SOURCE: Ipswitch, Inc.

October 10, 2006 09:00 ET

Ipswitch Advises SMBs to Use Enterprise IT Tactics When Building Out a Network

Five Best Practice Lessons Small- and Mid-Sized Businesses (SMBs) Can Learn From Enterprise IT in Order to Create a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

LEXINGTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 10, 2006 -- Ipswitch, Inc., a leading developer of network monitoring, messaging and file transfer solutions, today announced five lessons designed to help IT managers at SMBs develop best practice techniques when building out their network. The lessons are based on the collective and transferable experience of enterprise IT customers who use Ipswitch products to manage their networks.

"At Ipswitch we have both SMB and enterprise customers and we're seeing that business critical service availability is the mission of every successful IT team, regardless of its size," said Ennio Carboni, director, product marketing, Ipswitch. "As the pace of doing business accelerates, every company -- even very small ones -- can apply the experience of enterprise IT departments to their own network situation. We've seen five primary lessons emerge in network monitoring and implementation that can help SMBs develop practical, actionable guidelines to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their networks."

According to Carboni, here are the five steps SMBs can take to get the most business value from their network.

     1.  The Network Means Business -- Business critical service
         availability becomes the mission of any successful IT team and
         in many instances the application is the business.  So buying
         the latest technology is no longer the focus but simply the
         means to the end.  For the SMB it is imperative that they use
         the technology that gets the job done at a sensible price.

     2.  The Converged Network is Here to Stay -- To the SMB, this means
         more than just data networking plus VoIP.  When considering a
         converged network, the enterprise has paved the way for SMBs.
         SMBs need to ask these questions when considering a move to a
         converged network:

         a. Do you want to save money on telecom maintenance costs?
         b. Do you have an aging, soon-to-be-unsupported legacy PBX?
         c. Are your employees asking for freedom of mobility?
         d. Do you spend a lot on site-to-site calls between offices?
         e. Would you like to provide audio, Web and video conferencing
            to your employees?

         If an organization answered yes to at least one of the questions
         above, it's time to consider upgrading an aging network
         infrastructure.

     3.  Ease of Use is Key to ROI -- If it isn't easy to use, it won't
         get used, and if it doesn't get used, the investment is wasted.
         That's why ease of use needs to be a driving strategy.  Are
         values like flexibility, scalability and monitoring the converged
         network something worth having?  Today the SMBs can learn from
         the experiences -- and failures -- of the Fortune 1,000.  Make
         ease of use a mandate.

     4.  Standards, Standards, Standards -- Enterprise IT has disciplined
         the market because of its tough requirements for interoperable
         solutions that form a holistic response to the common challenges
         -- this was an early version of the SOA requirements driving ISVs
         today.  As more vendors -- including enterprise-class solution
         vendors -- target the growing SMB market, SMBs have the
         opportunity to migrate away from non-standard solutions including
         homegrown and open source solutions. Because of the new interest
         in the SMB market, SMBs can migrate to affordable standards-based
         solutions that will reap them the same benefits as their
         enterprise counterparts.

     5.  Play Nicely with Others -- Tools and vendors shouldn't drive
         network monitoring choices. Instead, organizations should get
         what they want, when they want it, the way they want it.  It's
         important to buy the tools that do the job, rather than buying a
         brand.  In the future, emerging standards will drive
         multi-vendor point solutions to interoperate.

While there is no one way to adopt new technology, SMBs can learn from large enterprises that have already made the technology investment and have ridden out the rough waves. Regardless of a company's size, the approach that works best for each is the approach that best meshes with the corporate culture. If the SMB eagerly latches on to new ideas and new processes, it'll be more willing to reach out and try new approaches. At the other extreme are SMBs who want the technology proven before making a move. By applying the five lessons referenced above, an SMB can work within the parameters of the lesson and tailor its adoption approach to the company's needs and culture.

About Ipswitch

Ipswitch develops and markets software that works for small and mid-sized businesses worldwide. More than 100 million people use Ipswitch software to communicate via Ipswitch Collaboration Suite, monitor their networks with Ipswitch WhatsUp® and transfer files over the Internet using the market leading Ipswitch WS_FTP® Professional client and Ipswitch WS_FTP Server. To view the Ipswitch Blog visit http://blogs.ipswitch.com, to view Roger's blog visit http://blogs.ipswitch.com/greene/, to view FTPplanet visit http://www.ftpplanet.com and to view the Daily Network Monitor visit http://www.dailynetworkmonitor.com. Ipswitch values community involvement; visit http://icare.ipswitch.com to find out how to become involved. For product and sales information, write to info@ipswitch.com or visit http://www.ipswitch.com.

WS_FTP and WhatsUp are registered trademarks of Ipswitch, Inc. All other product names are property of their respective owners.

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