My passport always gets a little more worn each March as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona kickstarts a season of travel, which for me this year -- for the first time in a decade, actually -- also included a few days at the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover, Germany.
My three key takeaways from these giant European events are as follows:
Following years of focus on applications and devices (still very important, of course), there is renewed focus on networking, related not only to the New IP/virtualization, but also to the enormous capacity requirements that come hand-in-hand with ubiquitous cloud services and LTE-Advanced/5G.
Enterprise technology (the focus of CeBIT) is accelerating the pace of change being seen in the wide area communications networking sector, primarily as a result of innovation in data center/cloud infrastructure, and is entering a new era of integrated capabilities. A key example of that integration is the Industry 4.0 initiative in Germany, which is promoting the potential for leading-edge technology developments, particularly related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics, to influence industrial processes across every vertical sector.
The lines between enterprise and telco/WAN communications technology are almost totally blurred. To a large extent the technologies being marketed to mobile operators at MWC and to enterprise users at CeBIT are equally applicable to each camp. CeBIT is very much a show for enterprise users, but any telco visitor would have been captivated by the vast array of applicable developments (data center virtualization platforms, next-generation servers, IoT management applications, unified communications, small cell infrastructure, network security systems and analytics software all being cases in point).
As always I had my camera and smartphone handy to take some pictures whenever I saw something of New IP interest, so here are some highlights from my recent European travels.