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Converging thoughts (September 01, 2006)

In late January of next year, thousands of convergence and security experts will descend on Stoneleigh Park in the English Midlands for IPSEC 2007, the International IP in Security Exhibition and Conf...


September 1, 2006  


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In late January of next year, thousands of convergence and security experts will descend on Stoneleigh Park in the English Midlands for IPSEC 2007, the International IP in Security Exhibition and Conference.

Organizers say the event will demonstrate how a joined-up approach to both the thinking and technology will generate major opportunities to the industry as well as benefits to the future user of network-based solutions. Among the speakers will be Steve Strange, Technical Director at Anixter International Ltd.

“We have seen many changes in our cabling infrastructure over the past few years with data applications requiring faster data rates and more bandwidth than ever before,” he writes in a conference preview that appears on the IPSEC Web site.

“But tomorrow’s challenges may change the way we think (for) it is not necessary greater speed that we require, but bandwidth growth. Voice and data are commonplace with what seems to be an IP explosion placing more and more strain on the network, with greater file sizes slowing networks down or even stopping them altogether.”

Organizations are no longer kicking the IP tires, so to speak, but moving ahead with plans for a full-scaled implementation. A year ago, the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit reported on results of a global survey sponsored by AT&T that included executives at 35 Canadian companies.

Grant Buckler notes in this issue’s cover story that 62% of them indicated they would deploy IP networks throughout all or most of their organization by 2008.

NTL Group Ltd., a U.K.-based business communications provider, suggests on its Web site that the growth of convergence applications such as Voice Over IP, is placing end-to-end quality demands on the network including the cabling: “Increased performance is coupled with growth in bandwidth and the deployment of Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop and 10G for data centre connectivity is now common.

“In any office environment there is the need for a flexible approach to adds, moves and changes to support changes in business structures and to make efficient use of building environments. All of these combine to make structured cabling systems a critical part of an IT strategy.”

Further proof that the convergence movement is growing came in July when Microsoft Corp. and Nortel Networks Inc. announced they had formed a strategic business communications alliance.

The two say they will transition traditional business phone systems into software, with a Microsoft unified communications software platform and Nortel software products to provide further advanced telephony functionality.

Alec Saunders, former Microsoft employee and CEO of Iotum Corp., an Ottawa-based company that has developed a smart platform to intelligently assess the relevance of a phone call, and route it to the most appropriate device across any network, likes the deal. “Microsoft, (which) has lacked credibility in the communications marketplace, gains one of the oldest and best known names in communications as a partner,” he wrote in his blog soon after the deal was announced.

“They gain access to a new channel to market, the importance of which cannot be understated. And, they gain access to a large existing customer base.

“Together, the two companies are strong enough to go after Cisco, and that’s where the money is in IP communications today.”