Communications technologies continue to rapidly evolve, leaving many a company using outdated and obsolete systems without their knowledge. Budget and market pressures can be enough of an influence for companies to postpone an upgrade of an outdated communications system, but that leaves them vulnerable to hidden costs, threats and missed business opportunities.
A recent Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) white paper, Aging Communications Systems: Risks and Opportunities, explores how relying on aging infrastructure doesn’t actually save money and won’t be able to support business as usual. As the white paper points out, there are very real technical risks and financial implications involved in the retention of legacy communications systems. However, it warns that at the same time, planning an upgrade takes a focused strategy that must apply protections to current infrastructure investments.
To enable a unified communications solution transformation, Alcatel-Lucent’s Enterprise business unit works with organizations to help identify reusable components of the in-service system and make technology investments that are not only strategic, but also meet the needs of the business and the user. To that end, Alcatel-Lucent offers the Alcatel-Lucent's OpenTouch Suite allows the enterprise to reuse many of the components of their legacy PBX (News - Alert) infrastructure in the transition to a new communications platform. It also ensures the enterprise can transition at its own pace.
While the OpenTouch Suite offers multimedia services such as unified communications, mobility, video and collaboration to meet the demands of the innovative enterprise, it can still be a challenge to identify the right time to invest in a new communications infrastructure. Alcatel-Lucent recommends that organizations do a cost-benefit analysis to compare the cost of maintaining the current infrastructure with the costs involved in an upgrade.
Next, they say that it is important to include IT personnel in the analysis of the current infrastructure and the decision-making process when evaluating new investments since individuals not directly involved in the purchasing and management of communications capabilities can greatly assist in making strategic decisions based on how the communications transformation will affect all users within the enterprise.
They can also help to reduce the risk that the selected equipment will become obsolete too quickly based on their expertise on the networking needs of future IT investments. This includes not just hardware but also impacts on business processes and how well users will adopt new technologies. Indeed, the bottom line is that the collaboration of business and IT professionals can ensure the enterprise has a cost-benefit analysis for retro-fitting aging communications system that makes sense long-term as well as short-term.
The selection of a trusted provider of enterprise solutions then becomes a critical part of the equation. This means tapping into their consultative services to ensure a strategic transformation roadmap that makes sense. Alcatel-Lucent provides such consultative services, and with OpenTouch offers flexible solutions that not only can preserve current investments, but also ensure upgrades are future ready even given growing unpredictability and rapidly changing user requirements.
The realities are that your legacy communications infrastructure not only is not optimized for the Internet age, but is likely costing you more money than it is worth. To remain competitive you need a communications system that is state-of-the-art. You also need a solutions provider that can work with you from planning to implementation to maintenance and management to having a plan and the resources that will be necessary to accommodate whatever the future may hold.
Whether you are a current Alcatel-Lucent customer, operator of a heterogeneous network, or currently using an aging system for a competitor, in what my colleague TMCnet Senior Editor Peter Bernstein has called, “The Age of Acceleration,” when it comes to communications systems with age does not come wisdom. You need next generation solutions and a partner who has the expertise and resources to get you from here to where you need to go.
Edited by Peter Bernstein