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  1. Technology
October 9, 1991

TELECOM ’91 – 2

By CBR Staff Writer

BBN Communications explains how it implemented total system quality in T/300 design

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Bolt, Beranek & Newman Inc subsidiary BBN Communications Inc put the spotlight on the product development strategy it used to bring the latest release of its T/300 Packet Switching Node to market: the EDGE Process, which falls under the umbrella of Total Quality Management (subscribers will recall that the Japanese have now given up on Total Quality Management after seeing the Tokyo Disneyland miracle and moved on to Zero Defect Management). BBN Communications says its EDGE Process – it stands for Effective Development which Gives BBN the Edge, was initiated in June, 1990, at the same time that the new release of the T/300 was in the beginning stages of its development, so that it was a natural evolution for the T/300 to become the first product to follow the EDGE Process. The initial step in the process of bringing the new features of the T/300 to market was to prepare a market analysis to evaluate the business opportunities for the proposed high-end packet node. The analysis was put before the Product Review Board, made up of senior management. The T/300 passed its Phase Zero review, which meant that the proposed product had approval of senior management and the funding necessary to carry on the development. Passing Phase Zero review also meant that a Core Team was established. The T/300’s Core Team, a cross-functional group with the authority and accountability to reach decisions regarding all aspects of the development effort, was set up in July 1990. Headed by a Core Team Leader, the T/300 team comprises a facilitator and a representative each from marketing, manufacturing, hardware engineering, product support, packet-switching software engineering, network management software engineering, network analysis, and systems quality assurance. The Core Team works in close proximity to one another and the initial task of the T/300 team was to determine the essential characteristics of the new product by coverting the Voice of the Customer into specific quality requirements. This entails first defining who the internal and external customers are, and then, using their own words, recording what the customer says are his or her requirements for the proposed product. The team then used the Quality Function Deployment method to plan the design of the product to meet these requirements. This is a means of assuring that at each phase of the development process, customer requirements are being met and a primary tool of the method is a series of quality tables or matrices. The quality matrix for teh T/300 resulted in design decisions that were made unemotionally, based on customer requirements, not personal opini on, the company says. All the features and benefits of the product – a Frame Relay Data Terminal Equipment interface, a new high speed- high fan-out line card, network-wide congestion avoidance, power-on servicing and remote diag nostic capability, designed for high through put, high reliability and network availability for packet-switching at higher speed and lower cost – were developed using the quality mat rices. Second guessing and the need to add features to the thing well after the initial development period, were eliminated, BBN says.

Motorola goes to Simware for compression to speed radio networks…

One of the big stories, not surprisingly, at Telecom ’91, which only takes place an Olympic once every four years after all, was something that was scarcely dreamed of at the last staging in 1987, all the emerging developments beyond cellular telephony in wireless communications. Motorola Inc has a big finger in most of the pies, be it mobile telephony via low earth orbit satellite, wireless data terminals or radio local area networks, and Ottawa, Ontario-based Simware Inc joined Motorola’s Mobile Data Division to announce a worldwide co-operative marketing agreement under which Simware, which develops co-operative communications software, will bring cost-effective and simplified mainframe a

ccess to workstation users on Motorola’s private and public radio frequency data communications networks. Simware says it is the first workstation-to-mainframe software company to be named a partner for the division, and under the agreement, the two will develop sales and marketing opportunities for Simware’s SplitSecond software, which is designed to reduce the amount of data transmitted from a mainframe to a portable computer by as much as 97%, greatly increasing the effective radio-frequency modem speed, and cutting application response time nearly in half. SimPC software enables micro users to access mainframe information and applications via asynchronous and many other communications protocols with simple screen interface.

…and IBM shows off its PCradio

And IBM Corp announced that it was bringing the 9705 PCradio 80186-based handheld personal computer designed for use on Motorola Inc’s Ardis radio data network in the US (CI No 1,737), to Europe, launching in each country once approval has been granted; the PCradio will be made at Greenock, Scotland.

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Alcatel Bell uses Tandem Integrity S-2 unix box as basis of NET400 system

Tandem Computers Inc was back on the platform when Alcatel NV’s Alcatel Bell Information Technology & Services stepped up to launch the Alcatel Net400 Message Handling System, which runs on the MIPS Computer Systems Inc RISC-based fault-tolerant Integrity S-2 Unix computer. Message Handling System is the global system in which almost any computer user can exchange information in the form of text, data, documents, graphics, images and speech with any other computer user, over a local area network, or across the world over public networks. Brussels, Belgium-based Alcatel Bell Information Technology & Services launched the Net400 Message Handling System to enable users to send and receive international electronic mail, electronic data interchange documents and other MHS-enabled applications based on X400. The Net400 Message Handling System is claimed to comply with international standards and value-added network requirements for the services supported, and offers optional packages and Application Programming Interfaces together with VT100 or X Window user interfaces. Once again, no prices were given.

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