While Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse is doing TV commercials to generate more wireless hype for the company, Sprint's often unsung wireline unit is giving business customers a better view at the performance of their IP/MPLS services.
Sprint recently announced the Internet-based Compass portal (www.sprint.net) to provide customers with free information from Sprint's network edge that previously was available only to the network operator. Having real-time statistics in hand will help the carrier's IP/MPLS VPN customers to better manage and optimize their wide area networks (WANs).
The information available through Compass includes operational statistics, class of service policies, router configurations and detailed network inventory information. Among other things, that information can help IP/MPLS customers: quickly locate network connections; more rapidly understand and manage WAN performance; tap into historical performance statistics; monitor both domestic and international locations; and troubleshoot and test prior to opening a trouble ticket.
Steve Parrott, senior product manager for managed services at Sprint, told FierceTelecom that platforms have been available that allow customers to collect information from all of their connection locations, but that they have not had access to vital network statistics that tell the other part of the story. "They have been working with inferred information having to do with what's going on in the network cloud, rather than actual information," he said. "We're extending visibility into the cloud to our customers, giving them the management capabilities they have had at Layer 2 now at Layer 3."
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