Enterprises seeking to cut costs by running more energy-efficient businesses are finding that the best way to achieve this goal is through reducing the complexity of their networks. This means converging infrastructures, a process that can be complicated in-and-of-itself.
Despite the potential hurdles, converging network infrastructures has a wide range of positive impacts. Converged networks are simpler to maintain, result in increased productivity, lead to more efficient use of real estate, contribute to eco-friendliness, enable more mobility, and deliver better user experience.
“Enterprises need new ways of doing business by extending their business network and enabling closer interactions with partners and suppliers, Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) noted in a recently-published white paper. “It is now feasible to implement multiple applications (such as voice, video, and data), increase speed of execution, and minimize costs with the implementation of a single converged network infrastructure.”
Converged networks also tie into initiatives for better applications and more automation. Achieving this simpler infrastructure, though, requires understanding how things got to be complex in the first place and shifting perceptions to move beyond that.
“Enterprises have come to rely heavily on applications such as voice, video conferencing, and data sharing in order to achieve and exceed their business goals,” Alcatel-Lucent said. “The underlying network infrastructure has had to evolve to support these applications, and often separate overlay networks have been built for each application.”
Reducing that complexity leads to savings in many areas of enterprise business, including video, contact centers, data delivery, unified communications and telephony. Making things simpler is about more than just cutting costs, though.
“Enterprises can also make money with their converged infrastructure through Unified Communications (News - Alert) tools and automated contact center applications for front and back office that help to improve productivity,” Alcatel-Lucent pointed out.
An effective converged network has some particular characteristics that are worth noting; these are summarized below.
High availability means the business is supported continuously using network resource and performance management capabilities.
Future-proofing and cost effectiveness enables budget control through optimized designs and scalable technologies.
Security using controlled access and tools to prevent tampering means critical business information is safe.
Easy management and full interoperability enables cost-effective, remote control using centralized management and industry standards.
Secure, mobile access lets employees work from any location, on or off-site, using Wi-Fi.
Minimized power and cooling requirements lower consumption of electricity and create a more green enterprise.
Mae Kowalke is a TMCnet contributor. She is Manager of Stories at Neundorfer, Inc., a cleantech company in Northeast Ohio. She has more than 10 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and has a passion for new tech gadgets. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard