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Welcome to ZyXEL Press Room In this area you can browse the latest announcements, events and more from ZyXEL and our worldwide subsidiaries.

Investing to save in 2012

January 31, 2012

Antony Byford of ZyXEL says that the continued tight economic situation and the subsequent need for organisations to ‘invest to save’ will be key drivers for the networking market in 2012 – but resellers will need to be diligent and patient to win new business

If you look back at the last 12 months, what do you remember about the IT market? Probably, the first thought that enters your mind is that it has been a tough year in which we have seen little in the way of overall growth. From a technology point of view, the rise of the tablet dominated the news but the underlying trend here is the continuing and relentless advancement of mobility. We’re seeing increasing use of smartphones for data access. It would be hard to forget about the arrival of the cloud of course – or at least the hype that has accompanied it thus far.  The continued growth of virtualisation has also been a prevailing trend.

What will 2012 bring to the wider market? Well, with the economic situation as it stands, it won’t be easy to make money for anyone in the IT business, that’s certain. Customers will be looking first and foremost at how technology can help them to reduce costs and save money. If that means adopting new technologies and applications, they will do that. They will invest to save. The growth we have seen of some of the areas mentioned above shows this to be the case. But they are not going to buy new technology just because it is there – and because someone says it will ‘transform’ their business. They will need to be sure it is going to make a difference.

If you look at networking specifically, it has been another year of evolution rather than revolution. We have seen a gradually shift from 100MBps Ethernet toward Gigabit Ethernet, and from the old 802.11g to 802.11n wireless networking.  With regards to storage traffic, we have more uptake of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) at the high-performance end of the market.  The migration toward these technologies is gradual, partly due to the economic situation, but mostly because companies have legacy solutions that they are not prepared to throw out. No one is in the mood to waste money and everyone will want to eke out as much return on investment as they can from every piece of technology they purchase this year.

But the desire to adopt virtualised environments, hosted voice and cloud-based applications and services, more efficient storage, networked video and conferencing solutions – all of which can bring significant cost-reduction benefits – will continue to drive uptake of networking technologies that deliver higher bandwidth and improved quality, reliability and range. 

These drivers will be even stronger in 2012, as more organisations look to increase the mobility and flexibility of their workers and thus reduce the time and money spent commuting and travelling to work and between locations. This has been talked about for a long time, but the key factors are all there now – wider availability of fast and affordable broadband, increased availability of reliable and secure WiFi, and higher petrol prices and increased train fares. Working at home now makes more sense than ever.

For resellers this will present good opportunities to put forward new and faster technologies that enable customers to introduce more flexible practices and reduce their costs – without being forced to abandon older solutions. This will make it easier to justify new investments.

Resellers and solutions providers though will need to be diligent and patient. They will need to understand all the options and be capable of making a solid business case for any solution they put forward. For us as a vendor, it’s important to understand that resellers can’t perform miracles and they need to manage their investment and make use of their resources as carefully as their customers. We are positive about the prospects for the year ahead and see good opportunities to grow business around higher speed networking, wireless solutions and networked storage – and we’ll be looking for more resellers who we can work with on these fronts. But we also know that we – and our partners – will need to be patient and always focus on ensuring that the customer understands exactly how new solutions will deliver a realisable value to their organisation.