Don’t Artificially Limit Your Choices Over Hype

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Hype can push IT into picking a trendy technology rather than the one that best suits the situation

• 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are both great technologies, but shouldn’t be exclusive solutions

One of the big buzzwords in the last several years has been 5G. This technology has been so hyped that one would think it would change society in ways that will propel us instantly into some kind of Jetsons future. Part of that hype has also been around attacking Wi-Fi and setting up the conversation as 5G vs Wi-Fi. Providers of 5G, particularly private 5G, have a vested interest in making it an either/or decision. But absolutist views of 5G or even Wi-Fi for that matter miss the point and do a disservice to the enterprise customer.s Continue reading “Don’t Artificially Limit Your Choices Over Hype”

Palo Alto Networks Completes Acquisition of The Crypsis Group to Strengthen Its Cortex XDR Offering

R. Muru

Summary Bullets:

  • Palo Alto Networks’ acquisition of The Crypsis Group will enable the company to successfully build and strengthen detection and prevention capability in its Cortex XDR platform and drive market growth.
  • Palo Alto will acquire a highly experienced team consisting of 150 security consultants with strong capabilities in incident response and risk mitigation.

Palo Alto Networks continues with its investment strategy with the latest acquisition of The Crypsis Group, an incident response, risk management, and digital forensics company, for $265 million. With this acquisition, Palo Alto Networks plans to strengthen its Cortex XDR platform to successfully eliminate and address cyber threats. In particular, Palo Alto will enhance functionality in its Cortex XDR platform in collecting rich security telemetry data, managing breaches, and initiating rapid response actions. The platform already has strong detection and response capabilities that natively integrate network, endpoint, and cloud data to stop sophisticated cyberattacks. It does this by continually identifying evasive threats with increased accuracy and by profiling user and endpoint behavior with analytics capabilities. The Cortex XDR also has strong machine learning (ML) capabilities to analyze data from Palo Alto’s networks as well as third parties to identify highly engineered threats targeting devices and systems. Building further enhancements on its Cortex XDR offering around prediction, prevention, and mitigation of cyberattacks – and at speed – will enable Palo Alto to differentiate in the marketplace as it moves forward with a highly effective detection and response platform that integrates endpoint, network, and cloud data. Continue reading “Palo Alto Networks Completes Acquisition of The Crypsis Group to Strengthen Its Cortex XDR Offering”

Private 5G Spectrum Applications in Germany Offer Clues on Enterprise Demand – or Do They?

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Private 5G networks using unlicensed spectrum could play a major role in the digital transformation of business operations, especially within industrial sectors. Having opened up the market, German regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has already received 78 applications, all but four of which have been assigned.
  • A published list of private spectrum buyers is intended to let enterprises know who else has been approved, in order to avoid interference from overlapping use of radio frequencies in local deployments. So far, it is mostly network consulting and engineering specialists along with research and educational institutions that have gone public with their private spectrum applications.

In Who’s Winning the Wireless Private Network Race?,” Kathryn Weldon took a look at the various ecosystem stakeholders in private 4G and 5G networks and their various strengths, incentives, and abilities to capitalize on the market opportunity (particularly in the U.S., where private CBRS spectrum was recently auctioned). In this blog, we take a look at Germany, a regional market where global network infrastructure vendors expect early demand and where a list of entities assigned unlicensed 5G spectrum in the 3.7-to-3.8 GHz frequency band has just been published. Continue reading “Private 5G Spectrum Applications in Germany Offer Clues on Enterprise Demand – or Do They?”

Microsoft’s Azure Communication Services Launch Challenges OTT/CPaaS Vendors & MSPs and Gives Enterprises New Options

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises should be aware that Azure Communication Services will let them plug features such as SMS and voice and video calling into other applications and services.
  • Azure Communication Services offers security through its layered structure and can be integrated with Azure AI features.

What Is Azure Communication Services?

Azure Communications Services (ACS) is Microsoft’s decision to open up the platform that underpins services such as Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 as a managed service/API and SDK library. ACS is launching with a set of features that closely mirrors the core capabilities of Microsoft Teams. This is essentially because the features being offered are the blocks used to build the Teams platform. Customers will be able to integrate PSTN calling, IP voice and video, SMS, and individual and group chat functionality which includes content sharing and message history. Continue reading “Microsoft’s Azure Communication Services Launch Challenges OTT/CPaaS Vendors & MSPs and Gives Enterprises New Options”

COVID-19: The Digital Divide Drives Inequities in Virtual Learning

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • With 872 million students relying on some form of virtual learning this academic year, lack of access to reliable technology for some is translating into an academic disaster for millions.
  • While the pandemic drags on, observers are urging a concerted effort to fill in technology gaps to support all students as schools work to find a safe path back to physical school.

COVID-19 sent billions of students into a new virtual reality as schools in 192 countries closed their doors. At the pandemic’s peak, 1.6 billion students were impacted. Even the most well-funded school systems struggled to adjust, with technology platforms that faltered. In poorer systems, the lack of technology and connectivity meant many students’ education for the year effectively ended in March. Continue reading “COVID-19: The Digital Divide Drives Inequities in Virtual Learning”

The Emergence of Central Policy Driven Network and Security Convergence

R. Muru

Summary Bullets:

• The majority of network traffic in future digitalized enterprise environments will be outside the enterprise data center.

• Network and security will converge, with central orchestration and policy controls through the ‘as a Service’ delivery model.

The last ten years have seen CIOs proactively prepare their businesses in the modern era by embracing technology. Digitalization continues to make head way as businesses rework their business models and create new services in innovative ways. These include enabling mobile devices to support new services, digitalizing processes, and making use of remote intelligent devices (with data being pushed closer to the edge device) in sectors like manufacturing. In terms of technology maturity, modern digital environments will increase the use of cloud architectures running vendor applications like Salesforce, Zoom, and Office365, enabling big data and artificial intelligence (AI) in centrally configured data centers that now sit outside the enterprise environment. In addition, the growth of any place/any device/any setting, private networks (including 5G), and edge computing, is driving data away from the enterprise data center and closer to the user/device in a distributed manner. Subsequently, from a network and security perspective traditional network and security architectures fall short. Additionally, due to the uptake of cloud applications, the majority of data traffic terminates at public cloud services and branch offices rather than in enterprise private data centers.

Continue reading “The Emergence of Central Policy Driven Network and Security Convergence”

What Do Businesses Need to Do to Support Homeworkers?

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • In COVID-19 times and the aftermath, enterprises need to think about both collaboration and connectivity.
  • Businesses should consider talking to their telecoms and/or IT providers about developing a new digital transformation strategy.

The COVID-19 crisis looks set to carry on into at least the early part of 2021, and with new restrictions coming into place in many countries to prevent a ‘second wave,’ many employees and employers could easily be facing another six months of staff working from home. Furthermore, many large global enterprises have already indicated that homeworking will be the norm for the long term. So, how should enterprises respond? Continue reading “What Do Businesses Need to Do to Support Homeworkers?”

Some Wild Weeks for Mobility

Summary Bullets:

• There are some weeks, arguably some quarters, where few substantive announcements are made about mobility solutions, including enterprise mobility services (as opposed to 5G rollouts) and IoT. In the last two weeks, announcements from Ericsson, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon show a robust and dynamic industry.

• These launches were diverse: Verizon’s continuing MEC rollout and new reference customers, AT&T’s 5G win with the Air Force, AT&T’s Microsoft Azure Sphere-powered IoT connectivity offering, Ericsson’s acquisition of Cradlepoint, and T-Mobile’s new Magenta for Business price plans all show that opportunities in mobility and IoT are alive and well.

Enterprise mobility has often seemed like a sedate market, because smartphones and tablets are so baked in to the communications arsenals of enterprises; new, innovative offerings from the ecosystem are few and far between as every flavor of managed mobility seems to already be available. Even IoT, which is still considered a huge growth opportunity, has suffered from being put in the “enabler” category, with providers worrying about flat revenues and being reticent to introduce new capabilities as they wait for 5G to bring it back into the light via “massive” connectivity requirements. Continue reading “Some Wild Weeks for Mobility”

Building a Local Smarter State in the UK, Post-Pandemic

Robert Stoneman, Principal Analyst for local government at GlobalData, analyzes the key messages from the second day of techUK’s “Building the Smarter State” conference.

Day two of techUK’s flagship conference for 2020 took on a decidedly local theme compared to the day before, with the response of local public sector organizations firmly in the spotlight. With close to 130 attendees, and despite moving online in the current circumstances, the conference continued to be an industry-leading forum with a range of high-caliber speakers detailing the latest developments in public service ICT.

Kris Burtwistle, Head of UK Local Government at sponsors AWS, kicked day two off by summarizing some of their work with local authorities and introducing many of the key themes of the day. This included highlighting the rapidity with which councils embraced home working during lockdown, citing how the London Borough of Waltham Forest moved many its contact center staff to home working in just a matter of days. Continue reading “Building a Local Smarter State in the UK, Post-Pandemic”

Oracle’s Scenario Planning is Early Out of the Gate, but Leaves Ample Room for Competition

Ted Cuzzillo,
Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Oracle found the right time to market its scenario planning capabilities. Specialized vendors can also give good support, though few market for this planning method.

• The market for scenario planning support is ripe for new entries in a year of wildly discontinuous change.

Oracle has come out of the gate early with capabilities explicitly aimed at scenario planning — which in Oracle’s rendition of the classic method is at best a lightweight version that gets lost within the vendor’s rich planning ecosystem.

Whatever support Oracle offers for the venerable method is unclear. But at least it picked the right year to revive the name. True scenario planning would be useful to a business world that struggles to see its way past the pandemic. How does any business leader know which path offers the quickest, safest path? What if they bet on the wrong one? Continue reading “Oracle’s Scenario Planning is Early Out of the Gate, but Leaves Ample Room for Competition”