Voice/data convergence is no longer a major worry for CIOs. They are more likely to worry about MPLS
integration - both within their own networks and with those of multiple suppliers - according to a survey by virtual network operator Vanco.

WANs are on average getting easier to manage, said Vanco marketing manager Michael Piddock. The survey found fewer managers spend over a day a week managing WAN issues compared with last year, but fewer also spent no time managing them. WAN management needs appear to be converging on two to six hours a week.

The survey asked CIOs what the three biggest priorities would be for their networks over the next two years. It queried 276 companies, all of whom spend at least 250,000 Euro (£170,000) a year on networks. It included six large European economies, the US, Singapore and Australia.

The three biggest concerns for CIOs are much the same as a year ago - network cost reduction, security and bandwidth, Piddock said. However, there were two notable new entries on the chart, in the shape of MPLS migration and wireless/remote network access, while voice/data convergence fell from number four last year to number five.

The issues move around depending which region you look at, he added. If only European CIOs are asked, migration to MPLS is last year's worry and has drastically tailed off now. Piddock said that this year's survey also showed a big rise in concerns about "softer" issues such as flexibility, manageability, ease of service and relationship management.

"Enterprises have come to terms with issues such as the financial stability of network suppliers, and now service capability is more important," he said.