Key Takeaways from the First Level 3 Technology Summit

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2016-09-14 Print this article Print

This, friends, is new-generation networking, and it involves automation, automation and more automation. But even in the second half of 2016, not all that many companies are making the jump from their own well-worn, tried-and-true legacy networks that more closely resemble the one described so candidly at the top of this story.

Hesistancy to Pull the Trigger on New Networking Controls

Another takeaway from the conference was that service providers and system integrators such as Accenture continue to see hesitancy on the parts of many medium-size businesses to move to new-gen networking, because the network systems they have from 20 years ago still work well enough.

That's where the impending internet of things (IoT) era comes to mind. This was top of mind for many at the summit: How are we going to modernize our old systems to handle the continued huge growth of data in our networks and stores, when boards of directors looking at bottom lines don't see the urgency for change at this time?

For many an enterprise, dipping a toe into networking monitoring and analysis services—a little at a time via the cloud—is the answer. That's part of what Level 3 is providing.

MyLevel3 Portal, in fact, provides the necessary cloud services to enable enterprises to do their own network monitoring as needed, and in the time frame they need it. There are no capital costs for boards of directors to fret about; the service is offered via monthly and/or yearly subscriptions only.

MyLevel3 Portal's business management tools include the following functions:
--analyze up-to-date business data;
--access interactive maps, reporting, online ordering and invoicing;
--make a one-time payment or schedule payments in advance;
--check the status of all of your open and closed balances;
--communicate directly with support representatives;
--control costs and resolve issues, all from control window.

Level 3 Portals Offer an Alternative

MyLevel3 also offers a media portal and a partner portal in which all business transactions, orders and marketing information can be entered, stored and analyzed for the record. Users can view, download and analyze Level 3 invoices easily, including usage details; they also can manage online voice products, check alarms, monitor network performance and access product-specific reports.

Centralized control of networks—especially as they gain more and more intelligence in the controllers—will become more desirable as time goes on, because the sheer complexity of future IT systems is mind-boggling.

We're talking about networking connections to private clouds, hybrid clouds, public clouds and multiple clouds now and in the future. Some will be API-based; some will not. Some will have automated controls and connectors; some will not. Security schemas often will not be compatible.

There will need to be some sort of well-vetted, trusted, efficient and secure control platform to connect with all these variables and make sense out of them as businesses do business with each other and with their customers virtually—and on mobile devices.

This is what new-gen networking is encompassing, and we're only in the beginning stages of finding out how enterprises will be doing it in the future. Level 3 appears to be at the forefront of this discovery phase.

Photo by Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features and Analysis at eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz


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