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Plenty of plums in ICA seminars.


A peach of a seminar program at this year's ICA convention was plum-full of useful tidbits for telecomm and network managers.

Integration of a local area network over a wide area network backbone "is the way to go," says Eduard Ritscher of Chase Manhattan Bank.

Ritcher led an ICA conference session on LAN-WAN connectivity and bridges, routers, and gateways.

"No LAN is an island" sums up one of his points. That is, the LAN is no longer restricted to communication in a local environment. Now, said Ritscher, the LAN is a transparent access point to distributed applications and co-processing.

The advantages of bandwidth and network management justify integrating the LAN over the WAN, but it isn't an easy process, Ritscher sais. WANs tend to be fixed bandwidth point-to-point, while a LAN is bursty and peer-to-peer.

William T. Esrey, head of United Telecommunications, said ISDN would provide a useful resource but called regulatory issues "potholes in the path of progress."

In a talk on electronic messaging, DEC's Claire Messier said business will benefit from X.400. Applications include E-mail, EDI, voice mail, EFT, internal EP transmission, document distribution, and financial planning,

For those "Making a Difference at the State Level," Michael Crampton of The Travelers Corp. offered three ways to make political noise: issue-specific coalitions, standing business user groups, and ad hoc business user groups.

In a tutorial on FDDI, Consultant Jim Albrycht enthused about this "second-generation LAN architected as a platform for integrating all data types."

Advanced CAD/CAM and visual computing can make Ethernet look slow, he said. FDDI was needed to handle increasing data intensity.

Patricia Worthy, chairman of the D.C. Public Service Commission, called U.S. telecomm policy a moving target, with diverse groups grinding their axes in Washington.

Talking later to Comm News, she expressed exasperation at the nationalistic appeals of RBOC lobbyists.

"These issues need to be looked at," she said, "but for different reasons. Lifting the restrictions has nothing to do with Mom and apple pie."

Bernard Flanagan, vice president, marketing, The Wall Street Journal, reported the findings of his "Telecommunications Decisions-Making Process" survey.

He found 44% of respondents were involved in manufacturing, up from 1989.

AT 19%, finance/insurance/real estate was down.

Most respondents agreed ISDN would become a reality within five years.

In "Securing the Dial Network," Vic Thuotte of DEC's Electronic Information Security Group said his company's 51,000 literal nodes and megamillions of voice minutes made it "pretty easy to get in there and hide."

Go with gobblidigook or mixed number/letter passwords, because hackers "will run a 50,000-word dictionary attack against you," he said.

Companies will begin implementing FDDI backbones in 1990 to deal with a blend of computing equipment, according to Lloyd W. Taylor of Johns Hopkins University.

Another solution available today is integrated electronic mail. Integration of E-mail allows companies to eliminate the cost of restraining.

"There is no such things as an off-the-shelf solution," said Taylor. "Integration is always required."

By 1991, file sharing and distributed databases will be typical applications.

MIS integration will be the solution of 1992.

"The network will be the system in the 1990s," said Martin Marietta's Michael H. Diamant.

Applications development will be a key issue during the 90s, with distributed network computing one of the decade's emerging technologies. Other technologies on the rise include integration and Electronic Data Interchange.

Emerging network approaches for the 90s include broadband ISDN, FDDI, synchronous optical network, 10base-T, and switched multimegabit data service.

Users are turning to 10base-T as a less expensive alternative to FDDI, but not without drawbacks. The twistedpair technology is slower than FDDI.

Among hot LAN issues are hierarchical vs network architecture, bridges vs routers, and encapsulation vs translation bridging.

Fast packet technology options for MAN/WANs include software-controlled frame relay, which will be the ideal method from 1991 to 1995. The connectionless cell relay technology, which is controlled by hardware, will be used beyond 1995.

Europe '92

The single market of 1992 will open up opportunities in the European Community where different tariffs will exist under generic rules.

Interconnect Communications' John N. Roberts told members key technologies of 1992 will include public data networks and ISDN.

Roberts said private service providers will begin to offer value-added services.

In addition, 1992 will create long distance competition in leased lines in Europe.

Finance, technology, and operations/administration are the key factors to consider when assessing the cost of LAN ownership, according to Robert Schnibbe, Manufacturers & Traders Trust.

LAN ownership costs were further discussed by a panel comprised of Bank of America's Michael Campbell and Prudential Insurance's Edward Youngberg.

Campbell and Youngberg emphasized that network management--management control--is the main concern.

While performance is important when designing and building a network, said Campbell, "application is the driving force."

Youngberg said the application alone should justify the cost of the hardware installation and management.

Costs can be reduced by allowing the LAN administrator to act as the on-site trainer, he said.

Youngberg also stressed the importance of security, particularly for protecting financial data. At Prudential, 10% of research and development is going towards building security into the LAN.

OSI will continue to be outpaced by proprietary vendor architectures for several years. Vendor-specific extensions and supersets will restrict interoperability.

The market for OSI products was discussed by META Group's Joaquin Gonzalez and Jerry McDowell.

With a number of standards yet to be specified, full-function OSI will not be implemented for another two to four years, they said.

The first OSI software products will be designed for Unix platforms, as well as DECnet and SNA interoperability.

In a witty and thought-provoking speech, Bell Labs' Dr. Robert W. Lucky called for cheaper broadband service, wider personal access, elimination of switching bottlenecks, and a speedy national data network.

User Deals

* Contel ASC had two users demonstrating their products. Kelly Greaves, Burlington Coat, discussed the DMN 2000 used for point-of-sale credit card verification.

Bill DiSciacca, Air Products, demonstrated use of the DMN 3000 to keep track of inventory.

* France Telecomm's new Bandwidth On December service provides instant access to digital trans-Atlantic satellite transmissions.

Speaking to the press, Jean-Yves Gouiffes, director of international operations, said there was no reason Paris could not become the telecomm hub of Europe. "We have a geographic advantage," he said.

* Northern Telecom will provide better service to four customers via computer-to-PBX connectivity:

Time-Life Libraries established a system to allow them to access sales leads by working their SL-1 and DEC 3400 host 300 miles away, according to System Project Manager Elizabeth Rogers.

Features such as preview dialing, autodialing and predictive dialing will be available in a network planned to link Richmond, Va., Pittsburgh, Denver and Seattle.

Steve Backe, manager of telecomm MIS for Porsche Cars North America said he "intends to see a lot of payoff" from a planned ISDN integration using two SL-1 PBXs and three IBM AS/400s. His first ISDN application will use Meridian Link and IBM's Call Path 400 for retail delivery sales reporting.

Cardiac patients with pacemakers can check their heart status and get help faster from Medtronic CardioCare ove their SL-INT and HP 3000/70 host, according to CardioCare VP Mark Schermer. Ease of operation is vital since the average user is 74 years old. Although 90% of calls are serviced within 20 seconds, he wants to do better.

Helping 500 Matrixx Marketing telemarketers handle up to 120,000 daily calls is an NT-connected Tandem CLX. Rick Clements' system was described in Communications News January 1989.

* Ameritech, in partnership with five other major corporations, demonstrated the nation's first ISDN videoconference using public network connections to link cities served by different LECs.

The conference linked Mellon Bank's Chicago office to Ameritech's booth.

Also involved were South Central Bell, Illinois Bell, MCI, Picture Tel, and Fujitsu.
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Title Annotation:International Communications Association convention
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jul 1, 1990
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