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Many net- work administrators ponder how to discern what is essen- tial and what merits hanging up on a phone pitch by a salesperson desperately seek- ing to meet a sales quota.

However, specific approaches and needs assessments go a long way in selecting what you need.

Since 1979 In This ISSUE Avoid Networking Mistakes | People often make mistakes in setting up and run- ning networks, ranging from the easy-to-make to ones that happen even to experienced staff.

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■ AT&T announced a series of upgrades to its global IP network.

In addition to strong track records complete with references, strong teaching talent is another essen- tial item to look out for on any IT training firm's menu. How often do you purchase computer hardware/software?

"There are leading providers of these materials with proven longevity that utilize course developers and subject-matter experts with state-of-the-art delivery mechanisms," says Ptarmi Kilgore, a manager for Novell Training Services. D Weekly □ Quarterly D Bi-Weekly □ Annually □ Monthly □ No Involvement Web Address:. What is your annual computer hardware/ software purchasing budget?

But wireless concerns should be shared company-wide, and effective training should be done.

Even a quick session on wireless /~M security and how the networks have been changed can be valuable, says Ed Partenope, presi- dent of platform technologies at tech- s&r nology consultancy Innovativ Systems De- sign.

■ Cisco announced several new switch- ing products for SMBs.

■ Datawatch released Data- watch | Researcher, which can help medium-sized to large companies comply with detailed reporting reg- ulations.

But implementing a wireless setup doesn't have to be as hard as it seems, either.

When you know the stumbling blocks, it's easier to walk around them.

She says, "If you find that some areas don't have as strong a signal as others, you can know where to put high gain antennas." Failing To Train Employees Thanks to the computing boom, most employees have at least fundamental knowl- edge of networks and how they operate on a general level.