Promoting the notion that Internet and intranet computing advances deepen the interdependence of network infrastructure and business processes, Compaq Computer this week announced new network services offerings geared towards creating and maintaining flexible network underpinnings.
The services, rolling out throughout 1999, include planning and consulting, pilot/proof-of-concept projects, systems integration and outsourcing, company officials said.
Compaq will phase the services rollout, first targeting large enterprises, then network service providers in the second quarter; then later in the year, small and medium-sized businesses and the small office, home office (SOHO) market, said Patrick Smyth, Compaq's vice president of marketing for Internet and network infrastructure services in Massachusetts.
"We're entering a phase where business processes and infrastructure can no longer be planned as separate entities," Smyth said. "Virtual businesses are connected over the Internet; relationships with partners, suppliers and customers are formed and reformed. In cases of ERP, customer relationship management and supply chain applications, you need to allow information to flow in real time to support the needs for this environment, where the information flow can be more volatile."
The services address network infrastructure into the network services layer, messaging and collaboration, network transport layer and management and security, said Debbie Joy, technical director for Compaq's Internet and network infrastructure practice.
The services include Next Generation Networks CIO Workshop, Next Generation Network Audit, Baselining and Assessment Services, Directory Enabled Networks, Planning and Implementation Services for Microsoft Site Server, Unified Messaging, Voice over IP Pilot Service, Video Conferencing, and Collaboration Solutions.
According to Joy, the need to expand and adapt the network infrastructure to accommodate changing business conditions renders outdated the older five-year planning cycle commonly employed. Instead, modular IP-based network architectures with integrated management and security are more appropriate, she said.
"We're looking at the whole being greater than the sum of the parts here. The concept is to add a ubiquitous level of network services, like directory or naming, collaboration, voice over IP, and as an organisation expands and adds applications, they can take advantage of those services," she said.
Key partners for the new offerings include Microsoft, Cisco, BMC Software, Entrust Technologies, NetScout Systems, Nortel Networks, PictureTel, and Tivoli Systems.
The roughly 27,000-person Compaq services group includes the services operations acquired with Digital and Tandem.