Absence makes the net grow stronger

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Network failures and bandwidth problems are reduced by almost 40% over July and August. Network services specialist, Vanco, analysed 1500 sites over the last year and compared performance from month to month. It found that with users away on holiday, networks run more efficiently as demands decrease.

By September, however, the incidence of problems, such as network failure, increased by 23% above the norm. This is for a number of reasons, including users powering down equipment over a long period of time, connection failure and the knock-on effects of temporary IT cover.

Interestingly, while networks in the UK improve, those in Europe virtually shut down. Many fail to provide even skeleton staff cover, leading to problems at the end of August when staff return to no service. Overall, France was the country that provided the least cover, followed by Spain. In both cases, if network problems occurred, technicians were often told to leave them to be dealt with in September.

“The majority of networks we reviewed showed stress levels to be noticeably lower during the summer months,” said Paul Reynolds, technical director at Vanco. “You’d think that temporary IT managers and inexperienced staff would cause problems to increase. In fact, summer in the office causes the pressure on IT managers to ease off a little.”

“IT managers should prepare for users returning from holiday by issuing guidelines on how to exercise better control over bandwidth usage, so users are not left stranded without any service. It seems, however, that network managers on the continent need to think more carefully about complete shutdowns over the holiday period,” added Reynolds.

Established in 1988, Vanco has five core businesses: managed network services, technical consulting, e-business and e-commerce solutions, e-security and its network recruitment company, Madison. Independence from the carriers means the company can take advantage of increased choice, decreasing costs and improving technology to deliver cost-effective, highly customised and value-added network solutions.

The company was recently identified by Deloitte & Touche as being one of the ‘Hot 100 UK-based high-growth businesses’, and beat off competition from IBM and BT to be voted Europe’s Network Outsourcing Supplier of the Year by the NOA for two years in succession. This year it was presented with the Network Outsourcer of the Year Award. Its clients include Financial Times Information, Christian Salvesen, Lee Cooper, Otis Elevators and Dunlop Slazenger. It also has a strategic partnership with Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group.

Vanco operates networks across Europe and into the US and Asia.


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