NETSCOUT – delivering solutions on shifting sands
NETSCOUT was established around 30 years ago, and has a history of providing solutions to businesses across packet and IP networks, particularly the latter. “We provide pervasive visibility across all areas of a business network, regardless of the technologies being deployed,” explains Matthew Demeusy, principal solution architect at NETSCOUT. “These services might be entirely on premises, they may be cloud services or it might be some kind of hybrid – the ability of NETSCOUT to monitor those across any sort of technology we call ‘visibility without borders’. NETSCOUT is the market leader in this space and its technology spans enterprise service provider and security markets.”
What does Demeusy believe is driving innovation in the telecoms sector? “There are two things that come to mind and they're somewhat related. One is the digital transformation to cloud and that's an ongoing process. And the second is 5G technology, and these are somewhat interrelated. As service providers drive toward these new technologies these networks will often go through several phases of evolution. And each phase requires assuring that the services are performing as expected. Any anomalies are detected and still the target initiatives are being achieved. This ends up being a great opportunity for NETSCOUT because we provide that visibility across those borders to ensure the service performance through every phase of that evolution.”
One of NETSCOUT’s long-term customers is Bell. Demeusy got involved around the time big data and analytics were climbing the Bell agenda; at the time NETSCOUT was developing its nGenius business analytics solution. He’s been working with them ever since. “I really enjoy working with Bell. I find that we are really easily able to get to the heart of our common objectives to ensure that Bell is getting its needs met, that it is getting the maximum amount of value out of the products. NETSCOUT gets to understand what those needs look like for Bell both today and in the future. And this is also really beneficial for NETSCOUT because it helps us understand what challenges are common across the various service providers, and which might be more specific to individual telcos. So we can think about how to make sure we're going to continue to meet those needs, the common ones, and the specific ones as well. This has been a really beneficial partnership for both of us.
“I think that the secret to a really successful partnership is having shared objectives between the parties and being able to communicate clearly and effectively to work together to achieve those objectives. NETSCOUT benefits from being able to understand what the customer is trying to do, and come up with solutions to get there as effectively as possible and understand specifically what challenges they might be seeing, or what challenges we might see across other areas of either this industry or other industries that we work with. Customers are going to benefit by extracting the maximum amount of value from their investments that they're making both in their networks and in the tools they use to assure the services that flow across those networks.”
And the future? “When it comes to the key trends and technologies, 5G is probably the big trend. Everyone thinks the transition to 5G from 4G LTE is very significant and wide reaching. This is not an overnight migration. It requires a lot of long-term planning, and there will be multiple transition periods from where networks are today and where they're going to be when 5G is fully realised. One critical thing that's on the mind of every service provider is that their existing services must remain up and performing all the time, even while the delivery mechanisms for the services are changing. This is a really good opportunity for NETSCOUT to provide the confidence to innovate for our users, so they can go through each phase and still know that they have visibility and service assurance at each step of the way on that network evolution.”
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”