Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
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Zeus Kerravala | December 29, 2011 |


It's a Festivus for the Rest of Us!

It's a Festivus for the Rest of Us! I've got a lot of issues with you network people.

I've got a lot of issues with you network people.

Well, it's time to put up the aluminum pole and gather around and air our grievances. In the immortal words of Frank Costanza, "I've got a lot of issues with you people". So, without further ado here are my Festivus-related network and communications related grievances!

* People that think SIP trunking is more than 10% penetration. Even that number is too high but I've heard some argue that the growth potential of companies like Acme Packet is limited since SIP trunking is already so well penetrated. It's no more than 5% in the US, so please understand what you're measuring before you make a claim!

* Telcos that can’t articulate the value proposition of SIP trunking past cost savings. Yes, this is another SIP related grievance. While it's true that SIP trunking does save money, it does a whole lot more for deploying organizations. It makes it easier to add on other multi media services, extends the IP-ness (careful how you read that) to the cloud and brings us closer to an all IP world.

* Using legacy terms to describe IP things. These are words like "call", "trunk", "dial", etc. We're not making calls over trunks people! We are establishing sessions over IP connections. The industry would evolve a lot faster if we stopped trying to make new stuff look like the old stuff. Additionally, can we please try and retire phone numbers and move to something simpler like a SIP address?

* Gartner's Magic Quadrants. Yes, I know these are the "gold standard" when it comes to IT decision-making process but there's no context to these things. Can one chart definitely say that vendor x is always better than vendor y in all situations? Gartner should evolve it to be the "Magic Cube" to add the third dimension in!!

* Gartner's stance that Cisco doesn't deserve the premium it gets. Not that this is pick-on-Gartner day, but if customers are willing to pay a premium, then why doesn't Cisco deserve the premium? In fact, if you look at ALL of the market leaders, be it Apple, Oracle, EMC, Cisco and others, don't they all get a premium? In fact, Gartner themselves gets a huge premium for IT research over the other smaller shops.

* Overuse of the words "cloud" and "fabric". Fabric is the new black! Everything is cloud based or a fabric. We have private, hybrid, internal, public clouds. We also have network, Ethernet, storage, enterprise, data center and server based fabrics. Want to know why adoption might be slow? It's because no one can figure out what it is that's actually being sold!

* The notion that Microsoft Lync, or any other piece of quality technology is free. I've heard this come up in competitive environments and it's just plain silly. While the licenses are free under certain conditions, there’s so much more to UC than that. Also, if it really were free, would anyone really think it was business quality?

* UC buyers waiting for standards and interoperability before deployment. If you're in this camp, keep waiting. It's going to be decades before this barrier falls. If you've heard my rants on this, you know I'm a big fan of the specialty middleware vendors like VOSS, ALU's Open Touch, Siemens Fusion and Avaya ACE as a better way to solve this problem.

* Social media overload. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, etc. When does it stop? I used to clamor for single number reach so I didn't have to remember an office phone, home phone, cell phone, etc, and that problem can be solved through single number reach. Someone needs to invent the single number reach equivalent of social media.

* Poor quality WiFi. OK, it's almost 2011 and WiFi has been around for almost two decades. ALL of the major vendors like Aruba, Motorola, Cisco, etc have great site planning tools and design guides. There is zero excuse for poor quality WiFi any more. Why is it so bad, particularly in European hotels where the fees are like 30 Euros. We need some kind of travel blog that tracks quality of WiFi to advise travelers on where to stay based on wireless access.

That's pretty much it for my main grievances, I'm sure I've got more that I just didn't think of right now. So to all, Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year and don't forget, HAPPY FESTIVUS.


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