BT Ireland https://www.btireland.com Mon, 22 May 2017 09:50:21 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 Keeping your Business Secure with BT https://www.btireland.com/keeping-your-business-secure/ Fri, 19 May 2017 13:08:03 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=6076 The recent WannaCry ransomware attack made front page news over the last few days, highlighting the growing threat that exists within the cyber world. So, what is ransomware? Ransomware is a form of cyber-threat, a type of malicious software (Malware) that installs itself on a computer or device, encrypts and holds files to ransom with […]

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The recent WannaCry ransomware attack made front page news over the last few days, highlighting the growing threat that exists within the cyber world.

So, what is ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of cyber-threat, a type of malicious software (Malware) that installs itself on a computer or device, encrypts and holds files to ransom with the threat of deletion until a sum of money is paid. This isn’t a new threat to end-points – the earliest ransomware was recorded in 1989 – but in the last two years it has grown to a new level, with this latest event demonstrating the huge geographic scale. Statistics gathered demonstrate that cyber-crime is outstripping all other crime categories. Data is a highly valued resource, threats are becoming more sophisticated and Malware is constantly evolving to evade anti-virus protections.

The WannaCry attack uses a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Server Message Block (SMB) protocol — a vulnerability that had actually already been discovered and patched by Microsoft on 14 March, 2017.

“Importantly the malware itself is not about stealing information. It’s about making the user and their PC unable to access information.” 

Mark Hughes, President of Security at BT

Is your organisation fully prepared to address this challenge?

At BT, as a global service provider across 180 countries, we have a ring-side seat on the development of the digital-world. We have a long history in dealing with cyber-attacks and are uniquely positioned to offer a range of services including comprehensive risk assessments and a range of services that we can implement such as device management and cyber-services.

“We’ve been able to use the global nature of BT, the global nature of our security centres, to maximise our ability to react with speed, so we can protect ourselves, but also offer best advice to our customers.”

Les Anderson, BT’s Vice-President of Cyber-Security

We want to help businesses better equip themselves to defend against the growing threats. It’s important to recognise that the role of the cyber defender is evolving and it’s imperative that organisations build more innovation and agility into cyber operations.

BT’s Four Steps to Stay Secure

Step One

Check you have Microsoft’s patch applied and running correctly across your global IT estate.

Step Two

Work closely with your antivirus vendors and Microsoft to ensure you have the latest virus protection available.

Step Three

Discover whether you have been infected, limit the spread as far as possible then neutralise to avoid the malware detonating.

Step Four

Isolate and rollback. Contain the affected machines, clean them, then restore the data

Find out more

Click here to hear more from Mark and Les for more insights on the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, how our team have been working hard to protect BT and advice on measures businesses should take to protect themselves.

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How to create a stronger connection with the cloud https://www.btireland.com/create-stronger-connection-cloud/ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:16:00 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=6045 Technology alone is great, but it’s not enough to get ahead in business. You need another ingredient, and that’s something we can help with...

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Technology alone is great, but it’s not enough to get ahead in business. You need another ingredient, and that’s something we can help with.

Seeking a better solution.

Imagine getting a brand new, high spec laptop. It’s fast, super light-weight and has all the bells and whistles.

But there’s a catch — you can only use it if you wear ski gloves. Now, despite all the impressive specs of your computer, writing an email to a customer takes 30 minutes, instead of three.

Sounds frustrating, right? All that great technology at your fingertips, but you’re unable to use it effectively.

Why am I talking about fancy laptops and ski gloves? Because it’s actually a good metaphor for a situation many business users face.

If you’ve ever experienced a problem connecting to the apps you want — because all of your technology tools and infrastructure are not working seamlessly together — you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Our hyper-connected age.

What makes these problems even more frustrating is that we all know that it doesn’t have to be this way.

We live in a connected age where there will soon be 75 billion connected products worldwide.  In this age, customers increasingly expect 1-to-1 personalized service anytime, anywhere, on any device. In fact, according to Gartner, 89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on customer experience[1].

From a business standpoint, companies can only thrive in this age of the customer if they can create more meaningful 1-to-1 experiences, across all channels. To deliver this, businesses need to empower workers with the right cloud-based technology tools. But if these tools are not reliable, fast and mobile, they simply will not be used to their full advantage.

Connect direct to transform the performance of your cloud connectivity.

BT and Salesforce know how important connectivity and technology are to business — and BT Cloud Connect for Salesforce certainly reflects this. With it, we use our high-speed cloud technology to connect customers from BT’s global network directly to the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. This means businesses get all the benefits of Salesforce’s solution, with speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 1Gbps — easily and reliably connecting organisations to the applications and data they need.

It’s like getting the state-of-the-art laptop — without being held back by ski gloves.

It’s all part of BT’s Cloud of Clouds vision that Salesforce is proud to be a part of — helping customers simplify and improve their experience in the cloud.

Find out more about BT Cloud Connect for Salesforce by taking a look at the press release.

[1] Gartner, Emerging Marketing Technology and Trends Primer for 2016, Andrew Frank, January 28, 2016

 

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Run workloads where it makes the most sense https://www.btireland.com/run-workloads-makes-sense/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:04:51 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=6018 Often you will find mature businesses favour a Private Cloud solution, whereas, newer businesses appreciate how cost effective and scalable the Public Cloud is.

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I read a quote recently, from 2009, which stated:

the future of cloud computing lies not in the extremes (private or public), but like any other IT trend, it lies in the middle (private and public)

and this is because

…..the objective is to run workloads where it makes the most sense at technology and/or business level.

Some will say this quote is dependent on how long a business has been established. Often you will find mature businesses favour a Private Cloud solution, whereas, newer businesses appreciate how cost effective and scalable the Public Cloud is.

In my opinion, many organisations will need a mix of public and private – the Hybrid cloud – depending on their business demands. There is no one size fits all solution.

Public evolving to Hybrid

Those who favour the public cloud will take full advantage of scaling quickly and consolidating quickly so that they have full control on costs – being lean and highly efficient with money is important for a young business. This is also the reason why, in their future, they will need to leverage private or dedicated cloud solutions to complement their existing public cloud business model. There comes a point where:

  • Over a period of time, the cost of public cloud may become prohibitive,
  • Hosting static, always-on, workloads in a public cloud may not make sense as the cost benefit of PAYG may not add up,
  • Depending on what you use the Public Cloud for, and the applications you are running, performance might not be optimal for your requirements,
  • and finally, as your business matures, do you want your highly skilled people managing infrastructure, or adding value to the business at the application layer and above?

The above points are only a sample of considerations why a business that favours public cloud today may wish to add private cloud and/or managed services to their estate in the future.

Private evolving to Hybrid

Those who favour private cloud do so as it is in line with what they would have been used to traditionally; single tenant private infrastructure. The challenge with private dedicated infrastructure is that while performance may be guaranteed, there are down sides. Investments in new business requirements can be quite significant and can take time to get CapEx approval sometimes resulting in 9+ months to go from investment to operational. Another challenge is the utilisation of the new dedicated equipment; if the forecasted demand for the new infrastructure is not met, then the return on investment can be quite lengthy. Before investing in a dedicated private cloud, perhaps consider the following:

  • Could you upgraded to new applications that are ‘Cloud Aware’ or built for the cloud that could significantly increase productivity?
  • If you look across your IT landscape, is it necessary to have all applications sitting on dedicated infrastructure?
  • If you are looking to expand into international markets, which model (cloud or dedicated) adds more risk to the venture?
  • What business impact do you see new technologies having on your current and future business models?

In summary, nearly all businesses require a balance between Public and Private Clouds. This ensures businesses can take advantage of the cost effective and scalable nature of the Public Cloud, and also have the security and performance of the Private Cloud.

Creating the Hybrid solution

The real challenge is the integration of Public and Private cloud solutions with existing business infrastructure to enable a business run workloads where it makes most sense. The market has many pure play providers offering private cloud only, public cloud only, co-location only, network connectivity only, equipment only, and then there are service integrators who add an additional layer.

What if you could have one partner who could help with the Hybrid cloud strategy, the integration of existing infrastructure with new services, and provide the network to connect your services where ever they may be?

If this sounds advantageous feel free to contact us today.

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Do you trust your team to work away from the office? https://www.btireland.com/trust-team-work-away-office/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:04:12 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=6009 Over the last 20 years, mass adoption of new technologies has transformed the way we go about our work. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are now the norm for most of us when completing our daily tasks

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Over the last 20 years, mass adoption of new technologies has transformed the way we go about our work. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are now the norm for most of us when completing our daily tasks. We’re emailing, instant messaging, conference calling and video conferencing on a regular basis, we are collaborating more now than we ever have.

Most organisations of course have adapted to this change, employees have been equipped with the technology required to effectively deliver on their duties. But rather than just looking at ‘how’ we do our work, what impact is all this technology having on ‘where’ we do our work?

One in two office workers believe they have most of what they need to do their job, in a bag they carry with them on the go. 67% say that being given the flexibility to work from the office, at home, in cafes, or while travelling, is now more important than been given a company car. Placing this kind of value on mobile working, means leaders need to think about whether their mobility strategy (that’s assuming they have a mobility strategy) will attract the best workers to their organisation.

When determining critical components of a mobility strategy, it’s imperative to do research and understand what’s right for the employees and what’s right for the business (in most cases both will be the same). Generally, office workers want better tools on their mobile devices for speedier communications and decisions. This makes sense for any business too, considering 54% of mobile employees say they waste time trying to get hold of people resulting in delayed decisions.

Employees want screen sharing (69%) Instant Messaging (62%) and video conferencing (48%) on their smartphones. They want collaboration on the go, and the better the experience, the greater the benefits for the business. Research shows that office workers who find mobile working easier, want more from their devices so they can be even more productive when away from the office.

But what makes it easy for some employees to work within a mobile environment where others struggle? What can leaders do today, to make it easier for their employees to be mobile? They can do 3 things – 1) They can trust their employees to work away from the office, 2) they can make sure they have connectivity to the best mobile networks and 3) they can provide the right software infrastructure that promotes applications for easy access to all their work documents and files.

If you want to discuss how best to get your workforce mobile, be sure to contact your local BT team where you will benefit from all the learnings and experiences of our global operations.

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Time to get more fibre in your diet https://www.btireland.com/time-get-fibre-diet/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:18:40 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=5992 In answer to the question ‘are you getting enough fibre in your diet?’ Derek would say an emphatic ‘no’!

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Steve Coakley talks to Derek Cassidy, Senior Field Engineer with BT in Ireland.

In answer to the question ‘are you getting enough fibre in your diet?’ Derek would say an emphatic ‘no’!

Derek is 19 years with BT and is a Chartered Engineer with both Engineers Ireland and The Institution of Engineering and Technology. He deals with all of the technologies associated with BT’s product portfolio in Ireland. So, if your organisation’s traffic has been carried by BT’s network then it’s very likely that Derek has had a hand in getting it where it needs to go.

Derek’s specialises in what the prescient author Douglas Adams, in 1998, called ‘the fourth age of sand’. Adams argued that we would see a democratisation of global communication facilitated by the mass adoption of the Internet and that this would be facilitated by the major constituent of sand: silica – today the majority of the world’s optical fibres for telecommunication are made from silica!

Why do our customers use BT’s fibre network?

With all of this talk of sand and the fact that organisation’s traffic destinations are getting more exotic, it doesn’t mean Derek gets to spend his time on the beach.

As Derek experiences in his lead role for our Submarine & Maintenance Operations team: ‘Customers use BT’s fibre network because it’s a national fibre network that’s interconnected globally. In fact we provide services in up to 198 countries and territories. We put a strong focus on network diversity and also are the first choice for other international carriers for their customer’s traffic. We are always looking forward, for the next leap in technology, to use these benefits for our customers.’

Why is fibre network diversity so important?

As most of our customers operate 24/7, 365 days a year and can’t afford downtime, that translates directly to how we deliver fibre connectivity.

‘Our focus on diversity in our fibre delivery ensures the very highest availability for our customer’s business. That can mean securing a council wayleave to dig down a busy street to ensure our customer can be confident their connectivity has a completely distinct route. From the perspective of international diversity, that means we are ensuring we have multiple routes on/off the island to all of the major traffic destinations globally. Delivering and maintaining our networks for the benefit of our customers, on a global and local scale, is highly important and having a diverse and protected optical network is enabling us to deliver a great customer experience.’

What’s driving developments in fibre technology?

In a recent Silicon Republic article, our colleague Kevin Smith (BT’s head of transmission futures and innovation) said that video content was the primary driver of the need for squeezing more and more out of a single optical fibre.

‘Yes. Getting more out of existing fibre is very important to keep improving efficiencies. As well as what we’re doing in our BT Adastral Park labs, we have two recent examples in the field: our commercial 400Gbps fibre connection from Dublin to Belfast and our trial of a 5.2 Terabit link from Dublin to London.’

So, can we ever get enough fibre in our diets?

‘Global organisations will continue to need higher bandwidths in more and more locations. For me it’s about going further and faster, with more bandwidth. As we develop wavelength switching up to multiple Terabits I have the exciting job of staying ahead of demand.’

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Make customer experience central to Digital Transformation https://www.btireland.com/make-customer-experience-central-digital-transformation/ Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:32:13 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=5914 The annual customer service event that BT hosts at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is always guaranteed to show us how fast things change

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The annual customer service event that BT hosts at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is always guaranteed to show us how fast things change. It reminds us too that the touch point between companies and customers is one of the hottest places on the planet when it comes to the impact of new technology.

Gillian Chamberlain, BT’s General Manager of Marketing and Communications, put it in context at this year’s event – Navigation To Digital Customer Care. “The digital era could also be called the age of the consumer because technology on one hand and economic forces on the other are coming together to put power or control into the hand of the consumer,” she said.

There was food for thought for the CEOs in the room when she said that a company’s performance will be directly related to customer experience and not solely about the product or services they sell. This is why, she argued, customer experience has to be central to the whole concept of digital transformation if a business is to succeed.

Blue Dot Generation

Behaviourologist Ken Hughes would develop these themes in a riveting 50-minute tour of a fast-changing economy where old rules about customer engagement no longer apply. Marking out this landscape is the biggest hospitality brand that has no hotels rooms (Airbnb), the biggest media provider that doesn’t create or own content (Facebook), and the biggest transport company that doesn’t have a vehicle fleet (Uber).

New digital companies are overturning established business models and creating disruption at an unprecedented scale. Hughes described how Google Maps effectively wiped out the market for GPS products. Maps were also a metaphor to show how the consumer had changed. He unfolded one to accentuate the point, saying that people used to use them to find out where they were going. They’re not needed anymore because a new generation of consumers are the blue dot on their smartphone applications and everything comes to them.

Hughes calls them the “Blue Dot Generation”, millennials that see themselves as the centre of the world, with apps and social media at their service to get them what they want, when they want. He showed one video after another of how smart brands are satiating this appetite, quite literally in the case of the fast-food delivery service where all you need to order your favourite pizza is a button on your fridge.

People not botnets

Hughes touched on disruptive global trends including automation, which Nicola Millard, BT’s Head of Customer Insights, explored directly in relation to customer service. The rise in botnets is often seen as a sign that call agents will gradually find themselves out of a job but Millard provided a contrary view. She identified aircrews, nurses and customer service representatives as employees least likely to be replaced with machines.

“ They perform a pivotal role,” she said. “Getting better at that role adds more and more value to the organisation. Having someone who is phenomenally good over years and years of experience actually does add genuine value to the interaction. They are the roles least likely to get automated.”

If the challenges posed by Ken Hughes were sometimes daunting, Millard was on hand to provide some comfort. The world may be changing fast but customer service agents – people not botnets – are still going to be essential.

Watch highlights from the Navigation To Digital Customer Care event

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Racing Cars and Racehorses boosted by good science & BT technology https://www.btireland.com/racing-cars-racehorses-boosted-good-science-bt-technology/ Tue, 31 Jan 2017 13:51:38 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=5909 A fascinating spectrum of technology was explored in just over an hour at the BTYSTE Mindshare event, from the Williams F1 team speeding up its cars thanks to better network technology, to teenage entrepreneurs improving the diet of racehorses

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A fascinating spectrum of technology was explored in just over an hour at the BTYSTE Mindshare event, from the Williams F1 team speeding up its cars thanks to better network technology, to teenage entrepreneurs improving the diet of racehorses.

IDC analyst John Delaney took a high-level enterprise view, talking about the importance of digital transformation for every busy sector. Amazon’s plan for warehouses in the sky is a reminder, he said, of the level of innovation that retailers are competing against, but he made it clear that financial services and technology businesses face just as many challenges.

The way forward is what IDC calls the third platform where cloud, mobility social business and big data are parts of a new paradigm in enterprise IT. The cloud is a major step forward from the second platform, the client/server era. “You always have access to what you need and you always have access to the latest versions,” he said.

Delaney talked about the power of transformation, the use of digital technologies to run a business and operate in a fundamentally different way to reduce costs, be more productive and provide a better customer experience.  For Williams CIO Graeme Hackland the reason for leveraging a new wave of technology was more fundamental – to help win more races.

Networked cars

Williams approached BT to devise a network that could help compete better at 21 circuits around the globe, some of them in very remote locations. The network was needed to enable data from the cars to be shared in near real time with engineers in different places. BT delivered on the plan. “It happened very quickly,” said Hackland. “People don’t have to be in the factory any more. They can be anywhere.”

A 20-strong IT team has had to change its skillsets over the last three years as Williams migrated from servers and lengthy deployment times to the agility of the cloud. BT also worked with Symantec to provide a trackside network that was fast and secure. Penetration testing after last year’s British Grand Prix revealed vulnerabilities that have since been locked down. “I’m pretty confident we’ve built the layers we need to but you can never rest,” he said.

Williams has also been spinning out its advanced engineering and selling the technology to other markets. Technology in the left wing aerofoil of the car, for example, has been adapted for supermarkets to make cold aisles more efficient by funnelling cold air back into the fridges.

But the main focus is always the cars. “From an IT perspective we are driving the digital technologies that are being used by the team to make sure that we get from concept to product as quickly as possible,” explained Hackland, “that we can get an idea that comes out of our wind tunnel onto the car as quickly as possible because that’s the only way we’re going to beat our competitors.”

Horses for courses

There were clearly lessons here for big business who could also take something from Fenu Health, a start-up run by two sisters, Kate and Annie Madden. After much experimentation with 150 flavours and sample tests on 100 horses they discovered that an Indian herb, Fenugreek, helps prevent or manage mild gastric ulcers in horses.

The idea took the sisters to the BTYSTE finals in 2014. After that they discovered that 90 per cent of racehorses suffer from gastric ulcers, a high value market for their products opened up to them that they’ve been exploring ever since.

A true digital business, the girls have built a customer base by tapping into social media and using the technology at their disposal. “Our phone is our little online office,” said Annie Madden. “Pretty much we do everything on our phones; we do emails on the bus going to school and sell everything online through our web site. ”

The very idea that the sisters have employees who take care of the business while they’re in school raised a laugh from the RDS audience. Not for the first time, BTYSTE was showcasing why we should never be surprised at what young talent can achieve.



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Is a Terabit enough? https://www.btireland.com/is-a-terabit-enough/ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:25:46 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=5893 New submarine cables are being laid across oceans capable of carrying the next generation in optical engineering capacity

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New submarine cables are being laid across oceans capable of carrying the next generation in optical engineering capacity. At the same time, existing undersea cables are being engineered to carry these new 100GbE optical channels. But will the deployment of the multiple terabits of bandwidth be enough to meet growing bandwidth demands?

Online commercial activity and particularly the development of video and music streaming services led to internet connectivity and demand growing faster in 2015 compared to 2014. The biggest increase has been in Africa and the Middle East. The highest accessibility rates are in North America followed by Europe and Australia, then other first-world countries.
Existing submarine networks and terrestrial systems are the backbone of the internet. While they are coping in the short term, there is a feeling within the industry that the increase in demand will soon outstrip available capacity. There are many reasons for this.
The Internet of Things (IOT) takes the internet far beyond the traditional interconnected devices, such as the laptop, smartphone and tablet, to encompass any device with an IP address. There are already around 6.3 billion connected devices operating under the IoT umbrella, and, according to Gartner, it could increase to 20.7 billion devices by 2020.

Fixing the problem

All of this creates monumental demand on available bandwidth that will affect both terrestrial and submarine network operators and providers. They will have to increase their bandwidth offering to ensure prevention of any failure in capacity provision.
The introduction of new submarine networks with multiple terabit transmission systems offer a short term “get out of jail card” for most network operators. They can avail of these services to provide the bandwidth needed for the increase in internet traffic.
Another way forward is enabling organisations to control their bandwidth usage more effectively. While there will always be business critical applications that demand quality of service (QoS) guarantees that eat up capacity, there are other applications running over MPLS bandwidth that could be redirected over the public internet.
The idea of intelligent networks that maximise bandwidth usage will move to a whole other level as software-defined networks move into the mainstream. Capacity planning and optimising traffic will become much easier with features like dynamic path control.

New models needed

The hard fact of life, however, is that existing next-generation networks (NGN), providing high data transmission services and capacity, are at their maximum limits and may not be able to cope to with ever-increasing demand. Network operators and providers will have to look at new deployment strategies and models, enabling them to compete and cope with the increasing demand for bandwidth.
The telecommunications industry has to design, re-design, and further develop networks to ensure it can handle the ongoing growth in demand. We are already seeing some evidence of this with the submarine networks capable of delivering multiple terabits and connecting Europe to the Americas, Africa and the Far East. The tentacles of these networks are being strengthened with increased capacity, but it remains to be seen, is a Terabit enough.

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Serving up a Digital Ecosystem instead of “IT Spaghetti” https://www.btireland.com/serving-digital-ecosystem-instead-spaghetti/ Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:40:53 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=5882 Control, flexibility and adaptability. Having a hybrid mix of networks is a direct response to the hybrid cloud services that organisations now access to support their businesses. Different types of network [...]

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Business leaders who had their appetite whet by the Williams F1 team at the BTYSTE Mindshare event, found plenty more to feed on at the Digital Ecosystem Management (DEM) thought leadership session, not least an analysis of “IT spaghetti”.

Hosted by BT and BearingPoint, the agenda was about empowering enterprises with a type of platform that has made the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple the biggest companies on the planet.

Simon Torrance, Senior Advisor at BearingPoint, left the audience in no doubt that they had to do something because economic slowdown was affecting every sector. To reboot their businesses, organisations needed to confront key challenges that are undermining their growth prospects. Key among them are “IT spaghetti”, organisational culture, regulation, and, most worrying of all, the idea that core business models may be flawed.

Platform for change

The need to rethink strategies and business models is also being driven by what the World Economic Forum has termed the fourth industrial revolution, fused by the blurring of the lines “between the physical, digital and biological spheres”.

Having identified that digital platforms provide sustainable business models for the giant internet companies, BearingPoint set about developing something similar for all the other enterprises struggling with digital transformation.

To get new services to market quicker, firms need what Torrance referred to as “Ninja IT” as opposed to legacy IT, the spaghetti that creates silos and inefficiencies across a business. A platform gives organisations the pace and agility they need while creating an ecosystem for communicating and sharing information seamlessly with customers, suppliers and partners.

Barry Keane, Partner at BearingPoint, described the goal of a digital platform:

“It’s looking at the capabilities and products that companies have and how they can be bundled with other complementary products and services to deliver something in the future that will be expected as normal.”

Connected ecosystem

BT liked the idea so much that it took on the BearingPoint platform and made DEM central to its own business and stratgey. BT now it makes its same platform available to customers to use for their business needs, so they don’t need to invest and build their own,

John Gillam, CTO of BT Compute, described how the company’s DEM called ‘Compute Management System’ (CMS) replaces a silo or portfolio approach with an open ecosystem where disruption and co-operation contribute to business growth. He also talked about partnerships with the likes of Trend Micro for security and AWS and Azure for public cloud services. The BT endgame is a “single service experience” facilitated by a DEM platform that reinvents traditional business models for the digital age.

“We’re not doing anything we haven’t been doing for thousands of years. If you’ve got goods and services to sell you are going to exchange them for cash and there’s processes that makes it happens,” explained Gillam. He added:

“What has changed is the end-to-end delivery process that makes it a digital experience platform.”

Rather than build your own, like Airbnb, Amazon and Microsoft, BT is encouraging customers to share its platform. As a telco, BT is used to bringing services together for customers. With BearingPoint’s DEM platform, it’s simply taking it to a whole new level for the digital age. For BT it’s ultimately about putting choice and control in the hands of customers so they can grow their business in the digital age.

For more information about our Digital Ecosystem Management event please click here and if you wish to discuss further, please feel free to email me directly barry.mcmahon@BT.com

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Network Like Never Before Webinar: Your hybrid network questions answered https://www.btireland.com/network-like-never-before-webinar-your-hybrid-network-questions-answered/ Mon, 12 Dec 2016 13:51:53 +0000 https://www.btireland.com/?p=5802 Control, flexibility and adaptability. Having a hybrid mix of networks is a direct response to the hybrid cloud services that organisations now access to support their businesses. Different types of network [...]

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Thanks to everyone who attended our hybrid network webinar last week. In our session, we discussed why businesses today may need to rethink their network strategy and the growing need to adopt or evolve a hybrid strategy. We got some great feedback – and a lot of follow-up questions.

Here’s a sample of some of the more general topics that came up in our Hybrid Network webinar.

Q: What are the business benefits of a hybrid Network (WAN)

A: Control, flexibility and adaptability. Having a hybrid mix of networks is a direct response to the hybrid cloud services that organisations now access to support their businesses. Different types of network – MPLS, Internet, Ethernet – have different features and value propositions. The trick is to match each one to the service it is carrying.

A hybrid network coupled with dynamic path selection can automate the choice of the best path for particular applications. And with application-based load balancing across all available connectivity, you can optimise your bandwidth utilisation. 
It’s all about getting the balance right – for example, not wasting money and resources on using more expensive MPLS bandwidth for non-critical traffic but retaining MPLS where business critical apps need those service levels & guarantees.

Q: What kind of organisations would benefit from moving to BT Connect Intelligence IWAN?

A: Our intelligent software-defined network enables centralised control of application performance across hybrid networks. We’re already seeing huge interest from retailers and other organisations with distributed sites that have mixed hybrid network and application performance needs. Financial services and healthcare will benefit from using a hybrid network to add extra layers of security, for example, but the bottom line is that any multinational with a global footprint and complex network requirements will find use cases that justify the investment.

Q: Can in-house apps run over BTs IWAN?

A: Absolutely. Any applications can be routed across BT Connect Intelligence IWAN and experience enhanced performance. We give IT and Network Managers the ability to classify over 1,200 applications by default. For in-house apps we simply add those to the application list with the performance parameters they require.

Q: What would be considered the industry best-practice way to evolve legacy network architectures to take advantage of SDN, NfV and SD-WAN?

A: Every organisation is at different stages of network evolution, some have recent investments they need to sweat; others are trying to integrate disparate technologies that came with acquisition. All are interested in next-generation network technologies like SDN (Software Defined Networking), NfV (Network Function Virtualisation) and SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Networks).

The best approach is to identify the points in your global network that would give the fastest return on having the visibility and control that these technologies can deliver.

But approach carefully, you are dealing with nascent technologies where best practise rules are still being written. You will need a partner like BT that has the technical competency and experience to deploy them. You need someone with labs and testing facilities to replicate your application loads and services to optimise the opportunity. Ideally, they will also be able to identify opportunities to sweat existing assets, like being able to re-use existing customer premises equipment. We’re talking about evolution rather than revolution.

Q: Do these new technologies really put the power back into the hands of the CIO or IT manager?

A: This is facet of intelligent networks that strikes a chord with organisations struggling to manage increasingly complex IT environments. For the last few years we’ve seen the rise of “shadow IT”, where individual business units have gone off and done their own thing – sales signing up for Salesforce, HR to Workday or product development to Amazon Web Services. There is little or no consideration as to how it will impact on bandwidth availability across the rest of the organisation – hence the loss of power that the question alludes to.

The simple answer is “yes”, because software defined networks are predicated on providing central control and greater visibility of traffic and applications. If an organisation is getting to the point where it wants a single–window view of a global network, that gives it the ability to optimise services and maximise investments, it leaves little room for individual departments to go native and undermine the big picture strategy.

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