Communication lines are open

It’s traditional when starting a new publication for the editor to outline his or her goals to the reader. But I’m going to let one of my contributors have the first say.

Rob Duxter, CEO and president of Network Integrators of Canada Inc., told me the following a few weeks back:

“I was at one of our customers’ offices last week, and he said, ‘Someone tried to give me a BlackBerry and I refused it because I’m sick and tired of seeing people in our boardroom clicking under the table and not paying attention.’ That’s the kind of challenges you’re going to have and those are the things to address and accompany any sort a technical implementation – a best practices and a policy guide.”

That’s what I’m striving for with CommNet: a policy guide that readers can take into their offices and actually implement. Ideally, CommNet will provide usable information in the form of articles, editorials, market data from experts and a section we’ve decided to call Scenario.

Rob graciously offered to write the first Scenario when I called him a few weeks ago. I didn’t even know what the section would be called then, but I knew what I wanted: a breakdown of the best way to approach a new networking project. Not necessarily every last thing you’ll need to know, but maybe the things that appear so obvious that you overlook them, or maybe things that aren’t so obvious – as Rob discovered when he spoke to one of his customers, not everyone wants a BlackBerry.

He put together an excellent list of points to remember and consider when integrating notebooks and PDAs into an existing desktop infrastructure. Future “Scenarios” will approach other networking projects in a similar fashion. I welcome suggestions for this area (and any other, for that matter), so please drop me a line with your thoughts.

CommNet picks up where Communications and Networking left off and we’ve tried to retain as many elements as possible that make sense for a monthly e-newsletter. Keeping with the theme of information that applicable to your own networking environment, you’ll also find a case study in each issue of CommNet, as well as a market report from a leading analyst.

Another element you should look at is “How to…” – the first of which is “How to . . . address power and cooling issues.” We spoke to various analysts, vendors and professionals to get their different takes on the topic and some suggestions that you can hopefully put into practice yourself. The format is casual – basically a list of comments and suggestions – so you can scan through it easily.

Finally, our anchor piece for the first issue is a feature story by Grant Buckler about the ins and outs of locking down Wi-Fi. It’s practically a parable about the dangers of implementing technology without considering its legal ramifications first.

I gave Rob the first word for this editorial, so I may as well give him the last: The challenge that (CommNet readers) will have are “rarely going to be technical challenges,” he told me recently. “Those are the things that the bulk of my industry cohorts miss. It’s not front of mind for them.”

CommNet aims to put these networking issues – both technical and non-technical – front of mind and at the top of the list.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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