|Issue:||Latin America 2005|
|Topic:||Beyond the Internet: the next Era|
|Organisation:||Juniper Networks, Brazil|
Davi Caproni is the General Manager of Juniper Networks in Brazil. He was responsible for launching Juniper Network’s operations in the Brazilian market and, afterwards, in South America. Before joining Juniper Networks, Mr Caproni served as Executive-Director at Lucent Technologies. He had worked previously at Panduit Corp as Director for Latin America.
Businesses need the Internet to create differentiated services, compete effectively, reduce costs and interact with customers and collaborators. In 2005, 35 per cent of businesses will deploy Extranets to communicate with partners, suppliers or customers. Services that mix triple play elements, such as IP phone, video-conferencing and IPTV, are the key to survival for operators and will account for a great percentage of their revenues. Latin America, with 58 million Internet users and the world’s highest growth rate, is a prime market.
The popularisation of the Internet has opened a new horizon in communications, breaking social and geographical boundaries and simplifying the access to information in general. This has had a clear impact on the world’s social and economical development. One of the best examples of this impact is the role of technology, itself, within the organisation. Formerly technology was seen as a business-supporting tool, and now it is a competitive differential within the corporate world, providing responsiveness, cost reduction and better interaction with customers and collaborators. In the corporate world, the benefits and gains brought by the Internet are obvious, due to the huge popularity of Web applications currently travelling in corporate networks as Intranets, Extranets, e-Commerce portals, B2B and B2C portals, among others. Web applications use an IP-based network infrastructure. These applications reduce operational costs, increase operational flexibility, facilitate changes to business plans and models and speed decision-making. Security Studies show that 80 per cent of security threats come from inside the enterprise affected. Thirty per cent of the problem traffic consists of worms, unofficial file sharing and peer-to-peer communications. Applications as online collaboration tools, SCM tools, CRM tools and the like are spreading quickly and breaking the traditional corporate network boundaries. It is estimated that in 2005, 35 per cent of the companies will deploy Extranets for the use of partners, suppliers or customers. IT executives are trying to develop secure and assured networks that enable them to make business more competitive, drive revenue and responsiveness by opening their networks for use as a competitive tool while mitigating risk. It is essential, then, that network administrators have a fine-grained understanding of who the user is, the integrity of their devices, of their network’s services and, as well, understand the applications or action that users desire. Carrier class routers, firewalls, SSL VPNs and IDP platforms are being deployed in large scale in corporate networks, to guarantee the secure and assured networks that corporations require in the age of the Internet. Convergent networks The service providers benefit, as the impact of the move from a multi-network model as TDM, ATM, Frame Relay, wireless, wireline and IP to an IP convergent network model will create exceptional conditions for the definition of new business plans. The final outcome of these plans will be extremely beneficial both for the customers and the stakeholders, because the investments in network infrastructure acquisition can be more objective and selectively focused. The broad range of service offerings under a single IP infrastructure and the significant reduction in the operational costs of these networks tend to make business planning more productive and provide a fast return on investment. The time-to-market for new services is fundamentally important. Consequently, the building of a secure and assured network, that can support any and all applications on a shared (virtualised) IP infrastructure, will be crucial for the business success of the service provider. It will, of course, also be necessary to solve the difficult problems of security at the application level to protect the critical infrastructure and networks. Interoperability issues among the world’s networks and among service providers and corporations, raised doubts, not so long ago, concerning quality of service (QOS) in video conferencing and other time sensitive communications. Today, these issues are being widely discussed in the appropriate forums and standards are being developed and approved. This demonstrates the commitment of the many segments of the industry to the creation of an open-business model that is sustainable and healthy over the long-term. Using a robust, scalable, flexible and secure infrastructure, service providers can confidently build business plans that include those added-value services that demand a network with guaranteed QoS (quality of service) and excellent throughput. The ability to provide services beyond triple play – those that mix triple play elements, such as IP Phone, Video conferencing, Live TV, Multi Angle Live TV, virtual VCR / VOD, Console gaming and Broadband Instant Messaging – are the key to survival for many operators. These are the applications that will account for a great percentage of service provider revenues in the future, bringing new subscribers and lower churn and making possible the special services that differentiate service providers in the market. With a secure and assured network, service providers will be able to develop and/or create new segmented services or services oriented to specific market demands, as, for instance, management of telephone contacts using fixed/mobile convergence through a cell phone equipped with voice recognition, or even offer hospitals services where doctors can virtually take part in surgeries. Services with low added value such as the traditional Internet services, music download, IP radio and low-end gaming, for instance, will still be provided, but more to keep the customer fidelity than as revenue sources. It is clear that most business models based upon commodity services have not proved themselves in practice. Mergers and acquisitions will occur throughout the process of transition to IP networks and value-added service provision, bringing soon a new cycle of consolidation to the sector. In brief, the sector will move from ‘Internet as the service’ to ‘Internet as one of many services’. Today the reality is very similar to that when the PC first appeared. If we compare how we used the PC at that time with its use today, we see that using the ‘PC infrastructure’ many applications (services) have been developed, providing exceptional gains to the consumers, to the industry and stakeholders in general. Latin America is an IT and Telecom market with exceptional potential. The numbers illustrate this assertion well. The region has a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) estimated at US$ 1.5 trillion a year. Growth for 2005 is estimated at 4 per cent. According to a survey conducted by e-Marketer, a website specialising in the telecom market, the region will have 90 million new mobile users by 2009 and will conquer an additional base of 55 millions mobile subscribers. Latin America will become one of the main markets for applications, wireless services and devices in the next five years. The numbers referring to Internet users are even more surprising and promising. Latin America has 58 millions Internet users. Brazil alone has 22 million of these users. Latin America has the highest growth rate in the world (19 per cent in 2004), and the region’s users grew from 32 millions in 2002 to 58 million in 2005. Undoubtedly, the opportunities are growing in step with the growth of this huge market. There is momentum for progress, but effective planning and execution will be essential.