As a result of the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon and the virtualization of work, the days of the static employee are likely to be a thing of the past. Therefore, there is a growing demand for robust mobile communications that can stay the course and keep pace with growing trends.
A recent Alcatel-Lucent (News
) application note, Enabling Real-Time and Mobile Communications in Microsoft Environments with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
, examines the trend toward mobile centricity and the new requirements it is generating and how the enterprise communications landscape has changed drastically over the last 10 years. Indeed, private equity firms and telecom vendors have been absorbing Enterprise Business Units, and what were once niche market specialists – such as Web conferencing providers and video vendors – are now enjoying boosted revenues generated by the growing demand for mobile communications.
Market realities are that the growing demand for the integration of real-time communications with everyday business processes, including the integration of things like mobility and social networking are driving IT to accommodate employee expectations as well as C–level desires to more easily run their businesses from their handheld devices. Mobile communications not only allows individuals to take their applications, communications and network access with them on the go, it also allows for a complete focus on meeting customer needs on the customers’ terms— creating more compelling experiences that increase loyalty as well as saving enterprises money.
The new requirements have caused not just a myriad of new entrants but also caused a rush of innovative capabilities from giants in other areas, including IBM, Google and Microsoft (News
). Particularly strong in information systems, these companies are bringing messaging platforms, valuable data collaboration tools and more to the table. As the application note points out Microsoft is currently the undisputed leader among this group in terms of information system infrastructures and enterprise desktops. Lync, its unified communications platform is a major contender in this space.
The challenge for IT has been that despite is promise of Lync still has its limitations. Microsoft, despite years of effort has yet to solidify its credibility in real-time video and voice communications. And, multiple attempts have left Lync lacking in all important areas of mobility friendliness. Microsoft has some catch-up it must implement. But for those who already have invested in Lync licenses and rely heavily on Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) Enterprise solutions for their real-time and many of their unified communications
(UC) needs, there is no requirement to wait in order to leverage the best of both.
In fact, three imperatives must be met in leveraging SIP to get heterogeneous (Microsoft Lync and ALU OmniTouch) networks to provide the full portfolio of UC functionality:
- One-to-one or many-to-may communications must be treated equally
- The system must be based on a foundation that delivers comprehensive support for mobility
- The system should support broad use of video-based communications
As the application note demonstrates, despite differing approaches to real-time communications, by Microsoft and ALU accommodation and high performance on an IP network can be achieived by macimizing openness and interoperability. In fact, the application note provides three typical configurations they illustrate how a flexible approach enables IT to leverage the power of both platforms. The examples are:
- Implementing Microsoft Lync for a specific group within a company
- Utilizing Microsoft Lync for instant messaging and presence
- Using a third party solution to integrat Acalte-Lucent Enteprrise and other vendors in a Microsoft house. Via remote call control (RCC) that is supported by partner applications
The necessary licenses of Lync that users need to invest in are shown in the graphic below.
The bottom line is that it is all about the customer and assuring that they maximize their investments based on where they are today with trusted partners and where they know they need to get to in the future. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise understands the realities of heterogeneous environments and particularly when it comes to helping customers get the most value from their ALU and Microsoft Lync investments they can, “support whatever level of involvement an enterprise wants to undertake with Microsoft Lync, from a limited experimental implementation for a small group, to integration of OmniTouch 8600 MIC with Lync, or full integration of multiple vendors.”
In a world where openness and interoperability are the only way enterprise can move at the speed of rapidly accelerating markets, particularly was the need for mobile integration and accommodation of real-time communications like video become paramount, the need to be able to have solutions that play well together has never been greater.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein