How To Achieve A Worry Free Network Wp101200


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How To Achieve A Worry Free Network Wp101200

  1. 1. HoW to ACHieve A WoRRy-FReeNetWoRkStop worrying about your IT infrastructure, and star t growing your businessExEcutivE OvErviEwToday’s enterprises have fewer and fewer resources at their disposal, even “Qwest’s Integrated Managementas maintaining complex IT infrastructures becomes more difficult than ever. service alleviates substantial workCompanies struggle to remain competitive by providing staff and customers with load here in IT. My involvementthe services they need, but it’s difficult to do because of growing operational with the network has decreased asoverhead. This creates a whole lot of worry. At some point, trusting an outside much as 90 percent, enabling mepartner to take care of network management is necessary, because it allows you to focus on other needs.”to offer better, more reliable services to your customers, without worrying about Joel Cady, Communicationsmanaging your complex networks. Systems Administrator, BUCA, Inc.This paper explores how third-party providers like Qwest can help large andmid-sized businesses move from an expensive, hassle-prone network to one that’s worry-free, and capitalize on best-of-breed technology without paying a high price.what’s NOt tO wOrry abOut?If, like most business professionals, you use surveys, trends and statistics for guidance, there’s a lot for you to worry about.According to Goldman Sachs, global spending on IT decreased 9% from 2008 to 2009 and 29% of North Americanbanks cut their IT budgets. The depth of IT spending among small and medium sized businesses is twice as much asin large companies. Meanwhile, the cost of maintenance is rising sharply, and there are fewer people to perform thosetasks—companies simply are still slow in hiring new employees. Still, U.S. Internet traffic rose 54% between 2008 and 2009,according to Strategic Networks Group, creating more congestion that providers must work to accommodate. Thesestatistics illustrate the challenge every business faces: How do you meet business demands with an infrastructure that youcan’t afford to manage?Even though we may be coming out of this recession, worries about the trends of having to do more with less willpersist for some time, and a growing scarcity of expertise will thwart companies trying to keep pace. In the midst ofthese challenges, many companies are treading water—simply doing what they have to do to keep the lights on. But thisapproach is only possible for so long. IT infrastructure will age, and as a result, the total cost of ownership (TCO) willincrease to a tipping point, forcing companies to overhaul their equipment and upgrade applications. But will they have themoney and resources to do it? Most companies will find it difficult to obtain new loans or find and retain IT experts whoare knowledgeable about security, unified communications and performance management.thE altErNativEsWithout question, traditional company structures are being challenged, and the trends are forcing change for bothcustomers and service providers. It’s a transformational period: business models with excessive costs and inefficienciesgiving way to new models. Which one you employ depends on a number of factors, including the size of business, businessneeds, and how much you’re willing to invest.• best-of-breed infrastructure: Companies with deep pockets can buy best-of-breed solutions now, and use internal IT staff as the integrator. Typically, this option is affordable for larger enterprises only. Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 1 All marks are the property of the respective company. WP101200 – April 2010
  2. 2. • Outsourcers: Global multinational companies with complex IT environments that have custom requirements may choose to outsource their network infrastructure. This model involves a long-term contract (5+ years), and may not be a viable option for smaller companies.• Managed service Providers: Many small- and mid-sized companies are turning to managed service providers with long-term core competencies in networking. A typical managed service contract lasts roughly three years, which is much more palatable and affordable for smaller enterprises and mid-sized companies. Using a managed service provider, these companies can avoid capital expenses, but still take advantage of the latest and greatest technologies and expertise that providers have on-hand.Managed Service Providers offer other benefits to customers, as well. Service providers are experts in delivering servicelevels all the way to the application. They understand that customers need to extend beyond cost savings and networkuptime, and the performance of applications in the customer’s environment will have an increasingly bigger role over time.Service providers can control the network and use appropriate tools to inspect IP packets that go to the application layer.They can provide a level of visibility in the network that improves performance and troubleshooting, and enables applicationperformance measurement across the network—leading to more predictable service levels.Managed Service Providers can coordinate services and deliver a unified customer experience. They offer a single point ofcontact for service delivery and billing, further simplifying operations. Redirecting operational dollars to a strategic initiativelike a managed service offering can help make your IT organization a competitive differentiator, rather than a cost center, andhelp you to create a worry-free network that is flexible and responsive to your business needs. Figure 1. Redirecting operational dollars to a strategic initiative like a managed service offering can help make your IT organization a competitive differentiator. Source: IBM Global Technology Services.achiEviNg thE wOrry-FrEE NEtwOrkDelivered through a trusted service provider, a worry-free network consists of high-quality assets and processes, andsimplifies service delivery with a flexible, responsive model that leverages highly skilled service experts:• Flexibility—Every network is unique, so a managed service provider must offer the flexibility to define infrastructure elements that need monitoring and management, especially when customers are leveraging existing equipment that may not be standard..• responsiveness—Providers should deliver around-the-clock surveillance and reporting, with automated alerts and escalation workflows. This helps customers feel more in control and supported, even though the network is managed externally.• high quality assets and processes—A reliable managed service provider must offer ISO-certified, quality assets for monitoring, management and reporting. Additionally, these services should be delivered by domain experts through IT Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 2 All marks are the property of the respective company. WP101200 – April 2010
  3. 3. infrastructure library (ITIL) management processes. Such assets and processes are difficult to obtain and use when resources are limited, so a managed service provider can add significant value in this area, going beyond management benefits to best-of-breed equipment and reporting features that aid in compliance.• service experience—Service providers should have a long and strong track record of providing highly skilled IT experts along with the right tools and products to meet new business demands. For example, customers can cut costs and save time using a single portal for ticketing, reporting, customization and monitoring.cONsidEr thE thrEE Ps: POrtFOliO, PartNErs aNd PrOcEssEsWhen selecting a managed service provider, consider the portfolio of hardware and software assets, partners andprocesses offered. These three “Ps” can be evaluated during the request for information (RFI) phase and used as the first-order criteria to quickly slim down your list of potential providers.Following are some points to consider when evaluating the three Ps:• Portfolio: Efficient service delivery requires quality hardware and software assets, such as LAN switches, routers, contact centers, IP based collaboration tools, and emerging capabilities like presence, Web services and IP based services. New services such as Ethernet and SIP Trunking, and ancillary services including security, anti-virus, hosting, and SaaS will also be critical. Emerging technologies such as virtualization may require extensive resources. Make sure your service provider has a rich portfolio that can accommodate these new and emerging technologies, now and into the future.• Partners: If your service provider leverages partnerships, look to providers who have a great deal of subject matter expertise and competencies on newer services and equipment, such as audio conferencing and gateways. These partner solutions must be compliant with regulatory mandates like PCI-DSS, HIPAA and others, depending on your industry. Find out the providers’ future plans for managed service partners, what capabilities will be available and whether or not they are aligned with your business objectives.• Processes: Processes exist for all stages of a project lifecycle—from design and presales to ordering and upgrading to change management and billing. Jointly developed and shared processes should be clearly delineated and rehearsed, and governance should be well defined. Another useful feature is a single portal for major lifecycle activities like change management, billing, and payment resolution.Companies that pass the RFI phase should be considered for an RFP. Be sure to request the following:• A detailed migration plan from now to a managed service provider• Information about support• Reporting and staffing requirements• Specific performance requirements• Provider viability• PriceNO wOrriEsGiven the current economic conditions, companies will need to continue doing more with less for quite some time. As youstrive to eliminate the worry in your network and leverage your current assets without increasing costs, consider turning toan experienced service provider who can provide the best tools, assets and expertise to not only manage your network foryou—worry-free—but help you cost-effectively evolve with and meet changing customer demands. Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 3 All marks are the property of the respective company. WP101200 – April 2010
  4. 4. Managed Services: Success StoriessuccEss stOry 1company: U.S. Financial Firmgoal: To enhance IT availability, visibility and control while reducing costs.solution: Qwest and IBM implemented network-managed services for improved insight for network monitoring and reporting, along with around the clock management.results*: Reduced complexity and cost of operating a heterogeneous environment while enabling consistent IT service quality and availability.succEss stOry 2company: U.S. Healthcare Providergoal: To reduce total cost of ownership for managing unified communications (UC) infrastructure.solution: Qwest and IBM implemented network-managed services for the client’s UC infrastructure to provide a single source solution and optimization of existing infrastructure and resources.results*: Provided access to expertise around the clock while reducing the costs and complexity of a multi-vendor operating environment. Improved reporting and alerts to allow for improved business decision making.* These results are unique to this company and should not be considered an indication of the amount of savings that may be realized by any other entity subscribing to comparable services. Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 4 All marks are the property of the respective company. WP101200 – April 2010
  5. 5. CoNNeCt. SimPliFy. eNHANCe. ® with Qwest Business Solutions® Qwest is focused on helping you work smarter, with services that leverage the latest technology and award-winning support. Here are a few solutions that can address the issues covered in this solutions brief: Qwest iQ™ Network Management service (NMs) is a network management product suite that provides complete out-tasking of all or part of your customer’s data network. NMS is a comprehensive, integrated package of products and services for building and proactively managing networks. Qwest iQ™ Managed security service (Mss) provides flexible, around-the-clock expertise to preemptively protect against known and unknown Internet threats. MSS reduces the costs and complexities associated with managing security while preventing the impact of security threats allowing customers to leverage our expert tools, skills and processes to improve their system uptime and performance, optimize security investments, improve employee productivity, and demonstrate compliance. Qwest storage and backup services include managed dedicated storage, utility storage (pay-for-use), point-in-time copy service and a variety of backup solutions. Qwest Backup service can backup business data to tape, or provide copies on disk. Information is always available, and may be further protected by archiving in an off-site secured facility. Qwest Managed hosting services provide the utmost flexibility; robust enough to support a wide array of customer- requested hardware and operating systems; and versatile enough to accommodate shared control of environments when needed. Additionally, Qwest provides a complete offering of a-la-carte application and database monitoring and management solutions to layer atop Qwest managed platforms. With the Qwest total package of managed service solutions, customers can offload management of even the most complex and time-consuming components of Web solutions without surrendering control.why QwEstQwest delivers reliable, scalable data and voice networking solutions, across one of the U.S. largest fiber footprints.Qwest serves businesses of all sizes, ranging from small business to 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, with industry-leading SLAs and world-class customer service.lEarN MOrEFor more information about Qwest voice and data services for large businesses, visit or call(877) 816-8553 to speak to a Qwest representative. Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 5 All marks are the property of the respective company. WP101200 – April 2010