Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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Cisco Enterprise Agreements: Where’s the Beef?

The more I work with Cisco lately, the more I’m reminded of the television commercial made famous by the Wendy’s hamburger chain in the United States, wherein an elderly woman and her friends open their giant hamburger bun only to find a tiny piece of meat inside and ask, “Where’s the beef!?”  When I review Cisco EA agreements, our clients and I are asking the same question, but in this case the EA is the giant bun and the beef is the value.  What’s getting presented to us on this nice Cisco plate appears to be a lot of hamburger (i.e. the “best deal!”), but often when we lift the bun, the value (beef) is elusive and hard to find. The “Best ...

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Market Alert: ZTE Future Uncertain

The latest casualty in what some consider the emerging trade showdown between the USA and China has come in the form of ZTE, who has announced they have ceased ‘major operations’.  On April 16th, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American companies from exporting parts to ZTE.  Given that 25%+ of the components that make up ZTE equipment comes from U.S. manufacturers, ZTE was forced to shut down its production lines.  While most people are aware that ZTE manufactures mobile handsets, most were not fully aware that the bulk of their revenue comes from telecom exchange, optical transmission, and other tier one communications ...

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IT Security Software Spend: Not Secure

Underinvested?  Overinvested?  Do we have the right supplier(s)?  Are we running the right software?  Are we using the right security technology?  Are our solutions keeping us safe and protected?  Do we have applications and a network infrastructure that can be properly protected? These are the starting questions IT and Financial leaders of any organization face today when they look at the Equifax Security Breach – one the largest and deepest in US history.  If you are unfamiliar or have chosen to forget it on purpose (apologies in advance if that’s the case), it impacted 140 million consumers’ personal information, including social security ...

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If You’re Still Spending on MPLS...You Should Already Have a Plan for SD WAN

Dave Young
Jul. 28,2017 |

The saying that ‘there is a time and a place for that’ can apply to almost anything in our daily lives, but nowhere is it truer than in technology.  The pace of change in some tech areas go at breakneck speed, while others move slower.  But the constant for either is that there is always change.  For example, there was a ‘time and a place’ for 2-way pagers years ago, but that time is gone now replaced by all manner of smartphones, tablets, and even the IoT’s.  Just as there was a ‘time and a place’ for MPLS, it will be - in the not too distant future, added to the historical shelf of technology there was a ‘time and a place for’, just like ...

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Transform and Disrupt: Get On SDN Now

Dave Young
Apr. 26,2017 |

Before you dig into this piece, know that if you have multiple networking certifications, or have been designing and implementing networks for years – this article is probably not for you.  If, however, you are interested to learn more about what Software-Defined Networking is (SDN) is and how it can potentially drive cost out of your technology spend and ease the manageability of your network – read on. The network hardware niche is like many others in the technology supplier market.  The technology cartel lines up to lock in customers with expensive, proprietary hardware, coupled with complicated firmware to run it all, then typically ...

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Infrastructure: Clarity in the Cloud?

Dave Young
May. 6,2016 |

Information technology has always been in one state of disruption or another almost by definition as the science of technology evolves and market forces change, and IT Infrastructure is no exception -- particularly in the manner in which we host and manage our data center centric resources. There is dynamic change all around us as the cloud transforms the ideas of traditional ‘on premise’ big iron investments. Whether on premise or in the cloud, our clients are experiencing a tectonic shift to faster, lighter and easier to manage platforms that deliver a higher level of performance, a simplified operational interface, a much less costly ...

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Cybersecurity Spend on the Rise

Dave Young
Apr. 29,2015 |

Not surprisingly, investments in Cybersecurity are on a significant upward trend in all categories. This past summer 2014, Gartner reported global numbers from businesses and governments that indicate they will have spent an estimated $71.1B protecting their information assets in 2014, up 7.9% from the previous year. The research firm also predicts the growth rate will increase to 8.1% this year, for an estimated total of $76.9 billion of spend in this area in 2015.   This growth is expected to accelerate significantly from there, reaching an estimated $155.74 billion in spend by 2019. As NET(net) reviews the IT spend of our clients, seeking ...

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Reason #7 Why Clients Spend Way Too Much for Telecommunications: Inefficient Wireless Rate Plan Management

Dave Young
Jun. 18,2013 |

In our November 2012 issue of The Net Effect, we published a White Paper titled “Top 10 Reasons Why Clients Spend WAY TOO MUCH...For Telecommunications”.   This is the fourth in a series of blog entries that will explore each of these topics in more detail, moving on to #7 Inefficient Wireless Rate Plan Management. Each employee mobile wireless subscriber on a corporate agreement is associated with one or more rate plans that specify the number of voice, data and texting limits.  In addition some plans single out email, video and image transmissions, as well as a myriad of other plans for international travel and out-calling from domestic to ...

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Defense Against the Cartel: Cisco in Plain View

Dave Young
May. 14,2013 |

Recounting the news earlier this year out of West Virginia where state auditors are accusing Cisco of selling routers that are not needed or router models that are way overkill for the purpose, got me thinking about the approach Cisco and many of its peers in the IT industry take to selling technology to their customers.   Simply put, IT related acquisitions, be it hardware, software or services, are fraught with a cartel mentality between the OEM, reseller and the enterprise IT organization that often result in purchasing more than needed or acquiring advanced functionality without a purpose. The IT organization shares some of this blame ...

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Reason #8 Why Clients Spend Way Too Much for Telecommunications: Poor Wireless Mobility Governance

Dave Young
Apr. 15,2013 |

In our November 2012 issue of The Net Effect, we published a White Paper titled “Top 10 Reasons Why Clients Spend WAY TOO MUCH...For Telecommunications”.   This is the third in a series of blog entries that will explore each of these topics in more detail, moving on to #8:  Poor Wireless Mobility Governance. How things have changed in a few short years.  There was a time, not so long ago, that wireless mobility in the enterprise meant a Blackberry or a basic cell phone for voice calls and not much more.   Access to data on the Blackberry didn’t amount to much because the web browsing interface was so basic and the “app” was not yet part of ...

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