The technology space is poised for substantial upsurge, but vendors must make the upgrade process as simple and trouble-free as possible.
Posted Mar 15, 2006
The world enterprise router market is projected to balloon from its 2005 revenue of $7.3 billion to $12.2 billion in 2012, according to research from Frost & Sullivan IP Communications Group. The backdrop for such notable growth, according to the consulting firm, is VoIP, videoconferencing, instant messaging, and streaming video, used to communicate and transfer information between offices. However, these technologies require hefty investment in new network equipment; the router will be an essential element for managing the communications process, according to the firm.
"The high-end router market is driven by the demand for global communications," Shirley Hunt, strategic analyst at Frost & Sullivan, wrote in a statement. "Large corporations require high-performance equipment that can handle the wide variety of networking protocols and technologies that are used in the enterprise global network."
As IT departments look to upgrade technologies, they must contend with corporate purchasing policies that confine the ability to change providers and bring in new products because of certification testing requirements, according to Frost & Sullivan. The large, installed base of legacy equipment and limited budgets are other kinks that will need to be worked out. "Enterprise IT managers must upgrade the network in stages, which minimizes the business disruption," Hunt writes. "Security and interoperability testing must happen before the upgrade takes place in order to maintain a smooth transition to the new technologies. This challenge slows the penetration of new high-performance routers into existing enterprise networks."
Router vendors can assist enterprise managers by making the upgrade process simple and as trouble-free as possible; vendors can increase the speed of the upgrade process, which should improve router sales, by doing extensive interoperability testing and maintaining support for legacy products, according to Frost & Sullivan. The consultancy contends, however, that businesses must upgrade their communications infrastructure to more efficiently take advantage of global opportunities. Most of these companies have legacy routers that must be upgraded to process multimedia traffic.
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