The Lippis Report Issue 42: MPLS enters Prime Time

October 30th, 2004

Say good-bye to your frame relay network. It´s odd for me to write that as I was one of the only consultants in 1991 talking about the virtues of frame relay over SMDS and private T1 networks connected with T1 nodal processors. Oddly enough, many of the arguments I made over a decade ago about the deficiencies of private T1 nets and SMDS versus frame relay are the same
now as I compare frame relay to MPLS. SMDS just never made sense and so it was right that it faded into oblivion. Frame relay was the answer to a more flexible wide area transport that sported a packet mode interface. T1 private networks were rigid, expensive, consumed significant telecom staff to operate and maintain and did not fit the needs for explosive growth in data networking. Funny, I can describe frame relay in the same deficient terms as private T1 networks as the industry turns toward converged networking.
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The Lippis Report Issue 41: Will Juniper Enter the Enterprise Market?

October 29th, 2004

Juniper, the only successful company to compete against Cisco´s service provider router market share has been plotting its entry into the Enterprise router market for well over a year now. Last year it purchased NetScreen, a producer of popular VPN hardware allowing enterprises to build private VPN networks between sites. Many thought that NetScreen would lead Juniper further in
the enterprise market, but it hasn´t. Juniper´s J-series routers could very well be used in the enterprise market, but Juniper has failed to take the leap. It has been very successful in the core of service provider networks and its acquisition of Unisphere Networks/Redstone Communications from Siemens in 2002 moved Juniper to the service provider edge, closer to the enterprise router market. With its strong relationships with service providers in the US and elsewhere it´s a natural to think that Juniper could do what only Cisco has successfully done: sell through service providers and link enterprise router features to service provider MPLS and frame relay offerings.
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The Lippis Report Issue 40: Avaya Expands To Europe

October 27th, 2004

Avaya is well known in the US for owning the leading share of the call center and voice mail markets and over a third of the PBX market. Over the past three years it has emerged as one of the leaders in the IP telephony market with over 50% of its shipments being IP vs. PBX based. Various market research reports it as either 1st or 2nd in the overall IP Telephony market. Part of its success has been the convergence migration options Avaya offers to enterprises, allowing them to transition as fast or as slow as they want. In fact, what I have found in my enterprise architecture consulting work is that in large enterprises the vendor selection is increasingly coming down to two vendors, either Avaya or Cisco.
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The Lippis Report Issue 39: The BoD Presentation Part 3 of Up selling your IP Telephony budget to your CFO

October 21st, 2004

The up selling of a converged network plan starts with small conversations between the CIO, CFO and CEO. The network architect is now in a supportive role to the CIO. By engaging accounting early on in the budget and requirements gathering processes, you in fact started to up sell. During the business requirements phase the CEO and BoD should be briefed on the
architecture review project and obtain their input. You are looking for business change indicators such as a merger and acquisition growth strategy, site expansion or contraction. Is the industry undergoing any fundamental shifts? How is workflow changing? Is off shoring taking place? Are customers requiring different forms and methods of communicating with the corporation? Will the staff increase or decrease, or be more mobile? Is tele-working acceptable, encouraged or tolerated? In short, up-selling starts at the very beginning of an architecture review project. If you did this first phase well, then obtaining funding should be straightforward.
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The Lippis Report Issue 38: The Lippis Top Ten Convergence Budget Assumptions Part 2 of Up selling your IP Telephony budget to your CFO

October 15th, 2004

In Part 1 we discussed developing a network architecture for you converged network. This is a six to nine month process. With architecture in hand the financial modeling can now take place. The financials will influence architecture choices so be prepared for some give and take during this process. Every budget has assumptions.

Here are the Lippis Top Ten Convergence Budget Assumptions. I´ve developed these assumptions by working with clients over the past several years while assisting them in building and selling their plans/budgets to executive management. Note that assumptions change from client to client based upon constraints, but these assumptions tend to be employed most often.
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The Lippis Report Issue 37: Part 1: Up selling your IP Telephony budget to your CFO

October 3rd, 2004

Architecting networks are once again back in vogue. But with executive management still disillusioned with IT after the internet bubble and telecom crash, most network architects are finding that their designs have to be put into a budget and sold to executive management, and depending on the size of the spend, the Board of Directors (BoD). This planning process usually includes three professionals: the network architect, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). While many network architects view this as a stressful and unpleasant task, it does have an upside. In short, networking is
becoming the single most important IT activity in corporate board rooms, thanks both to this new scrutiny and, frankly, exposure to the economic and business benefits networking affords to the most senior executives within corporations. Unparalleled US productivity increases over the past five years are being widely attributed to the corporate use of networking technology, applications and services.
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