The show-floor survey of 101 IT pros found that VoIP, MPLS, and WAN optimization were generating the most interest. NetQoS and Network Instruments are both in the network performance monitoring game, so they see these trends as having an underlying performance commonality. “All require an understanding of network and application performance before and after deployment to determine the impact,” said Steve Harriman, NetQoS VP of marketing. “End-to-end performance monitoring, namely application response time, is the first step to effective network performance management, because it is the best indication of how well the network is delivering applications to the end-user.”

A full 68% of those surveyed have implemented or will implement VoIP in the next 12 months. About 40% percent have deployed MPLS or will do so in the next year, and 50% have implemented or plan to implement a WAN optimization technology in next 12 months.

Wrapping up with Web 2.0

As I wrote about in a companion story for our sister site, CIOUpdate, Web 2.0 generated a good deal of buzz at the show, sparked by Cisco CEO John Chambers’ keynote address.

Chambers touted Web 2.0 tools as the next frontier in enterprise communications. He noted that he felt he communicated better over video than other forms of communications and predicted that future enterprise communications will be about choice, flexibility, and more intimate forms of interaction.

With so many vendors claiming some sort of Web 2.0 angle, this keynote was well received. A few of the Web 2.0 (or Enterprise 2.0) offerings that caught my eye included those from LifeSize, /n Software, and FireScope.

LifeSize’s HD videoconferencing suite is a low-cost solution that seeks to bring “telepresence” to the masses.

/n Software’s RSSbus product takes the RSS concept and applies it to corporate data. Users can use RSSbus to create and manage feeds from databases, spreadsheets, directories, and other corporate applications.

FireScope, meanwhile, intends to bring the mashup concept to IT management. While general, non-techie consumers have more and more powerful and easy-to-use technology tools at their fingertips, IT is stuck with cumbersome, disparate management consoles. FireScope believes that the same sorts of tools that allow users to create media-rich blogs can be leveraged to create simplified and unified IT management portals.

When I talked to Andi Mann, a senior analyst at EMA, about Web 2.0 in the enterprise, he noted that adoption is happening whether organizations like it or not. “The use of online content technologies is significant. It is also growing at a fairly significant rate,” he said.

Over the next 12 month, EMA expects blog usage to triple, wiki adoption to double, and the use of RSS and Atom feeds to also double. Meanwhile, the Web 2.0 tool with the widest adoption, IM, will grow at an 11% clip. All of this is “official” adoption, meaning the organization has somewhat sanctioned the use, but unofficial adoption rates will be as high or even higher.

The message here is that your employees are using IM, wikis and blogs, so it’s time to stop wondering if and when the enterprise will embrace these new forms of communications and start figuring out how to manage them.

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