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Dimension Data helps create green networks

10-15-2009 03:52 PM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: Dimension Data

Strategic Account Manager

Strategic Account Manager

With their new service called TLM Assessment, Dimension Data enables organisations to simplify their communication networks and achieve greater automation and accuracy when carrying out network asset planning.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 13 October 2009 – Dimension Data, the $4.5 billion specialist IT solutions and services company, announced their capability to help organizations create green networks using their new service called Technology Lifecycle Management Assessment (TLM Assessment). Launched earlier this month across five continents, TLM Assessment enables organisations to simplify their communication networks, and achieve greater automation and accuracy when carrying out network asset planning.

“Ineffective network planning and budgeting means organisations are environmentally impotent and at financial risk,” says Mechelle Buys du Plessis, Strategic Account Manager, Dimension Data. “Many organisations in the Middle East are not using their networks optimally with nearly seventy three percent of their networking devices running with some vulnerability. Our new, robust TLM Assessment service will offer organisations a cost effective means to improve their environmental status by helping them understand their networks better. With green being the focus of many organisations today, we are confident this service will hugely benefit our clients in the Middle East who are looking to build and maintain green networks. ”

Rich Schofield, Global Business Development Manager, Network Integration at Dimension Data points out that IT infrastructure can be an enormous consumer of energy, space, and skills.

“Most organisations know that network technology vendors are constantly making improvements to equipment to ensure better energy efficiency. Some are even building solutions that also help regulate other IT systems and utilities to save power - such as IP phones, wireless access points and even lighting and air conditioning. These devices can be shut off after hours or during periods of inactivity.

“But, because organisations don’t have a holistic view of their technology assets, they don’t know which equipment to replace, or what technologies, processes, and practices to rationalise in order to improve their environmental impact without incurring the cost of new hardware or software.

The TLM Assessment automates both the identification of assets and the evaluation of asset status. Automation speeds up these processes and improves the accuracy of the information gathered for what are, in most cases, complex technology environments. It also allows for the easy comparison of asset status against best practice.

Specifically, the service is designed to identify basic security, configuration, and end-of-life network device issues so that they can be proactively addressed.

“By identifying and classifying assets running on your network, we are able to present you with a report that maps and describes your current network status in detail,” Schofield says. “It identifies weak spots and vulnerabilities, and updates you on the lifecycle status of your network components. With such a high level of visibility, you have the time, knowledge, and insight to plan for upgrades, make informed decisions on prolonging the use of certain assets and budgeting for those that need upgrades or spares.

“An accurate inventory of the network empowers organisations to make the right decisions at the right time and at the right price – and with the unprecedented luxury of making all those decisions in a green context.”

Dimension Data’s TLM Assessment evolved out of the company’s original network assessment service because of what it learned about processes during the more than 300 executed globally during 2008 and 2009.

“We built that learning back into the service, making it even easier and more cost effective for customers to remove risk, waste, and uncertainty from their network infrastructure management,” Schofield explains.

The 300 assessments provided us with proof that most organisations are at financial, operational, and reputational risk because of lack of knowledge of their network and other technology assets.

An overall average of 73% of networking devices are running with vulnerabilities which are well understood and documented by vendors but have not been remediated by the client.

There is an average of 30 configuration issues per network device. The most frequently misconfigured category is authentication. Almost half of all network devices are at a point in the obsolescence cycle where spares, support, and fixes are no longer available.

“Because of the rapid and haphazard way in which technology has evolved, there’s been no time to develop technology lifecycle management best practice – and there’ve been no truly automated tools to impose it.

“Now, those tools are not only available, but are continuously evolving to become increasingly strategically – and environmentally - valuable.”

About Dimension Data
Dimension Data plc (LSE:DDT), a specialist IT services and solution provider, helps clients plan, build, support and manage their IT infrastructures. Dimension Data applies its expertise in networking, converged communications, security, data centre and storage, Microsoft and contact centre technologies, and its unique skills in consulting, integration and managed services to create customised client solutions. www.dimensiondata.com

About Dimension Data’s TLM Assessment
The TLM Assessment consists of six steps:

IDENTIFY: this involves a business discussion about the network’s technology lifecycle, and the organisation’s existing and best fit longer-term network architecture, considering risk, cost and strategic factors.

DISCOVER: this incorporates business and technical reviews with the key stakeholders to ensure that the relevant information is collected and lifecycle milestones as well as security and configuration issues are identified. An asset list is required at this stage and if the organisation does not have an up to date list, a network scan will be required to create one.

ASSESS: using automated tools, the asset list is analysed against security, configuration, and end-of-life databases. A technology roadmap is created, based on the prioritised recommendations from the analysis. This includes configuration remediations as well as security and maintenance recommendations.

RECOMMEND: this is a consultative step in which Dimension Data specialists and key stakeholders discuss the findings so far and determine how to act on recommendations based on risk, cost and strategic factors. An action plan is developed.

EXECUTE: IT operations execute the recommendations. These may include
allocating resources or working with a third party to address the security and network remediations that are required, reviewing maintenance and support contracts, and/or planning for equipment upgrades. As this is a multi-year planning approach, there are likely to be steps executed in future financial periods as the organisation’s needs dictate.

IMPROVE: Networks and markets are dynamic. Configurations will drift from best practice standards over time and additional products deployed will enter the end of lifecycle. In order to ensure the benefits of this approach over time, repeat assessments should be considered.

Mechelle Buys du Plessis
Dimension Data, UAE
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, UAE

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