Terry Slattery, the Principal Architect at NetCraftsmen, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on using real-time analytics to enhance network management and emerging technology, as well as tips to maximize your time at tech conferences. The series, hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s online events manager Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
Slattery joined Buckner to discuss B2B technology trends related to his two sessions at this year’s Interop Las Vegas: Using SDN APIs for Communications and Building Networks for Real-Time Applications: What Works, What Doesn’t?
Here are a few of the highlights from the conversation:
TA: Zeroing in on real-time analytics and real-time accessibility, what trends do you highlight in your two sessions?
Terry: There are a couple of trends that I cover in both sessions. The first one is networking automation. Network administrators and those in the field are becoming more sensitive to how much time it takes to configure and troubleshoot. We need to approach this issue to get up to the same speeds as computing and storage. I’m a huge advocate for networking automation and how it is flexible and fast to adapt to config changes and perform config audits to ensure they match up with the policies in your network.
The second trend is Software Defined Networking (SDN). Network automation is one aspect of this concept. SDN helps simplify configuration of networks and more importantly it simplifies how we think about networks, making them easier to build with fewer problems. With that said, I think IT operation staff and network engineers are going to start working more closely together to deploy applications on the network, get them running smoothly and be able to troubleshoot efficiently since things will be moving a lot faster.
TA: It’s true. Simplifying configurations and automating troubleshooting is critical since network management affects every enterprise deployment — from CRM, to marketing automation, to human resources software. What do you think IT professionals should focus on when attending conferences like Interop Las Vegas and Enterprise Connect?
Terry: I think the main thread is continuing to educate ourselves. That really is the key to all of these presentations — understanding the new technology and the changes in technology. But that’s not anything new; technology has always been changing quickly for us. We just had to keep up to date with all the changes and how they impact the way that we’re running our businesses today. In fact, I have customers who ask for presentation notes after conferences to find out how the material could help them run their business. So they’re taking the right approach, they’re trying to understand their business and how new technology changes could help keep them ahead of the curve against their competition.
TA: What are some tips for conference attendees that will help them get the most out of tech conferences?
Terry: Use the opportunity to learn and build relationships. Take a look at the schedule of events and pick out the sessions that make the most sense for what you need to know in the next year or so. Try to identify people that you want to meet and introduce yourself to, or find people that you’ve known in the industry and want to meet up with again. Networking is a great way to share and learn some interesting ideas, and I’ve gotten some really cool network management ideas from just talking with people at conferences. I typically come away with a whole notepad full of notes about the conference from all the sessions, talking with people at lunch and after the meetings, and so on. So that’s my primary thing – go there with your head empty, but like a sponge ready to soak up everything.
Listen to the entire show above in order to hear the full conversation, or download this interview to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.