This is part one of a two-part blog on network-powered business intelligence.
Here, I will describe some of the recent trends that are transforming the network from just a medium for connecting users, applications and devices to a strategic business asset that innovative CIOs have started to leverage to become influencers and business partners with other Line of Business (LOB) leaders and the president/CEO of their organizations.
Not too long ago, Enterprise networks were predominantly used to connect employees, customers, students, patients and visitors to the Internet and local resources (local applications, printers, etc.). Most of the applications used were relatively common and simple – web browsers, Word, PowerPoint, email and other local applications. The data network was important but not as critical as the phone system. A loss of network connectivity was a major inconvenience, but did not bring the business to a halt – users were still able to use their local applications and got most of their work done on their desktops and laptops.
Today, the performance and integrity of the network can make or break a business and the users it serves. Enterprises are no longer limited by wires, corporate issued desktops and laptops, or by location, time or even national borders. Today’s enterprise network is frequently accessed via Wi-Fi, typically by multiple non-enterprise owned devices per user (smaller laptops, tablets and smartphones). Users are also downloading and using applications and the hundreds of millions of web sites and Cloud-based services with multi-media voice, data and video content – these users are capturing, sending and downloading a vast volume and variety of content to remote servers into and from the Cloud at incredible velocity. In some cases these new applications become business-critical overnight.
And this trend is only getting started. With 1.9B smartphones in 2013 growing to 5.6B in 2019, and with 102B Apps downloaded in 2013 and projected to grow to 268B in 2017, networks have become the place where strategic business information resides. Think about it, every time you use your smart device to connect with a person or an application you are conducting a business event. Whether you are uploading to Facebook or twitter, or shopping at Amazon – these are business events being conducted in the network. The problem is that most of these business events are unknown by the network owner. In other words, the network is full of strategic information or golden business nuggets that are not being mined.
So what is happening is that innovative CIOs have started to realize that the value of the network has moved up the pyramid of “hierarchy of needs” from providing connectivity to becoming the source of strategic intelligence – see diagram below. These CIOs know that business knowledge and acumen has become the highest value that they can provide to their organizations and the network is the place to mine for such strategic intelligence and business knowledge.
On Feb 4 2014, Extreme Networks announced Purview, a Breakthrough technology that addresses this trend. Purview bridges the gap between business intelligence, IT network management and security through a single integrated view.
Purview is a network powered application analytics and optimization solution that captures and analyzes context-based application traffic to deliver meaningful intelligence – about applications, users, locations and devices.
It is designed to transform the Network into a Strategic Business Asset – by enabling the mining of network-based business events and strategic information that help business leaders make faster and more effective decisions. It does this all from a centralized command control center that combines Network Management with Business Analytics, and at unprecedented scale (100M sessions) and scope.
In the next blog, I will describe the use cases and some of the complementary and competitive solutions out there. Please stay tuned.
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