First Annual Service Provider Outlook Survey Shows That Speed
By Jeremiah Caron,
Service provider professionals are famously busy folks these
days. Deregulation and privatization have led to fierce competition.
Ubiquitous Internet protocol (IP) networking has created rabid
customer demand for more-better-faster. And the endless stream of
mergers and acquisitions has made it all but impossible to figure
out who's responsible for what. Startup greenfielders are spending
away, with Wall Street's approval (for now), while the incumbents
labor to literally switch horses in midstream-a very swift stream at
that. Add in the barrage of pitches they're receiving from
gold-rushing technology suppliers, and it's a wonder these
executives have any time whatsoever to deliver services.
Inside The Frame|
What a difference a year makes!
Before, if business customers wanted to make sure their service
providers were living up to the terms of their frame relay network
service level agreements (SLAs), they pretty much had to monitor the
network themselves and be ready to prove it if there was a problem.
A year later, the biggest service providers are offering to manage
the whole frame relay network for them, and give them real-time
Web-based tools to monitor their network's performance all the way
to their premises.
Too Little Too Late As Spin Cycle Sputters
By Kate Gerwig,
There's no shortage of spin these days. From Washington to
Wall Street and from Bangor to Bakersfield, companies are twirling
themselves dizzy as they put their spin on news. Service providers,
to their credit, aren't being left behind. In fact, some of them are
now learning the advanced, sometimes painful art of respinning--in
effect explaining what they meant by their previous spin. MCI
WorldCom Inc. is in the midst of a crash course right now, thanks to
what many observers and customers believe was a serious and
potentially image-damaging response to its frame relay outage last
month, when about 30 percent of its frame customers lost service for
up to 10 days. Nobody's saying MCI WorldCom lied in explaining the
breakdown, but many think the company stonewalled by providing a
nondescript acknowledgment that some customers were being affected
by network congestion. Unfortunately for the "some" customers
involved, the congestion translated into total outage.
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