Blaeser: You'll see us moving into the real-time, root-cause analysis arena, and then we'll have a complete solution for e-business. We think that if we execute properly, we will build a very large software company that really is a dominant player in what we call performance management.
InfoWorld: How big an entity do you have to be to accomplish that?
Blaeser: You have to manage the performance of the service provider between you and your customer. That means from the client, through his infrastructure, through the network services provided by some carrier, back to the infrastructure of the vendor, and up through the application vendor. You can then provide them a good performance-optimization tool to make sure that [the] performance the end-user sees is functioning well.
InfoWWorld: To what degree will you be able to do that?
Blaeser: Let's say your client performance is slowing down. We can identify which DNS server your carrier is providing that is not responding quickly. You have to differentiate among what is being caused by the application running on your server, what's being caused by your infrastructure, and what's being caused by the carrier's services.
InfoWorld: What will the role of the carriers be as it relates to the enterprise?
Blaeser: We see a trend where the service providers are trying to provide more and more of this service as a solution to their customers. We understand the enterprise problem, and that makes us more valuable to our service-provider customers as they move into this space. If they want to remain profitable, they can no longer just sell bandwidth. The price for voice is now three, four, or five cents a minute, and the cost of data is going down. They've got to provide more enhanced services. So you'll see service providers [offering] application-service hosting, Web-server hosting, managed-router service -- [all] total outsourcing solutions. What they are really doing is managing large enterprises.
InfoWorld: Will the voice and data functions within the enterprise merge then?
Blaeser: It has to happen, because the voice and data are merging ... quite quickly, and obviously voice is becoming a commodity. It's going to go over the same pipes that our data is [going] over. I think the internal organizations are going to have to merge ... to be competitive in the marketplace. The challenge for IT organizations will be to help their companies make a profit. IT has become a competitive weapon. IT can no longer be a utility that's there [just] because you have to have it. Large corporations who use IT as a weapon will win, and those who don't will lose. Business is dependent on how efficient the IT organization is [at] providing the services that you demand in order to run your business.