5 Pointers Before Implementing IPv6

“Why bother with IPv6?” The question could probably elicit an irritated look and a raised eyebrow from your usually friendly CTO or CFO.

Monetizing IPv6 may be a challenging task for some. After all, it arose from a technical and not a customer need, which is address resource exhaustion. However, when sniped from a different looking glass, a myriad of opportunities could open up.

One social impact of IPv6 could be the eventual cohesiveness of various government agencies tasked to deliver a joint outcome. Imagine having a common voice/data network for the police, military, firefighters, traffic controllers, hospital personnel, non-government volunteers, even the media. Using portable voice and data tablets, imagine the speed of establishing communications and orchestration in the event of an emergency.

In the mobile industry with the IMS architecture over an IPv6-based mobile network, customers will be able to interact directly and play via multimedia applications without the need of central servers.

Indeed, with the peer-to-peer and self-discovery nature of IPv6, the possibilities for applications become limitless with no concern of exhaustion.

Here are some pointers to prepare your organization for IPv6.

1. Get everybody involved.

Transitioning to IPv6 is not just the concern of the technical or the IT department. It requires the product team to understand the impact to their business or to leverage from its benefits. It requires the finance team to understand its cost of ownership.

Make noise. Involve everyone. Create a committee of IPv6 stakeholders and proponents.

2. Avoid disrupting business operations.

One of the barriers of adopting IPv6 is that people are worried about its stability and its impact to the revenue and cash flow. With proper stakeholder and risk-management, this could be addressed easily.

Identify performance and service metrics to quantify and mitigate disruption. Establish an end-to-end change management plan, review and reporting process during implementation and rollout.

3. Build training programs for everybody

The involvement of everybody needs to be complemented by training programs. Establish a result-oriented training program not just for the tech guys but also the marketing guys. IPv6 needs to be a critical skillset. Proliferate deployment and operational manuals and let not the word IPv6 be equated to horror and fear.

4. Review execution processes end-to-end

IPv6 implementation has to be low-risk, seamless and incrementally deployable. Even after training, implementing a new technology will be a daunting and unsure task. Process manuals, test and QA plans, and even rewards and recognition mechanisms has to be aligned in order to be successful on implementing.

5. Advocate and let IPv6 be “our way of life”

Not so long ago, during the days of E1/T1 and SDH, operators are afraid of IP. Packet traffic was seen as a threat for legacy circuit switched traffic because reliability and standard adoption is questioned, potentially affecting revenues.

Fast forward today, with IP being the de facto standard, IPv4 seems to be like SDH once was. Change, it seems, can be hurdled eventually. So is IPv6. Let it eventually be our way of life. Being the first, not the competition, will definitely bring rewards and brand equity to your company.

Good luck and see you in the IPv6 world.