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Exinda EMEA Partner Conference | 9-11 MAY 2016

Together with other integrators and distributors, I went to the Exinda EMEA Partner Conference. During this event, we got together to talk about the latest products and messaging. We also discussed the challenges and opportunities partners are facing.

This year’s venue was in Algarve, Portugal. We were secretly looking forward to go to this sunny destination. Unfortunately, the weather was disappointing. Luckily, we could warm up during the day. A few drinks, some great conversations and valuable discussions enlightened our stay!

The evolution of the internet and applications

In the late eighties, early nineties, most enterprise messaging was done by telephone or by paper. Later on, point-to-point connectivity was introduced and messaging evolved into basic electronic communication on dedicated WAN-links.

Afterwards, centralized IT with Limited Internet access began to appear. WAN-Optimization was needed to maximize the capacity on expensive telco circuits connecting offices to the headquarters (HQ). Enterprise applications were purchased as licensed software. They were installed and run at the HQ data center and accessed over WAN. Internet was mostly used for email (from a HQ-located server), for web browsing and a for a few low-bandwidth applications.

Nowadays, everything runs through the Internet to private or public cloud applications. As traffic grows exponentially, all of those applications compete for capacity on a chaotic common network.

One of the biggest pain points of today’s business is the poor Quality of eXperience (QX) for users of mission-critical applications. Most IT-managers expect about 40 to 50 corporate applications. Business analysis however show us that there are about 15.000 enterprise applications and that number is still growing. Today, there are about 1200 different apps in an enterprise.

3 key business drivers in the struggle for Application QX

Exinda networks offers 3 key Business Drivers that address the above mentioned struggle for Application Quality of Experience:

  1. assuring critical business application delivery and performance
  2. enabling strategic IT-transformations
  3. reducing IT-complexity & costs

Great Quality of Experience (QX) is impossible without the right knowledge of your application and your network! In my opinion, enterprises and especially the business application customers, demand App QX, not just speed. Currently, IT is not always in control of all applications. The introduction of cloud applications makes it very easy for a business developer or business vertical to buy and launch some cloud applications. In this world of shadow IT, App QX is required for your cloud, hybrid and on-premises networks.

The ‘perfect customer’ according to Exinda

Branko Miskov, VP of Product Marketing at Exinda, also presented a unique view of ‘The Perfect Customer’. They looked back at their recent successes with customers. They concluded that the most common drivers for working with Exinda for their key applications are the following:

  • the need to prioritize critical applications;
  • the need to safeguard critical applications;
  • the need to adapt to network changes and
  • the need to extend visibility along the entire application path.

The Perfect customer can be identified as – Top down:

  1. has critical applications on which the business relies for its success
  2. has cloud apps (that rely on internet) that struggle for resources
  3. the use of BYOD and mobile drive personal use and rise of unsanctioned apps
  4. has a distributed environment which increases the change of intra-office dependencies
  5. has rural and remote locations with a lack of adequate bandwidth

NEW! QX Boost for Skype for business

Exinda also launched a completely new solution namely QX Boost! The Quality of experience of mission-critical applications should be one of the key concerns of an organization. The QX boost will provide a complete solution that addresses those concerns. It is an end-to-end solution that will easily pinpoint and help resolve all issues.

The first product of the QX Boost portfolio was already launched at the Enterprise Connect, the premier Unified Communication and Collaboration event in the United States.

Since October last year (2015), the Microsoft Skype for Business application is really taking off and it is replacing a lot of legacy voice solutions. These new IP-Voice implementations also bring a lot of issues and challenges.

The adopters of this new technology, often talk about jittery and dropped calls. Apparently, it is also difficult to identify the source of the problem and to find the responsible: the network or the UC team? There seems to be a lot of finger pointing going on… Exinda’s QX Boost is a solution to those problems.

We attended a demonstration through which we got a deep insight into the product. All the issues of Skype for Business applications were derived from the Skype for Business Server. The QX Boost for S4B application correlates application data and network information via different probes in the total network. That gives more insight in issues like data traffic with an average or low MOS-score for example.

This correlation has three advantages:

  • pinpoint call quality issues;
  • offer prescriptive recommendations for quick resolution;
  • offer automated notifications for immediate awareness.

Exinda’s QX Boost for Skype for Business offers end-to-end visibility across both the network and the cloud. That way, it can proactively track and pinpoint session quality issues for voice, video and application sharing, on the network and on the application level. It doesn’t only tell you what the problem is, it also provides recommendations on how to fix it. That makes solving issues a lot quicker – something I’m quite excited about!

Customer Case

The Exinda partners’ conference ended with an Exinda success story. The story was about one of SecureLink’s customers, Picanol. Bart Lagast spoke about the challenges they faced a few years ago. It completely fit into the story about the perfect customer. The migration of their CRM / ERP applications showed a lot of Quality experience issues even though their business relies on it. The application was centralized in the datacenter and consequently, WAN-resources were limited and had specific delays. The employees were using laptops and there were application struggles for resources. They were constantly travelling around the world with lack of adequate bandwidth.

Picanol analyzed different solutions of different vendors. In the end, they selected Exinda for a Proof of Concept. They were almost immediately convinced of the ROI of this product. The ideal solution was based on Exinda WAN orchestration hardware in the datacenter. The Exinda Mobile client offers optimal applications and Quality of experience for their most critical business applications.