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Convergence, WLANs rank high among Nortel users

Jul 15, 20032 mins

* Voice-data convergence and WLANs are foremost on Nortel users’ minds

Nortel’s enterprise customers are firmly behind voice-data convergence and wireless LANs, according to a recent survey.

The company last week released the results of the survey of 100 IT professionals who went to Global Connect 2003, a conference of Nortel users. Obviously, this is a small and biased subset of the overall market, but the survey was conducted by independent firm Mindwave Research. Also, it’s interesting to bear in mind that many of the users are buyers of Nortel’s voice equipment first, and data second.

A full 30% of the enterprise users have already converged their voice and data networks, and another 61% indicated that convergence is right for them and that they would attempt it within five years. This can have big implications for LANs, in terms of the quality-of-service controls that need to be in place to give real-time voice the bandwidth it needs.

As you know, wireless LANs are extremely popular, but I was surprised to see that 60% of the Nortel users saw WLANs as “critical” to improving employee productivity. Fourteen percent are deploying WLANs companywide, Nortel says, while another 20% are deploying it in specific departments.

With security concerns so high, it’s not surprising that a full 71% said they are buying “advanced security solutions.” Come to think of it, I’m a little surprised that the number is as low as that, especially since 85% said security is “critical” to their businesses.