Scott Petty, Group Executive – Services, Dimension Data says the deployment of 21st Century Networks (21CNs) in the UK will be very positive for the communications industry and is welcomed by his company.
“As these new networks become established – and organisations begin realising the business benefits they can deliver such as reducing operating costs and improving security – they will help drive the uptake of converged networks in general. BT’s 21CN will pull the whole industry forward, and other service providers such as Cable & Wireless have already begin building their own networks in competition with it. All of this is good news for IT solutions and systems providers with a converged communications offering, such as Dimension Data, as it gives us a more robust infrastructure to work with and drives the refresh of organisations’ networks.
A key challenge for the roll-out of this new technology within organisations is the complexity of the project. As with traditional converged IP networks – via the many applications which run on them, such as telephony systems – the 21CN is in direct contact with the end-user. This means that as well as deploying the core system, the network engineer has to deal with the unique requirements of the individual end-user, such as the CEO’s PA – a task previously handled by the IT support team. Where the network was once designed to be as fast and flexible as possible, it now needs these attributes as well as the requirements of the end-users factored in. This added complexity has implications for project management and is something the industry is only just beginning to come to grips with.
This increased complexity, however, is balanced by the additional intelligence built into 21CNs. Where today’s networks have little intelligence in-built, 21CNs deliver, for example, higher security levels and a greater ability to interconnect with other companies by default. More in-built intelligence results in less for the user-organisation to manage and therefore improved performance and reduced operating costs. This will mean organisations have more of their IT budget to spend on other projects.”