BT launches network monitoring service

British Telecommunications PLC’s (BT) Global Services unit has launched a service to monitor and manage customer’s networks, hoping to boost sales in its networking business at the same time.

British Telecommunications has spotted a gap in the market, Andy Green, chief executive officer of BT Global Services said Wednesday. As multimedia Internet Protocol-based networks grow more complex, chief information officers are finding it increasingly hard to keep tabs on what is happening on their networks and what could be improved, Green said.

The service, called BT Applications Assured Infrastructure, will be offered in five modules to BT network customers and, in part, to companies using third-party networks. The modules are called Audit, Optimise, Monitor, Manage and Assure, Sally Davis, BT’s president of global products and customer service said.

Audit involves profiling a customer’s network over one to four weeks to see where there might be issues, and producing a report on traffic and on applications and how they are running. The Optimise module takes that information and makes recommendations on how the network can be made more efficient. Monitor gives ongoing tracking of, and reporting on, performance, followed by Manage, where BT will manage the network against agreed targets.

Assure, the final module, is “the real prize for us, where we are proactive, guaranteeing the performance from desktop to desktop, and desktop to the data center,” Davis said. The Assure module initially will be available only to BT network customers, because it is too hard to gain access to the data on third-party networks, and would have to be done on top of the other modules, she said. It can, however, cover applications from other vendors, Davis said.

“We have begun doing (this) on a bespoke basis for some larger customers, and now we’re taking that expertise and making it available on a more standardized basis,” Davis said. BT will initially focus on the finance, transport, government and manufacturing sectors, she said.

The service will help BT to drive sales in its network business, as customers see the benefits of having an overall view of how their network is behaving, Green said. “We expect most of the commercial benefit from the product to come from winning more corporate networking business,” he said.

The cost of the modules will vary depending on factors including the complexity of the customer’s network, the number of applications they are running and how many data centers they have, but the Audit module will cost from about US$36,754 for a medium-size customer.

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