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Following the Structured Way

What are the top five priorities a network manager with regards to make his cabling infrastructure?

The top priorities of a network manager is to build a well designed network, high quality products with standards that support applications for at least the next decade, reliable for minimum downtime, flexible for future expansions, and well managed cabling infrastructure.

To realize the above five priorities, the customer needs to define which design to implement that would define the containment system? Which vendor offers high quality products? Which standards he needs to follow; Cat6, Cat7, Cat7A, etc.? Which provisions need to be considered for any foreseen future expansions? Will the network size require today or in the future the implementation of Intelligent solution?

Last but not the least; the customer needs to identify a local certified installer who offers all the required support during all phases of implementation and future support.

What are the challenges usually faced by Network Manager when they don’t have a structured cabling infrastructure?

From our experience in the market, we have seen many organizations facing the problem of unorganized networks to the extent of their worries to get it audited. From day one of its implementation, each network infrastructure has to go through daily MAC (moves adds & changes), which subsequently can cause a real messy situation. Facility Managers can really face serious challenges when the infrastructure reaches such an unmanageable level. The challenges could be network downtime, unsatisfied staff/customers, loss of revenue, no possible expansion, and many more such challenges.

Can you share some glimpse of your partner network in the Middle East region?

Since 1998, we have worked very hard to establish a very strong partner network across the ME countries. Each of our partners is a market leader in networking within their local market. The market leadership of Nexans partners includes expert staffing, support level, end-to-end solution offering, and last but not least their financial strength.

Such strong partners’ network has enabled Nexans to secure deals with Global Key Account customers.

How is the awareness level regarding advanced networks and utilities of a structured network among CIOs or the facilities managers of this region?

In the last few years the awareness levels on advanced networks and utilities of a structured network among CIOs, IT Managers and facilities managers has definitely increased in this region. In the earlier days, IT experts used to not give much importance to the infrastructure networks and they just considered a cable to be a cable. With the introduction of the IP converged networks, VoD, HDTv, Data Centers, etc., there is no doubt that the infrastructure is an important part of the IT solution today. We have clearly observed that many IT managers and facilities managers are becoming more informed about the latest cabling standards released in the market. Meanwhile, with our leading position in the structured cabling market as manufacturer, a main member in all respective International Standards bodies and strong investments on R&D, Nexans will continue its efforts to provide latest information and updates on IT infrastructure to the concerned market verticals (consultants, end users, installers, etc.)

What we would also like to add is that the implementation of structured cabling is as important as the quality of the supplied products. With the introduction of the Cat6A and 7A, the installation and testing process of a structured cabling network is not as easy as the earlier Cat6.

Nexans offers special training programs to qualify installers to offer end-users a certified Cat6A or above solutions. What we and many other cabling manufacturers want is to pull out the IT infrastructure package from the MEP contractors’ scope of work. Our long experience proves that the MEP contractors’ objectives are not similar to the network end-users.

What is the ideal investment required to go for a structured cabling infrastructure in place in a typical enterprise set up?

I can talk in general as it is difficult to put a figure on this as enterprises could be of varied sizes and requirements.

Structured cabling represents a very small part of the complete IT solution. Cabling can be 5% to 10% of the IT budget. In addition, the nominal life time of structured cabling is more than 15 years. Not to forget to mention that 70% of network downtime is due to cabling problems. Having said these three facts, we do not really understand why the customers try to save money on cabling infrastructure.

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