IP Networking: Focus on Creative Applications, Security

IP network issues are the focus of three sessions at the show this week: Retooling Legacy Networks, Managed Security: Defending the Network and IP Applications: Beyond Voice, hosted by Cisco Systems Inc. (Booth 517).

Although many operators are familiar with operating their own IP networks, these sessions aim to show how IP networking can be taken to new levels in security, operational ease and, most important, creativity in offering new services that will differentiate service providers from their competitors.

New Edge Networks is an example of a service provider that is using IP networking to offer services that would have been difficult with traditional technology.

Everyone talks about VoIP, says Greg Griffith, vice president of marketing, New Edge, but we are talking about the next generation of multimedia applications that are riding broadband.

Griffith described how, at a recent trade show, a New Edge customer who owns several Wendys restaurant franchises pulled out his laptop, went to his Web site, and he put up windows of his restaurants with live video so he can see his employees working. Another page gives real-time sale-ticker information, so if it is lunch in a particular area, he can go to that store and see who is going through it. The entire application rides on the New Edge network.

The customer built the initial application, but he came to us, because we provide the network transport to do it, even using DSL access, says Griffith. We provide DSL access on private IP or even on an ATM or frame-relay backbone, which allows us to do the quality of service that you need for those kinds of applications.

Other New Edge customers are doing online training with their networks. And IP networking is adding new impact for retailers. Retailers are really moving to broadband to do point of sale, says Griffith. Kiosks in stores are using broadband to update information on products in real time.

Paul Salzinger, vice president of sales, New Edge, will talk about these and other applications at the session.

According to a Cisco spokesperson, We believe that security is a huge issue. So what we have lined up here is AT&T, NetAssist and Verisign. Managed VPNs also will be a topic [as will] managed firewalls and generally providing secure network services.

The spokesperson added, People want to know what the innovative things are that they can make money at. So, it is about those doing something different in their networks. Trinsic Communications Inc. (Booth 213) has a unique user portal for a compelling customer experience.

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