NEC Demonstrating OpenFlow Quantum Plug-in for OpenStack at Red Hat Summit

This week at the Red Hat Summit in Boston, NEC will be demonstrating an OpenFlow Quantum plug-in for OpenStack. This plug-in, when combined with NEC’s ProgrammableFlow® SDN Controller, brings an OpenFlow-enabled partner ecosystem to the Cloud, unifies OpenStack and OpenFlow networking models and seamlessly integrates with OpenStack’s existing network management capabilities. Whereas OpenStack provides the platform to manage compute virtualization, NEC’s ProgrammableFlow SDN product suite provides end-to-end OpenFlow orchestration, multi-tenancy and complete virtualization of the network layer while enforcing isolation between logical network tenants.

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If you’re planning to attend the Red Hat Summit, please visit NEC at Booth 17 in the OpenStack Partner Pavilion. Hope to see you there!

What to know more about SDN?  Watch the video below:

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CapEx vs. OpEx: How Can IT and Finance Work Together?

Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) work with two distinct budget planning methods in mind:   capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx).     A study by Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation reports that “The CFO is increasingly becoming the top technology investment decision-maker in many organizations.”   In nearly 500 enterprises surveyed, 42 percent of all CIOs report to the CFO, and in three out of four companies, the CFO has a major hand in all IT spending.

While the CFO and the financial organization ensure the business health of a corporation, the CIO and IT organization understand the technological needs and challenges and, in turn, devise solutions to address those challenges.  More often than not, those solutions include resources in the form of people, time or money.  Working in conjunction with one another, the CFO and CIO must oftentimes find ways to do more with less.  They’re being asked to support more devises and more applications on a network that can support more users.  When we as IT organizations are recommending a capital outlay, we will likely receive pushback because of the divot in a balance sheet.

While it is common to stretch budget by shifting capital expenses to operating expenses, it is beneficial to first understand the differences between the two.  Capital expenses are long-term investments, while OpEx financing models allow many organizations to leverage all the benefits of predictable monthly payments traditionally found in hosted solutions in an on-premises solution. For many, this can be the best of both worlds: a service-oriented model found with a hosted solution with none of the concerns some organizations may have with security and availability of a hosted service. What’s more, a $25,000 on-premises collaboration and audio conferencing solution may be a difficult solution to get approved, however, an on-premises solution with all of the capabilities of hosted for less than $400.00 per month can be a powerful internal conversation. Are you more comfortable paying out a lump sum or breaking payments down into a monthly scale? Regardless of where your preference lies, there is a financing option for you.

However, if we can shift thinking from all solutions being a capital expenditure to the integration of operating expenditures, we can realize efficiencies not only within the organization, but also perhaps a better response from finance. Operating expenses for solutions not only spread out costs on a monthly basis, but they also realize value each month as opposed to the depreciation of a capital expense. In addition to justifying costs, you must calculate the opportunity cost – the cost of doing nothing – to your organization. Are you losing things that provide value – employees, satisfaction or even customers?

Have you switched to an opex model? What are other ways your IT organization works in harmony with finance?  Watch the video “NEC Capex vs. Opex”, as Mark Hebner, senior business development manager, discusses costs vs. the cost of doing nothing and how switching from CapEx to OpEx actually helps you realize value month-to-month.

 

 

Enterprise Connect: A Recap

Enterprise Connect gathered together the industry’s finest corporations, vendors, analysts and media to learn about the newest enterprise-focused communications and collaboration technology and the best approaches for implementation. Not only did we meet with analysts to gather insight, we met with partners and other industry experts to discuss the current landscape and what each of us as leaders could do to propel the industry forward.

Role- and Location-Based Demonstrations

Throughout the session, both channel partners and end customers visited booth #1200 to learn how NEC products such as UNIVERGE 3Cand UNIVERGE Cloud Services UCaaSare utilized within home, office and remote environments.

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A Toast to Innovation

To cap off day two at the conference, NEC celebrated its 50thanniversary in North America with an upscale soiree during the Tuesday evening booth crawl, replete with booth staff in black tie attire and a toast to celebrate 50 years of innovation.  While sipping champagne and sparkling water, attendees were able to enjoy NEC’s demos to the sounds of a harpist.

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Sessions

In sessions such as “Is UC Moving Towards A New Plateau or Towards a Cliff” and “Enabling the Nomadic Workforce” NEC’s Todd Landry discussed the factors that are affecting the ever-changing environment at today’s enterprises, such as mobility, on-demand collaboration, virtual workspaces and more. He addressed ways that companies can meet the needs of the various constituents among their workforces.

We also showcased the healthcare vertical through the market leaders’ presentation “UC Challenges in Healthcare,” and included ways healthcare companies can address the changes that are on the horizon through technology and innovative solutions.

Throughout the conference, we spoke in order to garner insights that will not only propel the industry forward, but also strengthen our channel program and provide results for our end customers. NEC’s forward-looking remarks during the sessions were well received, often sparking lively debate and opinions on how the enterprise network is evolving and the role of emerging technologies such as cloud solutions.

Overall, Enterprise Connect 2013 was an excellent opportunity to explore new ideas, share insights and look forward to future innovation in the communications and collaboration technology space.

To learn more about empowering your workforce visit: http://necam.com/empowered

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Enhancing Higher Education Through Video Collaboration

NEC Collaboration SolutionsThe integration of Web technology and collaboration solutions into higher education has become a popular trend within the University community. With the evolution of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consistent development of mobile technology, video collaboration, too, has become highly mobile. No longer does it require highly equipped teleconferencing suites with banks of equipment. Thanks to the advent of mobile technology, learners and instructors can videoconference with the click of a button on their smartphones, tablets, laptops or other mobile devices, no matter the location. This sharing and exchange of information is particularly beneficial in a higher education setting. With audio, video and web collaboration solutions, interruptions in class schedules for unforeseen circumstances such as weather or emergency school closings are a thing of the past.

 

§  Real-Time vs. Pre-recorded video options-With real-time (synchronous) and pre-recorded (asynchronous) options, administrators and educators have the tools they need to effectively collaborate within the community in the method of their choosing that they deem best for a particular student group. For example, pre-recorded messages may work best for a group of students who learn better in a self-paced educational setting.

 

§  Customized collaboration options- Many solutions offer features which have the ability to facilitate an experience just like being in a “real” classroom. An example is white-board collaboration, where the meeting facilitator can draw or write on the white board during presentation. Another beneficial feature of collaboration solutions is the ability to upload files for download. With this feature, faculty members have a place to house important class documents, and students can in turn access and save files they need without the need for the facilitator to print them, resulting in a decrease in printing and supply costs for the University.

 

§  Cloud Service utilization- Perhaps the most widely used example of cloud services is the provision of e-mail. Additionally, many colleges and universities also use tools such as YouTube and wikis to circulate information. Blogs may be used for remote communication within private groups such as a research team. Both stationary and mobile devices come in a variety of platform flavors, yet users of all types are able to meet in virtual video space. Regardless of the method, each of these tools facilitates collaboration and can enhance the learning environment and student experience.

 

§  Security- With file sharing comes obvious security concerns and questions, as data security can be compromised in the case where one or more universities may share a data center, or contract for services through a commercial provider. And while collaboration solution applications may not come without a level of risk, these concerns are easily addressed. Your individual situation will determine your methods of protection and whether you yield the greatest value in securing the devices where data is housed, or securing the data itself. Additionally, many solutions are equipped with the latest in security, from requiring unique PIN ID codes for meeting participants, to protecting the information shared within a meeting so it is only seen by those invited attendees. This reduces the need for external security applications at an additional cost to the University.

 

The benefits of collaboration within higher education extend to those within the higher education community as well as the information and communications technology (ICT) community. Many opportunities lie ahead for more extensive collaboration approaches. The collaboration opportunity for the two affords an invaluable exchange of knowledge and experience which can, in turn, be used to create additional infrastructures. Download the document to see how NEC’s Collaboration solutions are changing the way information is being exchanged while improving teamwork and reducing cost.

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NEC leverages OpenFlow to reduce transmission overload on cellular networks

NEC-ProgrammableFlow-OpenFlow-AndroidNEC continues to be a leader in the OpenFlow innovation movement.  This week in Tokyo our colleagues in Japan at NEC Corporation are demonstrating another first:  OpenFlow for Android, at iExpo in Tokyo on November 11 and 12.

Atsushi Iwata, NEC’s Senior Manager for System Platforms Research Labs, presented our findings at the Stanford Clean Slate CTO Summit this week.  Just a side note:  for those of you unfamiliar with Clean Slate, this is the interdisciplinary research program out of Stanford that has set the ambitious mission of “reinventing the Internet”.   A number of initiatives and innovations have come from Clean Slate, not the least of which is OpenFlow 1.0.  NEC, Deutsche Telekom and Stanford were the original charter members of Clean Slate, so as you can see we have been working with OpenFlow now for almost four years.

As detailed in an NEC news release recently, the Communication Control Technologies for networks and mobile devices being demoed at iExpo 2011 are designed to help reduce transmission overload for mobile carriers and customers.  Today communication carriers use data offload to deal with increases in cellular network traffic, automatically switching wireless connections from cellular networks to other high-speed wireless networks, like wireless LAN, when they are available.

The problem with this scenario is that wireless LAN connections are frequently lost due to limited coverage (those of you in major US cities surely know about this), and security is weaker than cellular networks.

NEC’s OpenFlow controller can control mobile device communication and select the most appropriate network, for higher quality, more flexible communication services.  The technology also leverages the advantages of different networks simultaneously; for example, the high-speed networking of wireless LAN can be offered at the same time as the connectivity and security of cellular networks.  This OpenFlow demonstration will control mobile device communications and switch functionality for Android.

Business policy and application needs can drive mobile communications and network switching for a more responsive, agile network and improved communications quality.   And Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), who provide mobile phone services using the infrastructure of other carriers, can select connections from multiple mobile networks with NEC’s OpenFlow controller on the network side, further enhancing their service offering.

One of the big questions coming out of this month’s OpenFlow Symposium in San Jose was around OpenFlow use cases… providing control for networks and mobile devices to reduce transmission overload surely will stir some interest.

For more information on the iExpo demo read the press release here.  Or check out what ProgrammableFlow can do for you today at www.necam.com/pflow.