I recently published two documents on the outlook for Ethernet services and unified communications in Europe for 2009. I wanted to take this opportunity to call out several important takeaways from these documents:
The adoption of carrier Ethernet services in Europe will accelerate rapidly in 2009, driven by the low cost per bit, simplicity, and flexibility of these services. Service provider MPLS traffic and revenues will also grow in 2009, but will be outpaced by Ethernet traffic and revenue growth. Most providers' infrastructure will continue to offer legacy Ethernet services delivered over SDH/SONET networks while demand persists, but these legacy services will eventually be entirely replaced by VPLS-based services.
What does this mean for I&O professionals? Our clients tell us that they are moving to VPLS-based E-LAN services because any-to-any Ethernet networks are easy to configure and manage and the costs are lower than equivalent MPLS VPNs. They also don’t need any additional expertise in the complexities of IP routing like autonomous systems, border gateway protocols, and open shortest path first. All they need is Ethernet expertise — which they need anyway in order to LAN. VPLS technology also enables users to deploy hub-and-spoke networks today and then to migrate them to any-to-any topologies when it suits them. You should look at service providers that:
Can meet your plans to use VPLS-based services.
Can support your SDH point-to-point circuits requirements.
Offer hybrid networks or have firm plans for them.
For more detailed information on this topic, read The Recession Will Accelerate European Ethernet Services Adoption!
With the recession upon us, IT spending forecasts for Europe have been revised down significantly. To minimize cash outlay, and to leverage service providers' and systems integrators' professional services expertise, we suggest that firms take a fresh look at rapidly maturing managed and hosted UC services. However, Forrester recommends that companies always start by quantifying the potential savings from UC with a business case, and then as a second step consider the use of managed and hosted UC services to reduce capital expenditure (capex) and to simplify UC deployments.
UC is a core enabling technology to help enterprises reduce costs, improve productivity, transform business processes, and innovate — all of which will improve competitiveness. Although some firms are delaying UC projects or slowing down rollout, many believe that UC is key to their future success and are sticking with their plans. Forrester suggests that as part of their review of 2009 plans, infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams should:
Ensure that their firm makes UC part of its strategic IT plans.
Consider buying UC as a managed service.
Look at buying UC as a hosted service.
Don't wait until OCS can do everything.
For more detailed information on this topic, read The 2009 Outlook For Unified Communications In Europe!
By Phil Sayer
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