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Article Type: Interview          Published: 07-2011         Views: 2730   

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Adrian Brookes, VP Strategy and Technology Office at Siemens Enterprise Communications.

Ray Smyth - What does Siemens Unified Communications (UC) offer?
Adrian Brookes - Essentially we provide an open, scalable UC platform through a range of user selected devices. This is tied to the 5 core areas of our strategy: social media (social enterprise) integration into our UC solution and providing UC capability for social media platforms, choice of deployment options (cloud versus premise), seamless mobility (including desktop, tablet, and mobile devices), with a unified experience (everything looks and acts the same way), and lastly, reliability and security - providing these core services in a secure and reliable manner.

RS - Enterprise communications - is this ignoring the SMB?
AB - Definitely not for Siemens; we offer an advanced UCC (unified communications and collaboration) solution for SMBs and with our Cloud offering, we're providing large-enterprise UCC, one number mobility, messaging and contact centre capabilities; all without complexity, expense or management overhead. We intend to lead this segment.

RS - What do you most detest in IT?
AB - The monopolists who assume that due to size or presence they have a right to the business. That right has to be earned with real life solutions that deliver on the customers' needs. I also don't like the one-size-fits-all approach - it doesn't.

RS - What's your silver bullet advice concerning network security?
AB - Most solution providers refer to security, but actually they are providing privacy. We need real security: deep packet security tied to heuristic monitoring, creating a digital fingerprint that can assist with the security posture. Also, look closely at deploying a Private cloud.

RS - Where does Siemens EC see its future?
AB - The market is changing; end users want to use a range of devices, with security, and access all types of services through a simple user interface. The IT team is looking to support these changes but needs to support the business in a secure and reliable manner, with a minimal burden on the organisation. At the same time, it is important to be agile enough to accommodate changes in technology, and this means the IT team needs to act differently to support critical business needs.

RS - Like me, you mention business and technology in the same breath - it's rare!
AB - Decisions cannot be made in isolation. Technology underpins the modern business but it cannot be constrained by it. If you look at the rapid changes in technology recently (the uptake and widespread use of tablets for example), we need to be able to support these without having to refresh the entire infrastructure. One approach can use cloud-based offerings, whereby access and security considerations can be defined to protect the business, yet allow a range of devices access to core services. Each time a device changes or a new device enters the market, as long as they support the defined generic mechanisms, they can access the network without the need to change core processes. This provides a far more flexible approach for the IT team to keep pace.

RS - What's the next stage of networked IT as we navigate the fiscal crisis?
AB - Private and public clouds are a paradigm shifter, offering massive benefits in terms of agility, TCO, productivity and efficiency.

RS - Did you get Olympic tickets (I didn't!)?
AB - At the moment no; I am not sure where I will be. Also, because there's no Rugby!

RS - Where is the IT end-user community driving the market?
AB - They are shaping the devices that are being used, how they are used, and where they are used. Consider the proliferation of smartphone and tablet devices and the widespread adoption of cloud applications - DropBox etc. Consumerisation is occurring and it is having a massive impact on both the IT team and its business IT provision. NC

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