On a Cloud Watch

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The network integration industry is currently revolving

around two hot topics-collaboration and energy efficiency. Organizations are

focusing on reducing the carbon footprint within their premises and at the same

time increase employee productivity by deploying collaboration enabling



Today network integration has become the single point of

contact, and customizes the right and related technologies to offer an entire

solution kit that addresses the business requirement and the full networking

lifecycle. Interestingly, in the networking business not only are the networks

becoming bigger but the technology is also getting complex.

Over the past years, various technologies have matured and

are now available for enterprise deployment. India is emerging as one of the

most lucrative markets for such technologies, given the phenomenal growth of

applications such as e-learning, telemedicine, and e-governance. Innovative

technologies like wireless, telepresence, and unified communications have been

the key technologies in the market this year.

Expert Panel

Sanjay Virnave, president, sales, Tulip Telecom

Vikas Srivastava, VP, TIS, Wipro Infotech

Gurpreet Kohli, associate VP, technology upgradation, HCL Comnet

Prem Nithin, senior technical consultant, India & SAARC, Cisco

Saurabh Sanghoee, head, conulsting and solutions integration, Orange
Business Services

Shailendra Badoni, COO, Datacraft


Driven by Technologies

The major technology drift that industry stakeholders are watching very

closely is the concept of cloud computing. The emergence of cloud is certainly

the most significant technological advancement in this field, and most

technological breakthroughs have been aligned towards the vision of the cloud.

Integration of networking, compute and storage platform

for seamless and unified virtualization is one of the most significant

developments seen in the last one year. Several standards have been ratified,

which have helped bring in standardization in technology being offered.

Application networking and content delivery technologies are maturing and have

been deployed extensively over 2009.

With the ratification of 802.11n standard, high speed

Wi-Fi is now a reality and this has given a fillip to wireless providers.

Customers have started showing interest in deploying Wi-Fi as an alternative to

wired connectivity.


The much visible advancement is in the area of IP

telephony and unified communications where SIP protocol has been widely adopted

by all vendors. Many technologies are IP enabled, which mean the same IP

infrastructure which organizations have deployed for years can be leveraged for

the new technology deployments.

Digital media systems, physical security solutions, and

intelligent building management systems are now being transported over the same

IP infrastructure. In the current scenario, companies are most gung-ho about the

dire need for server virtualization, driving the adoption of latest data center

networking technologies that seamlessly merge server and network infrastructure

into a unified platform.

Network admission control that allows organizations to maintain a flexible

leash over the security hygiene of users is getting established as an essential

technology and rapid adoption can be seen in this area too.


Emerging Trends

The major technological trend in this space include: focus on

virtualization and application provisioning and delivery. Also a renewed focus

on integrated network security which as a technology is expected to scale up the

next utility and efficiency level. Also IPv6 has been a much spoken about

technology for some time, but it is expected that this year will see serious

preparing for the adoption of IPv6 by customers.

Business trend include a continued, sustained focus on reducing IT costs and

business cost using IT, pressure to deliver applications consistently in

demanding and hostile end user environment and resource consolidation to drive

efficiency and scalability in the enterprise.

Moving to Green

Enterprises are extremely sensitive to environmental concerns today,

since it has been realized that going green is synonymous to reducing costs when

it comes to consolidation and virtualization. All the players in the network

integration space are seeing the importance of this initiative taken by almost

all of its customers and they are very active on the 'go green mission'.


Tulip Telecom has reduced its dependence on diesel gensets

and are working towards extensive solar system installations. Moreover, Tulip's

wireless equipments are solar compliant and power efficient.

Wipro has done a lot of investment in this area wherein by

using technologies like telepresence, cloud collaboration, data center

virtualization, rich media conference, etc, the company is able to substantially

improve collaboration.

HCL Comnet has launched a green computing initiative,

which is a combination of service around virtualization, consolidation, energy

efficiency audits, and the use of energy efficient hardware from our OEMs.


Points to Ponder

More than ever, IT organizations are under pressure to improve

profitability by linking technology implementations to business objectives. It

is believed that as the backbone for IT communications, the network element of

enterprise architecture is increasingly critical. Customers are looking for

technologies and existing business processes to enhance communication, foster

collaboration and boost revenues.

Security and manageability have been two major concerns

for network integration. Enterprises face several challenges including managing

and controlling communications costs, building technical domain expertise along

with retaining them and managing technological changes while protecting

investments, and providing a gamut of services to the existing infrastructure.

With the emergence of new technologies the task of maintaining networks become


Tips For CIOs

  • Should gear up for upcoming technologies and should adapt to the

    changing face of technology
  • Traditional SI will no longer be able to deliver complex technology

    integration services
  • The infrastructure is no longer built to carry only one type of

    traffic which was the case a few years ago
  • All applications will ride on the IP infrastructure and adding these

    applications should not bring down the IP infrastructure
  • The infrastructure has to be set-up in futuristic manner
  • Should farm out all network implementation and management to reliable

    partners and focus on these initiatives instead
  • Future scalability, application delivery and service experience have

    been areas that have been traditionally ignored only to become major pain

  • CIOs should not seek to minimize costs taking a product view

The other big concern is how to keep pace with changing

technology, and going for the right solution/architecture that allows

organizations to seemingly accommodate new technologies to meet future business

requirements and also safeguards the investments already being made.

Emerging Verticals

The main and big verticals continue to be ITeS, BFSI, and the telecom

sector. With BFSI, the demand is shifting from retail, banking to core banking

within areas such as compliance requirement, regulatory requirement and market

requirement which are all growing in the banking sector. The other segments that

are growing very rapidly include small and medium business, new media providers,

community service providers, and new generation of offline mirror model


Other emerging verticals are manufacturing, healthcare,

and the service industry in general. Retail is also drumming up a lot of


Government will be a major buyer of network integration

business from various network integrators. NeGP on government's agenda will be a

big business opportunity for all possible network integrators. Given the

magnitude and PPP mode of operation it will mean a lot of business for all major

NI players.

The Way Ahead

During a phase when almost every sector was witnessing strong

aftermaths of the economic slowdown, network integration was one such segment

which witnessed substantial growth. Many small players made it big in the

integration market. The larger integrators differentiated themselves with

end-to-end offerings with more managed service kind of solutions.

Since emerging economies are leading the way to global

recovery, the Indian network integration market has performed pretty well in the

last one year and the individual growth curve did not see any impact of the

recession in 2009. With literally hundreds of mega systems, including network

integration project lined up in 2010, the industry fully expects to register a

better performance.

Arpita Prem