Build your own destiny

Jan Zuurbier head of Global Sales for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise says BYOD signals the death of the heavy old-fashioned PC and the rise of the personal cloud.

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Build your own destiny Jan Zuurbeir from Alcatel-Lucent says that IT departments need to stop focusing on the device and instead focus on the applications and the user.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  July 23, 2012

Jan Zuurbier head of Global Sales for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise says BYOD signals the death of the heavy old-fashioned PC and the rise of the personal cloud.

Bring Your own Device is a market trend that is concerning IT departments and networking professionals alike, it is also the beginning of the end for the heavy and clumsy PC, according to Jan Zuurbier, head of Global Sales for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.

“The real transformation that is happening in the market is not BYOD, but what we see as the end of the personal computing era and people are moving away from the PC really quickly. They don’t want to run around with a heavy PC. What we see today is that people are moving from the old PC era to the new PC era and the new PC era is not personal computing but personal clouds,” he said.

A personal cloud is a single private cloud on one device environment, but, if a user works with a personal cloud at home and brings it into the corporate environment, then that private cloud is accessing the corporate environment and there are personal applications on the enterprise network.

To enable this evolution in personal computing, it is important that IT managers begin to move all of the business data and intelligence into the network and give employees a thin client to utilise.

This also means that the corporation will be able to get more out of their employees, who can access their data at any time, from anywhere.

Alcatel-Lucent calls the BYOD phenomenon a symptom of the fact that people are building and hosting personal clouds on their own devices.

“IT departments must look beyond the device to two layers in their network that they really need to enable and restructure, to make sure that the personal cloud phenomenon can exist in their company and those two layers are the communications services layer and the second layer is the networking layer,” says Zuurbier.

In the communications layer, what users are looking for now are applications that have a complete mobile solution, including mobile video and voice, and they want to use those applications on any device.

“This means that the old PBX systems have gone, from our perspective, and we sell a lot of PBX, so we know what we are talking about. We will need to move to an architecture which allows seamless shifting between messaging, video, voice, conferencing, document sharing, and that architecture needs to have a face, which is no longer the phone, it is the interface on your device of choice,” states Zuurbier.

This transformation means that users move from a fixed-line desk phone device environment to an environment where the company can add an application client on any device used by the employee.

Looking at the second layer, networks, these now have to be device-centric according to Zuurbeir, and the IT department must look at the particular security aspects of allowing a device into the company.

“What we see as Alcatel-Lucent is that most IT departments focus on the device, they should not focus on the device, but rather on the networking infrastructure and make sure it can cope with the security of the network, not in the core of the network, but at the edge of the network. They also need to focus on context and the user rather than on the application itself,” Zuurbier adds.

Alcatel-Lucent says that the enterprise should focus on the context within which the application is used and focus on the user.

According to the company, a lot of networking solutions are now focused on the application and allow employees to run an app on a personal device, but not within the company environment. “I have an iPad – I bring it to the company – on the iPad I have tools, one is a video conferencing tool on behalf of the company for video conferencing and then I have a second one for video, which is Facebook which I use to speak with my children when I am travelling. What the network needs to do, is understand me as a user and then based upon me as a user they need to authenticate me and give me the right firewall settings so you are allowed to make use of the network,” Zuurbier explains.

This means that the network needs to dynamically and automatically recognise that the priority settings for the Facebook session are much lower than the priority settings for the video conference on the enterprise video conferencing app on the same device.

“Networks now need to understand user and the user profile, as well as the context behind the application and that in a nutshell is what we call at Alcatel-Lucent the Application Fluent Network,” says Zuurbier. “Understanding the application is no longer enough – you now need to understand the context in which the app is used – go to the user profile and understand the user and dynamically and automatically allow priority scheduling for the user.”

This transformation in the network, brought about by BYOD is radically altering the role of the network manager, according to Alcatel-Lucent.

“With the BYOD revolution several things need to change, first of all the network manager needs to have more flexibility around describing the tools, secondly, they can learn to really get in touch with the users and understand what the users want,” explains Zuurbier.

In a recent poll by Alcatel-Lucent on a college campus, they found that four out of five college students thought it was perfectly normal to bring their own device into a work environment and they want constant self-service connectivity to apps and the internet no matter what the rules and regulations of the enterprise.

“I think this is another interesting aspect of what we see today – the users are becoming more self-service oriented - they can play with their own devices, they can bring their own personal cloud to the enterprise and use the applications they like,” states Zuurbier.

In the past, the network manager had to fix each and every app on every device under his control, but according to Alcatel-Lucent, these times are gone, the devices are not under the network manager any more, so he needs to enable an environment where people are mobile, and have the access to the network apps that they want.

“The network manager also needs to realise that people choose their devices, so he cannot expect a situation where only devices from a certain manufacturer are allowed in the network,” Zuurbier explains.

“You have to look beyond the device, you have to go further than just bringing your own device, you have to build your own destiny.”

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