Network management has been around since the dawn of networking. In the early days, companies like Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) would create their own proprietary management software to manage their switching products (i.e. Procurve Manager was originally an HPE-only tool until it was updated with limited 3rd party support).
This all changed in the early 2000’s when a protocol called SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) was standardized and introduced to switches. This allowed the management plane of the switch to communicate live statistics such as response times, CPU utilization, etc., back to a centralized network management solution in an open-standards manner. It also allowed network admins to have a “single pane of glass” into the basic statistics of their multi-vendor network. SNMP has gone through various revisions to this day but the basic principle remains the same – allowing network admins to manage a multivendor network environment from one tool.
Airwave and IMC both utilize SNMP to communicate with 3rd party devices, and both have an extensive list in the thousands of devices that are supported from 3rd party vendors from Cisco to Netgear.
The product differentiation comes down to how these tools will be utilized by the Network Admins:
Airwave is directed more at “campus” environments (think carpeted office space, K-12, higher ed campuses, etc.) due to how easy it is to use compared to the more daunting setup involved in IMC. Another reason for this positioning is because Airwave is a much more capable wireless management tool, giving customers much better insight into the health of their wireless network then IMC can provide.
An example of this would be the VisualRF plugin in Airwave. VisualRF provides a real-time view of their RF coverage and client positioning. This visual tool allows network engineers to see their actual RF coverage inside of a building, giving them a good idea of any existing gaps in coverage that they might need to add an additional AP to support. Airwave is licensed per device on the network, and those licenses give you access to the full software suite.
Intelligent Management Center, or IMC, is committed to being a true “nuts and bolts” engineer tool, even allowing access to IMC’s APIs, giving customers the freedom to program their own modules within the platform. For this reason, HPE has started positioning this as more of a Datacenter focused “NOC” (networks operation center) tool.
Administrators can get much more in depth with the types of SNMP traps, alarms/alerting, and even the types of information that can be reported on with the tool. The initial setup is much more intensive than an Airwave deployment, and the interface is much less user friendly than Airwave, However, you can get extremely detailed real-time information out of the IMC platform – especially when it’s monitoring Aruba (ProCurve) or Comware switches. An example of this would be the QoS Manager plugin, which gives network administrators the ability to define a new global policy or make changes to an existing QoS policy and push those changes out to the network.
Currently, the only wireless management that IMC supports is for the legacy HPE wireless solutions MSM and Unified Wireless, but an “Airwave plugin” is in the works to bridge the gap to include Aruba wireless deployments. IMC is sold as modular software – the base platform is very capable; but to get some specific functionality, such as the QoS Management, you need to license the module. IMC is also licensed by device count in the base platform; however, some of the modules have different licensing schemes.
HPE has committed to continued product development on both platforms. As of right now, there are no early warning signs of one product cannibalizing the other. Choosing which product is rightyou’re your environment really depends on what you are hoping to get out of the platform. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to use with awesome built-in reporting, look into Airwave. If, on the other hand, you need an extremely customizable tool that can report on virtually any network statistic under the sun, IMC is your ticket. If you’re not sure which is the better fit for your organization, we are happy to sit down, discuss your needs, and dive deeper into the platforms in order to make the appropriate recommendation.
The success of any service oriented business depends largely on how effective its employees communicate the value they provide their customers. This becomes paramount for Big Data / Analytics service providers where identifying and communicating “actionable insight” to their customers is the value. The ability to communicate analytics and insight effectively drives the quality of the relationship between the provider and client. Effective communication has become part of the job for any tech savvy analyst.
Whether working with internal or external customers, an analyst’s ability to communicate clear messages about the data and actions needed is crucial. The quality and clarity of communication about the insight found can have a tremendous influence to drive the actions that were identified from the analysis. From my experience being in the insight business at iWeSocial and working with clients across many different industries – communicating insights effectively will dictate the success or failure of any project.
An effective analyst will be able to combine visual (show the supporting data) and verbal (communicate the insight) messages to convey the findings, empowering the end user to act on the insight.
Effective insight communication refers to the ability to tell a story through data to address business challenges. To be able to answer these questions:
Communicating insight involves connecting the dots between the overall business challenge down to what we identify as corrective action. No matter what the deliverables, to communicate insight effectively starts with setting clear goals for the analysis.
Another key factor of successful insight communication is to know your audience. Are you speaking to an executive team focused on overall business drivers or the head of marketing or sales? Each will have their own set of questions they are wanting the data to help answer. For example, the sales executive may want to understand how to increase sales productivity or increase customer acquisition. Meanwhile, the marketing executive will want to know about marketing effectiveness and customer engagement.
From my experience in delivering insight to a variety of clients, I have noticed several themes. Specifically, to be able to communicate your insight effectively, I recommend that you keep the following in mind:
In summary, effective insight communication is the ability to convey your findings to key stakeholders to drive action – so they can do something differently than the way they’ve been doing it. With effective insight communication, always try to provide a clear answer to a business questions, not merely providing another piece of data. The insight should focus on the business impact; if the insight doesn’t lead to an action, then question whether to include it at all.
The success of any business depends largely on how effective they are at using data that’s turned into insight to drive their business forward. The question is: “How can we communicate these insights more effectively for greater business return?”
I relish competition! Maybe it is because I grew up playing sports and learning that I enjoyed competing and winning way more than losing. Maybe it is because winning, in the competitive arena, demands your very best. Maybe it’s because winning in business normally requires a team effort, and I like working in a team setting. Whatever it is, competition is something I have always loved. But winning, achievement, and reaching a certain level of success can be hollow without purpose. After 30+ years of competing each and every day, I have come to the conclusion that winning is really fun, but sharing the spoils of winning creates fulfillment and purpose.
I also believe that the juices that start to flow in the midst of a competitive battle can be the same juices that ignite a compassionate responsibility for those in our community. What I have learned over the years is that capitalism and compassion can co-exist and that — gasp! — business can be a force for good.
I personally know a great many smart and good-hearted business leaders in the Colorado community. Some of the very best people I know are CEOs, business owners, and entrepreneurs. They care about their employees and the people in their communities a great deal. Most of these business leaders are willing (and wanting) to engage in helping others, but there are so many daunting questions:
These are common questions that can stop us from taking action.
For nearly 10 years, my company has been actively involved with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. Zunesis employees have worked diligently to build homes for hard working families in the Denver community. Each year we do a build day where we all put on hard hats and work together to help construct the home we are sponsoring that year – “the Zunesis home.”
This engagement has served as a very practical way for my small business to give back and support our neighbors in our own community. We even get to work side-by-side with families who will be moving into the home when completed. Seeing the lives of hard working families in our community completely changed by having a secure, safe, and stable place that they call home is something that never loses its luster or excitement.
Being part of something that transcends success in business and tangibly blesses people in our community has been good for my employees and our business. I’m guessing that many business leaders and CEOs also want to get involved in supporting their communities, but they may not know how to get started. I learned that a great place to start is to ask your employees. It is likely that you will find some great ideas and maybe some passion that can be leveraged to get the ball rolling.
I would also encourage you to talk with other CEOs and business leaders about what they are doing. There are so many great ways to give back, and most organizations have a method and a process for you to get engaged. If you want to know about how to get engaged with Habitat for Humanity, I would be happy to share my personal experience and get you connected to the right people. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Colorado became the place where Capitalism and Compassion freely found common ground?