Globalisation and modernisation drive demand for managed network services — To cut costs, outsourcing is increasing — The market will focus on high-speed switches, data centre ports, WLAN and on-demand managed network services.
Stuttgart, Germany — The market for managed LAN and WLAN services is driven, on one hand, by the increasing globalisation of businesses and by the modernisation of business communications on the other. Companies located in advanced markets, worldwide, con-tinue to expand their operations internationally and, contemporaneously, are increasingly off-shoring some of their business processes — back office support, customer relations, billing, IT and technical support — by creating own subsidiaries and representative offices abroad.
Alongside this international expansion, a second driver is represented by the continuous modernisation of business communication, integrating workforce mobility through unified communication services as well as cloud-based or virtualised solutions. These two fundamen-tal trends generated the need of a network infrastructure that can accommodate high ca-pacity as well as high-speed communication, both internal and external. And indeed, com-panies today are upgrading their existing network infrastructure to meet these challenges.
Large business customers, who manage their own LANs but look for an outsourcing solution, represent the most promising opportunity. Some companies just aim to focus on own core activities and to cut down on maintenance and staff costs. In this scenario, the provider is simply taking over the management of an existing infrastructure. Other companies have het-erogeneous infrastructure, integrating equipment from various vendors, and look for solutions to cut the maintenance costs of their complex and costly hardware but also to modernise their networks. In this scenario, the provider takes over the network management but is also providing the infrastructure; and the customer takes the opportunity to upgrade old applian-ces and replace parts or the entire network.
In addition to these two fundamental drivers, some trends observed recently could represent an additional market opportunity. There is an increasing demand for high-speed switches to accommodate huge data transfers for heavy-bandwidth and high availability enterprise ap-plications and communication services (e.g. rich communication services, videoconferenc-ing, virtualised desktop interfaces and cloud-based disaster recovery solutions). Additionally, there is an increasing demand for data centre ports in light of a parallel trend to virtualise some business applications, hosting geo-redundant data and applications in data centre fa-cilities (e.g. especially companies in banking, insurance, healthcare and airline industries). Al-though the current demand is low, the market for WLAN access points will increase as more and more companies capitalise on the mobility of their employees.
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