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Application Managed Services Differentiation: Cable & Wireless

February 24, 2010 - 1 Comment

Organizations are changing how they use the network to access applications and managed service providers are changing their network services to meet the challenge. As they centralize applications and access them across the WAN organizations need a network that delivers their applications with high performance and they need to see how their applications are performing. Managed service providers are meeting customer’s requirements by moving away from offering standard low feature WAN links and creating new innovative application performance management (APM) services that accelerate applications and provide customers with real-time information on the results that are being delivered.

In this video Steve Horwath, Product Manager at Cable & Wireless, talks with Stephen Makayi, Marketing Manager at Cisco, about the growing demand for application performance and the Cable & Wireless managed WAN optimization service, which provides customers with optimized application performance with advanced reporting, which in turn give customers information they can use to drive their business. Steve discusses how APM enables managed service providers to deliver an application-aware network with uptime guarantees for applications that changes the conversation MSPs can have with customers, from selling plain WAN links to providing application performance assurances, and putting the MSP in the role of a trusted advisor.

Traditionally an SP like Cable & Wireless concerned themselves with network basics like packet flow, jitter rates and service levels based on network uptime. However, with evolving customer requirements from their network and MSP SP’s are using products like Cisco Cisco WAAS as a building block to offer value added services such as WAN optimization and application acceleration and they are using APM to tie service levels to application performance. Using APM technology MSPs can baseline the network and provide customers with a starting point for application performance measurement. This baseline provides the fact-basis for ROI models that customers need to develop to justify their IT expenditures, as well as service delivery changes the customer may wish to implement across their network.

APM is a logical addition that MSPs can build upon their existing managed services. Many MSPs, including Cable & Wireless, started with a managed WAN service and then developed a managed Firewall service with content filtering and now are adding a visibility layer and an acceleration layer. Cable & Wireless sees the next step in this progression being application hosting where they can offer an SLA for applications such as managed Microsoft Exchange or SharePoint or deliver virtual desk top services with performance level agreements. The WAN optimization service has allowed Cable & Wireless to look at how customers are experiencing a virtualization process. Customers are saving on power and servers so now they are looking at higher value services such as APM and hosted applications. By developing an adaptive network with APM capabilities Cable & Wireless can meet customer’s needs for application performance where ever the application server sits. Cable & Wireless realizes they need to deliver a more intelligent, higher performing network, and not just cheap bandwidth. In fact with an APM service they see an increase in bandwidth utilization by customers since customers are getting performance that justifies using the WAN to deliver applications.

APM changes how Cable & Wireless does business. Now they have access to application teams and business users and in addition to the network teams. Business managers realize that productivity and revenue correlate so APM delivers real value to them. APM is a winning solution to customer’s problems and makes the MSP a trusted advisor that delivers increased productivity.

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  1. Good article, APM is critical to hosted services.