BT Global Services, the WAN connectivity and IT services arm of BT Group Plc, has announced an Applications Optimization Service for corporate customers, based on the Business Network Optimization System from French developer Ipanema Technologies SA.
AOS is part of BTGS’s Application Assured Infrastructure suite launched in 2004 as a bundle of offerings comprising auditing, optimization, monitoring, management, and assurance. BT said AAI is designed to enable multi-site organizations to gain a greater understanding of the complex interactions that occur within their infrastructure, from desktop to data center.
However, that description is really more for the first phase of AAI when it was more about network and app-monitoring and analysis than actually tweaking the app to make it run faster and perform better.
The second phase is really what AOS brings, and since it represents the ability to go beyond insight to act on the info accrued in the first phase, it is a separately chargeable service. Until now, the optimization part of AAI had been an ad hoc, professional services engagement, but now it is productized as AOS.
For the first phase of AAI, BT drew on the expertise of Compuware Corp. For the second, BTGS told Computer Business Review in February that it was mulling its options in terms of technology providers and acknowledged Ipanema was among those under consideration.
The Paris-based company was clearly in a favorable position, however, given the fact that it was already in use at Infonet, the US WAN services provider acquired by BT in November 2004 and now referred to as BT Infonet, with a sibling relationship to BTGS itself, and BTI taking responsibility for the US market while BTGS targets the rest of the world.
One of BT’s archrivals in the managed WAN services market, France Telecom’s Orange Business Services (formerly known as Equant), uses optimization/acceleration technology from Packeteer to underscore a service it calls Application SLA.
Another player in global managed WAN, Verizon Business, takes a different approach, offering what it calls its Application-Aware Network service as a software-only toolkit for its customers to optimize their apps under their own steam. Like AOS and the competing offerings, it is separately charged for, and the technology provider in Verizon’s case is CentriSoft Corp.
BTI’s offering based on Ipanema is called Application-Centric VPN, or AC VPN. It differs from AOS in that AOS is about supporting a pre-defined SLA, whereas AC VPN is about optimizing an app’s performance and charging for the service.
In a parallel development indicating that optimization/acceleration as a service is starting to ramp up as distinct from a DIY product offering, Blue Coat Systems said it has widened the remit of its professional services team to work with SIs wanting to provide such a service based on the MACH5 technology it has built into its SGProxy appliances.