Tom Waits fans know the title of this post as one of his pieces and one that was used in the Enron documentary "The Smartest Guys In the Room." There's a YouTube video of the Waits piece here, if you're interested. Doing some research recently, the first couple lines of the song - if one can call it that - started playing in my head as I began contemplating what Cisco is planning for its upcoming, and much publicized 11/11/08 release. I've been piecing together some things I'm seeing in emails and Cisco blog posts and they're definitely building something "in there" in San Jose. The question is, "what is it?"
I'm concerned about the state of WLAN vendor marketing. In the last year, a relatively precipitous drop-off of marketing driven "news" has occurred in my RSS reader, and a noticeable lack of "pitch decks" are finding their way into my inbox. That's not to say that I'm not still drowning in press releases (no, the fact that the Poughkeepsie School District is using your solution is not worthy of coverage) but I'm seeing less and less sizzle in a time where more would be better. A good thing for me, perhaps, but not a good thing for continuing to make the case for Wi-Fi.
In early September, Forrester
published its “The Forrester Wave™: Network Access Control, Q3 2008.” Forrester’s
findings revealed that Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Bradford Networks, and
Juniper Networks lead the pack because of their strong enforcement and policy,
but that Microsoft’s NAP technology, despite being a newcomer, has become the
de facto standard.
Any time you try and put some order
to vendor solutions, you are bound to find people in agreement – and to raise
ire in others. However, reaction in the blogosphere to a recent Network World article on the
research has raised some questions about Forrester’s Wave methodology which I’ll
aim to address: