BT is bullish about its Connect portfolio refresh. In addition to speed, availability, scope, security and resilience, it is touting accessibility and intelligence as critical imperatives. The portfolio’s more significant enhancements are:
- ‘MyAccount’ portal, with unified dashboard to manage multiple network services from any device, including smartphones and tablets. We see this to be of significant interest not just to infrastructure management professionals but also devops teams as application performance increasingly relies on understanding network throughput.
- More depth to existing applications. Network monitoring intelligence and reporting capabilities include Compuware’s Gomez platform optimising performance, availability and quality of web, non-web, mobile, streaming and cloud applications. Acceleration services now include capability to reduce data redundancy with Riverbed’s virtualisation tools. Optimisation services are now capable of chasing bottlenecks down to the individual user’s application experience with Ipanema’s SmartPath selectors.
- BT Connect IQ eValuator. This is an assessment service that captures metrics across three contributors to network intelligence; business and operational integration, performance and security. Based on BT’s own cumulative network management experience, it has defined five maturity levels that span the reactive, aware, effective, integrated and predictive spectrum. The company aspires to encourage customers to proactively manage the gap between “current” and desired “future” states.
As it launched these new capabilities, BT also unveiled a five-year, £30 million outsourcing deal with Standard Life that covers delivery and management of a BT Connect LAN, WAN, IP Telephony, contact centres, contract management, service management and the transition of Standard Life’s infrastructure to BT’s IP Connect network.
This portfolio refresh is a strong positive move by BT. The company has a long history of managing networks for enterprise customers and has pulled together many assets from its experience. Its sensitivity to customers’ need for simple and ubiquitous access to performance indicators will be popular. We are also encouraged by its open approach to embedding specialists’ technologies in its applications. Most importantly, we see strong focus on how these enhancements are communicated. NIQI, an iBot that will help customers navigate options, is expected to enable friendly navigation through the array of options. NIQI is also expected to play a major role in internal sales enablement. The performance of a competent and confident sales force will ultimately determine the success of this portfolio refresh.
Fulfilling its role as an aggregator
Regular readers will be familiar with our forecast that aggregators will be the more significant go-to-market route for technology specialists. We consider BT to be among the more mature aggregators, as evidenced by its refined approach to embedding technologies and specialist service players’ capabilities. For Compuware, Riverbed and Ipanema, aggregators like BT are already an important route to market, with increasing run-rates of recurring revenues.
Image credit: Christian Wilt