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Does VPN Stand for Very Promising Networks?

That acronym works for veteran service providers when you put MPLS before it a topic that speakers will elaborate on as a managed opportunity in the session, MPLS VPN: Find Out What it Means to You (and Your Customers), held today at 9 a.m.

Answering the acronym question is the easy part, but clearly understanding why advanced and managed VPN network services are required for companies to evolve and enhance the way they do business is a bit tougher.

Businesses are investing heavily on software and a myriad of other applications to improve operating efficiency, margins and customer experience, explains Brett Theiss, director of product management for New Edge Networks, which operates a nationwide network from which VPNs ride. Theyre converging all these applications fast card authorizations, VoIP, digital video monitoring, Internet access and more on the same high-performance wide area network.

However, Theiss continues, the resulting increased network traffic, diverse business process requirements, and a capacity mismatch between local and wide area networks can adversely affect the performance of business-critical applications.

Keeping pace with business change and increasingly complex traffic demands has given rise to the fast-growing MPLS VPN services market. MPLS enables customers to give different types of traffic different bandwidth priorities for different times of day, day of week, etc.

Theiss, Heather Selbert, vice president of operations for American Telesis, and David Zahn, vice president of marketing for TelePacific Communications, will explain the value proposition for partners and customers during the anticipated session today. Better yet, theyll explain how business and networking challenges create WAN problems for businesses that they can address with managed MPLS VPNs.

Unlike sessions at other shows which focus on equipment provider perspectives, this panel, thanks to all three speakers, gives a detailed service providers view of the market segment.

Many businesses are increasing network bandwidth to try to accommodate more traffic, however, network managers find themselves with increased WAN spending without achieving the desired results, according to Theiss.

Worse, critical business applications begin performing erratically or sluggishly. In most instances, the problem is not with the application. Less urgent bandwidth-intensive applications can monopolize the network and slow down critical business applications, if the WAN cannot effectively prioritize each application.

Thats where managed MPLS VPNs come in.

You dont have to convince those versed in VPNs on their value, however. This was evidenced last year when EarthLink Inc. bought Theiss New Edge Networks for roughly $113 million.Theiss also can live with VPN standing for Very Profitable Networks, as he claims his channel partners are making money on the sale or upgrade of new networks.

The message he will elaborate on in todays session: Start selling MPLS today, or pay the price tomorrow.

This session will be moderated by Ken Mercer, senior vice president at Telecom Brokerage Inc.


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