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Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Willie Tejada, Senior VP And GM Of The Enterprise Cloud Division, Akamai (Part 4)

Posted on Saturday, Sep 10th 2011

Sramana Mitra: You opened up this channel of thought in the context of my question that where are the open problems? So, this sounds like, on your radar, this area of collaboration is an open problem. The question is, where do you solve this problem? What layer do you solve this problem [on]? Is it something that you know who solves the problems? Is it something that Polycom needs to solve? Is it the problem that the combination of Polycom and Akamai needs to solve or is it something that you know somebody new can solve, on what level can you solve this problem?

Willie Tejada: Sure, that is a good question. Let me just tell you, from Akamai’s view, many of these collaboration applications are on the highest end. Let me draw a distinction based on the highest end of quality in that particular area of something like HP Halo or Cisco Telepresence. What’s limited their ability to reach scale is that they require a private network to ensure the quality is delivered the way it should be delivered. When you look at it from that standpoint you are limited, oftentimes, because the largest cause of deployment is in the private network circuit.That is because they can get the latency, the Jitter, the types of quality over that private network circuit that they can’t essentially ensure over the public internet.

Where Akamai attacks that problem is that, over the last 10 years, we focused only on delivering an enterprise-quality service over the public Internet. The network Akamai has built out over the public Internet is designed to give private network stock quality over the enterprise applications. Now, when you extend that to the problem that we just described in the collaboration apps, there is an opportunity for vendors such as Akamai to actually attack the problem from a network perspective where our overlay network delivers the same quality of service that an MPLS network actually provides. So while on a consumer level, as you said, on the company that you are using, the idea that we would deliver or enable them to deliver higher quality of video and user experience, or if it was transmitting over the Akamai network, it is one way to actually attack the problem.

SM: That does not sound to me like an entrepreneurial opportunity. That is a use case, yet another use case for Akamai. It is not an entrepreneurial opportunity.

WT: Well, the entrepreneurial opportunity is in relation to whether you’re attacking it from the encoding side and the client and the server software side, or you are attacking it at the network side. The use case of it clearly is an Akamai use case. The entrepreneurial side of it is can they deliver a client piece of software as well as a server piece of software that could deliver this level of quality independent of the quality of the network circuit? What’s the name of the company you use?

SM: It is called Vivu.tv.

WT: I imagine Vivu operates in that same fashion. They have some of their secret sauce that is directly in the management of the client and the server connection to actually make the experience as positive as possible.

SM: It is interesting. I was just thinking, as you were speaking, I was just thinking that these guys actually provide good quality of service, even though they actually work on top of the Skype network. I was just having a Skype conference call with two other people, one person in New York another person in San Francisco, and I am in Menlo Park, and this call kept dropping, and the call quality was absolutely terrible.

WT: But what do you do? Because you are using it at that level, it sounds like even you have a tolerance level actually for that because you know it is Skype, right I mean so that the that the –

SM: Skype is actually falling in quality, degrading in quality very fast. If you look at five, six months ago and Skype today, the quality of services has gone down.

WT: But at the same time, do you have a different level of expectation for the quality of service as you might have as if you were in a larger office and it was your IP phone service? There is that distinction of what is the level of tolerance? I do believe that as people move forward, their level of tolerance, as these become fabrics of how they do their work in the enterprise, will be that the level of spottiness you are getting in your Skype call will no longer be tolerable. So, solving those use cases I think is very much a opportunity in where we see startups is today because, it is not happening right now. It is not happening right now.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Willie Tejada, Senior VP And GM Of The Enterprise Cloud Division, Akamai
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