mardi 30 avril 2013

The generation Y manifesto

I have recently read several articles on the rebellious behavior of generation Y in the professional environment. I was very intrigued by the exactitude of the this generation's description since I belong to it. Therefore, I decided to write a manifesto of my generation, explaining our professional expectations and our vision of the Enterprise.

I - We simply want to have fun at work! it doesn't mean we are not serious in what we do, because when we believe in something we will do the impossible to realize it. Fun in work means good working environment: interesting nature of work, informal and dynamic social interactions and playful-comfortable office environment.
We haven't built a wall between professional life and personal life. One is the continuation of the other. We don't compromise either one of our lives: we want to continue our boxing and piano courses, spend time with our family, travel the world, but in the same time we aspire continuous professional evolution. The companies who understood this paradox have put in place flexible work environment: flexibility in work time and work place. Of course this flexibility is built on the foundation of mutual trust.

II - We don't believe in pyramid organizations! we grew up on social networks, where organization is flat. Anyone can poke anyone.

III - We want modern working tools. We want a Google like Information System: simple and accessible anytime from anywhere. We want an open Information System: full access to Internet (multimedia, social networks...) and enabled on our personal devices.

IV - We are radical in our relation with our company. In order to be loyal, the company has to prove its investment in this relation: career development, training, promotion, responsibility. Otherwise, we won't wait a lot before starting a new relation with a new company. Nevertheless, when the relation is going well, we are extreme in it, we put all of our energy in it, and we talk proudly about it on every occasion.

V - We are not afraid of asking questions. We don't take everything as a sacred postulate, and dare to ask why.

VI - We want to make the world a better place.

samedi 13 avril 2013

The importance of Application QoS in the transformation of telcos

Currently, I am working on a WAN optimization RFP. The goal is to optimize the performance of the customer's networked applications by deploying physical probes behind WAN accesses.
there are two main domains in WAN optimization:
  • Application QoS: It's about monitoring and controlling the traffic of networked applications in order to satisfy the performance requirement of these applications according to their business importance.
  • Application Acceleration & Optimization: Accelerating the performance of an application can be done on different levels:
    • Network level: TCP optimization, byte caching and compression..
    • Application level: there is a myriad of solutions on this level, starting by simple protocol spoofing (ex: CIFS) to advanced solutions like Content Delivery Networks. I'll dedicate a post to CDNs very soon.
Many constructors provide WAN optimization solutions: Riverbed, Ipanema, Cisco... each constructor is more specialized in a domain. below is an image provided by Ipanema on their optimization solution:

I think that these technologies will be more and more critical to business in the future. Nowdays, business rely totally on the Information System which is being moved to the cloud. It means that everything passes through the WAN access, and thus critical applications should be protected smartly.

Telecom service providers are integrating this approach more and more. The historical proposed solution is to upgrade the WAN access and increase bandwidth. This approach doesn't resolve the problem, it just  postpones it. On modern WAN networks, Class of Services is implemented, and it allows the prioritization of important traffic in case of network congestion. Its a good basic network level solution but it's very limited. It should be combined with previous solutions to have a serious application optimization.

I believe that telecom service providers should start thinking about integrating these solutions in their standard network products in order to accelerate their transformation into service providers and not only dumb bit pipes.
This approach will help them get to know more their customers by understanding their applications, and thus detecting big business opportunities.

Achraf Souk