Turning networking hassles into a network services strategy Posted on June 14, 2016 by Adam Burke In my last post, I pointed out the sorts of pressures today’s competitive needs place on your customers’ network services — hassles related to application workloads, network performance, security, compliance, and more. At first glance, these may seem like patchwork problems to be addressed with patchwork solutions. But they may also signal deeper issues that, with a closer look, bring you face to face with the (often legacy) limitations of your customer’s data network. You may be tempted to suggest yet another patchwork solution. But take a moment — you may have an opportunity to show your customer a way to afford the next-generation network services so essential to remaining competitive. The network as a strategic asset What you’re doing, really, is introducing your customers to understanding the strategic importance of their data network infrastructure. One recent study reveals that those focused on the strategic goals of network agility and the network as a strategic asset have more satisfied users and faster resolution of security issues compared to the tactically focused (who struggle with cost overruns and lack of time to do their jobs). Beginning the conversation You can start from the bottom up by describing the bandwidth requirements of the always-on-everywhere connectivity your customers seek — and use this to explain, for instance, how such connectivity has already driven more than two thirds of enterprises to plan a move to 100 GbE to power their data network infrastructures. Discuss how the cloud services your customers run are likely to proliferate — already, many firms rely on at least two public cloud providers, and by 2017, more than half will run a majority of their applications in the cloud. To ensure a good user experience in this sort of complex multi-cloud environment, remind your customers of the need for easy, efficient visibility into each of these environments, best accomplished via advanced network monitoring and management that uses machine intelligence-based automation. Network security needs a boost, too; your customers will thank you when you show them that one of the best (though certainly not the only) way to improve network security is to automate it, an approach that’s gaining traction. 5 strategic network services moves Quest can help you show your customers why treating the network as a strategic asset pays off — and how to make it happen with these five best practices: Use risk analysis to prioritize. Automate basic tasks to improve network agility. Eliminate silos between network and application teams and encourage integration and connectivity in technology infrastructure. Face operational and staffing realities — and bring in the services and expertise needed to meet strategic goals. Recognize when you need help and get it from a team of experienced, trustworthy technology advisors with deep, vendor-neutral networking expertise.