I've visited with a number of vendors here at this week's Networld+Interop conference, and one theme has emerged -- the need for automated provisioning technology. It is clear that although IT departments have solved many of their most immediate management problems, the provisioning process remains elusive.
Hewlett-Packard, for example, spoke eloquently about Adaptive Enterprise, its strategy for virtualizing the delivery of various IT elements, from server capacity to network bandwidth. HP has a plan for evolving the virtualization process toward full, pay-per-use utility computing, but the process gets sticky because most enteprises don't have the internal systems they need to do the provisioning of on-demand resources. HP will provide that provisioning, but as happened in the telecom service provider market, the HP services might not match the back-end processes and systems already existing in the enterprise.
Auspice, a new company on the enterprise market, is adapting its OSS technology to automate provisioning in the enterprise. Auspice has found a way to automate many of the manual management and provisioning processes executed in the NOC today, without replacing the management systems and applications already in place.
There are other examples, but the bottom line is that enterprises still haven't solved the provisioning problem. To do that, they will not only need some new technology, but also a re-evaluation of the processes they use to provision systems, networks and users in their own environments.