Network managers are putting away fancy toys, and turning their attention to the basic job of making their networks run smoothly, from the evidence of Networks Telecom Europe 2002. The other thing that is screamingly obvious is the fact that no one, whether vendor, user or service provider, has a lot of money to spare this year. Once-fashionable technologies, which had a good showing at previous such events when they were presented as exciting new departures, are now being re-presented, as workhorses. It is now hip to be dull. So voice on IP, once seen as a way to change the world by routing round the telcos, is now under the covers of the most workaday enterprise solutions providers. LANs on the electric ring mains, a technology which has been on the fringes for years, is now being put in context with the other options for small office connectivity and -- guess what? -- sold on price. Companies which would previously have made an effort to bring out something new at such a show, are now hesitantly showing small upgrades. The stands are sparse, the freebies are minimal -- which is fine for those of us who have all the rubber stress-releivers we want. More importantly, the managers are available to talk, and are very keen to give users what they want.
Networks Telecom europe 2002 will also feature The Hub. This is a FREE auditorium playing host to top IT and Telecoms Directors and featuring head-to-head debates, interrogations and topical discussions with the news-makers and opinion-formers from the industry. Our very own Rupert Goodwins will be moderating the Security Panel Debate focusing on Web Security Guidelines, Standardisation and good practice for SMEs. Catch him at The Hub from 11.10 on Thursday. Tech Update's e-Business Editor, Jane Oliver will be joining the table to moderate the Telecoms convergance debate. The panel will be discussing open standards, the benefits of convergence and discussing who will shoulder the responsibility for setting standards for design and implementation. She'll be in The Hub at 13.10 on Thursday afternoon. The Hub is situated at the back of Hall 17.