IP networks not easy, warns Telstra

Summary:Telstra has warned companies migrating to Internet Protocol-based (IP) network links that the process is not easy and will need buy-in from several different areas of the business. "Mission-critical applications will require re-engineering," Telstra executive Randy Lynch told a corporate audience at this year's CeBIT trade fair in Sydney this morning.

Telstra has warned companies migrating to Internet Protocol-based (IP) network links that the process is not easy and will need buy-in from several different areas of the business.

"Mission-critical applications will require re-engineering," Telstra executive Randy Lynch told a corporate audience at this year's CeBIT trade fair in Sydney this morning.

Lynch is managing director strategy, planning, marketing and operations for Telstra's enterprise and government division (formerly Telstra Business). The executive was hired in January from US telco Qwest, just one of a number of managers Telstra's new chief executive Sol Trujillo has brought Down Under.

In his speech, Lynch addressed a number of what he called "myths" surrounding the ongoing migration of enterprises from network links based on old protocols like frame relay to multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and IP networks.

The executive said instead of being "vitally interested" in IP networks as the common myth would have it, most large customers were instead focused on getting business results.

"Most large enterprise and government customers are selectively moving to IP," he added, debunking rumours of mass migrations.

Lynch also pointed out customers wouldn't necessarily save money by moving to IP. Instead, "it can deliver real business benefits and could transform your business," he said.

And lastly, the executive warned his big business audience that moving to IP wasn't easy. "It requires a thoughtful plan that addresses cross-company functions and processes," he said.

Telstra itself is in the process of building a AU$10 billion IP MPLS network as it attempts to modernise its systems.

Lynch said in the past Telstra had employed "a lot of people behind the scenes" to individually service large enterprise and government customers. This approach was characterised by its complexity, he said.

However, the carrier's ongoing network modernisation and business systems transformation projects would help bring a more standardised approach with less hands on deck, he said.

Naming customers
Lynch spent a substantial portion of his speech documenting some of Telstra's customers. He outlined six case studies that Telstra has paid to publish as part of a collection of 11 in the Australian Financial Review newspaper tomorrow morning.

The six customers and the technologies Telstra provided were:

  • Domino's Pizza (speech recognition and store location technology)
  • Toyota (IP networking)
  • Victorian Department of Education (online multimedia resources and broadband)
  • Re-Engineering Australia (application hosting)
  • Alphapharm (wireless database access)
  • CSIRO (remote IP networking video collaboration/Tele-health)

Topics: Telcos, Emerging Tech, Telstra

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