Today’s enterprise landscape is constantly changing with new, more efficient technologies being introduced to the marketplace seemingly every day. The scalable access to cloud-based offerings, fast-expanding use of video beyond conferencing, and machine-to-machine communication (M2M) are just a few of the newest services available in today’s environment. These offerings are redefining the essence of how businesses communicate both internally and externally.
Of course, these are all good things, but change isn’t always easy. The amount of information, differing opinions and the speed at which these technologies are being introduced, then improved upon, can be daunting for a business that feels like it’s constantly trying to catch up to next big thing.
Here we lay out seven impactful ways the telecom landscape is changing and the positive impact these changes can have on business and technology strategies.
1. The fiber frenzy
The race is on to connect corporate offices, branch offices, data centers and more to fiber-rich networks that enable faster provisioning of bandwidth than older transmission facilities. Providers are scrambling to land business customers whether they are on unlit fiber networks, lit on-network buildings or anywhere within reach of the lightwave systems. While the fiber providers may not necessarily be household names, making the move to a fiber network should be at the top of considerations for its scalability, flexibility and fast-provisioning capability.
2. Scalable bandwidth
Business network demands fluctuate. Companies need flexible bandwidth that doesn’t take months to provision. Once connected to fiber, initial bandwidth can be rapidly raised to handle traffic increases and decreases. Thanks to advanced equipment in the network, a service provider can raise the capacity from say 100 megabits to 900 megabits on a 1 gigabit port, without on-site equipment.
While expandable bandwidth is hardly new, providing it over copper connections is heavier lifting and carries capacity ceilings. Cable companies, telecommunications companies and others have seized on the opportunity to provide scalable capacity using advanced fiber-networking gear to enable faster provisioning. This gives enterprises more flexibility than ever before. Be sure to keep a close eye on your fiber bandwidth demands and to make changes as necessary. They can be done quickly, easily and will make a world of a difference in network performance.
3. Getting connected
For cloud services, Ethernet has emerged as the primary interface for access between a customer site and the cloud provider, or between the site and the nearest service provider’s point-of-presence (POP).
If you are using cloud services (for example Amazon, Google or Microsoft), service providers that have a direct network-to-network interface (NNI) or (POP) inside that cloud network can offer the best service. By connecting directly to the network you are eliminating the need for a ‘middle-man’ and don’t have to worry about additional service providers.
4. Seeing value in video
Forward thinking businesses have begun using video to help expand their brand. Once upon a time the use of video was limited to TV programming in hotels and resorts in the hospitality industry, but businesses across the spectrum are realizing that they can use video to engage their customers in new ways than they have before. The potential for video use has spread far and wide to most any location with a monitor and some form of waiting area, such as doctor’s offices, assisted living facilities, bars and restaurants.
Start using video to capture the attention of your end users and deliver marketing content to them in new and unique ways.
5. Content’s kingdom
With the climbing corporate use of video and content-rich websites comes an elevated need for cloud-based video delivery with caching and web acceleration services. In this category, reliability is of the essence because viewers won’t tolerate delays, quality issues or unavailable videos on customer-facing websites.
Content delivery network (CDN) pioneers such as Akamai Technologies began addressing overwhelmed websites and optimizing video delivery well over a decade ago and have since created cloud versions of their offerings, as have some smaller rivals. An increasing number of cloud providers are acquiring these abilities or partnering with other companies to provide them to customers.
If you are among the innovative businesses delivering video content in office or online, consider implementing content delivery network services for a high-quality and optimized end-user viewing experience.
6. People savings from the cloud
The lion’s share of cloud computing services focus on the benefits of cost avoidance, technology savings and the greater ability to compete in a fast-changing business market. However, enterprises can also benefit from the potential for people savings as well.
By shifting basic and repetitive management tasks from skilled IT staff to a cloud service provider, companies can re-focus their technology experts on projects that directly benefit the company’s overall business strategy. Moving your IT staff off of menial tech tasks and into more strategic areas will drive business growth and ultimately save costs.
7. What about wireless?
Cloud services continue to expand to include offerings from the wireless world.
Many businesses are investing in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, which connect business assets to wireless sensors. Businesses, especially those looking to streamline and reduce the expense of managing resources such as fleets of vehicles or pipeline networks use the technology to collect and analyze data, and then improve on processes.
M2M is a huge growth area for cloud providers, but more importantly, the tracking, management and reporting of these far-flung resources can simplify logistics for companies of all sizes. The bottom line: it’s all about keeping your pulse on the industry and understanding how these technology updates can not only benefit your technology department, but your overall business goals as well.
This week’s Tip of the Week was provided by Dylan R. Benadi, commercial account manager for Comcast Portland/SW Washington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.