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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Mist Explains the Industry's First AI-Driven Virtual Network Assistant

interview-mist-vna

Today, Mist launched its Virtual Network Assistant (VNA) which is said to give users unprecedented insight into the wireless user experience.  To find out more, VMblog spoke with Jeff Aaron, VP of marketing at Mist.

VMblog:  Mist recently announced "the industry's first AI-driven Virtual Network Assistant (VNA)."  So tell us, how does it work?

Jeff Aaron:  The Mist Virtual Network Assistant is the world's first AI-driven assistant for wireless operations and integrated helpdesk. Powered by our AI engine, Marvis, it is a new cloud-based micro-service that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make it easy to query the Mist global cloud for real-time monitoring of client activity and trending analysis. The VNA also uses data science to easily identify Wi-Fi issues, understand the impact of wireless problems, correlate events across the wireless/wired/device domains, and auto alert on anomalies. 

VMblog:  What industry trends and challenges led Mist to develop the VNA?

Aaron:  Wireless is more business-critical than ever, yet harder than ever to operate and manage. The amount and variety of mobile users are increasing exponentially, while IT resources are static or shrinking. Mist's mission from day one has been to create the world's first AI-driven network that simplifies Wi-Fi operations and gives unprecedented insight into user behavior. 

VNA was developed to further this goal. More specifically, it makes IT smarter by giving unprecedented insight into the Mist cloud, and it makes troubleshooting Wi-Fi faster and more cost effective by replacing time consuming manual tasks with proactive automation.

VMblog:  Who is the primary user of the solution?

Aaron:  Mist VNA is primarily used by two personas in an IT organization. First, there is the network administrator who wants better visibility into the wireless network for more efficient operations and management. Second, there is the helpdesk person tasked with troubleshooting the wireless network. The latter typically lacks in-depth RF experience and doesn't always have visibility into what IT is doing, but with Mist VNA they have a Mist wireless expert sitting right next to them.

VMblog:  What are the solution's benefits?

Aaron:  VNA is ushering in a new era of IT, where support personnel are smarter, faster and more efficient. More specifically, IT and helpdesk personnel can solve network issues faster (hours to minutes), be more efficient at problem resolution, and become more proactive over time.

At the same time, Mist's VNA makes mobile users happier then ever before with their Wi-Fi experience. Problems are solved quickly before users even know they exist, and the Wi-Fi network is constantly being optimized to maximize their Wi-Fi performance.

VMblog:  What does the introduction of the VNA mean for Mist's future? 

Aaron:  Our co-founder and CTO Bob Friday said it best: "The VNA is the next step in our company's journey towards building an intelligent AI-driven network that simplifies operations, lowers costs and gives unprecedented insight into the wireless user experience. We started with a robust distributed software architecture built on a cloud-based platform that collects and manages an enormous amount of data. On top of this, we implemented a patented methodology for organizing and classifying this data into domain specific service levels. With this announcement, Mist is bringing more data science and NLP to the equation, delivering the world's first VNA that can answer questions on par with a wireless domain expert."

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Jeff Aaron 

Jeff Aaron serves as Mist's Vice President of marketing, where he is responsible for global promotion of the company's groundbreaking wireless platform. Prior to Mist, Jeff was VP of marketing at PernixData, the leading storage acceleration and analytics company.

Jeff has over 22 years of experience marketing in the high tech space, having worked at various software, networking and telecommunications companies including Silver Peak Systems, Airespace (acquired by Cisco), Turnstone Systems, and Newbridge Networks (acquired by Alcatel). He began his career as a senior consultant at Ernst and Young where he counseled Fortune 100 companies with IT design and planning. Jeff earnedhis BA from Duke University with majors in Computer Science and Economics. 

Published Tuesday, January 30, 2018 8:02 AM by David Marshall
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