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VoIP, unified messaging, products and services
Network World - As we repack our bags between trade shows, we'd like to highlight a reader resource from Webtorials to consider: A discussion titled "Unified Communications and WAN Performance -- A Delicate Balance," sponsored by Ipanema Technologies, is now available.
In the paper, the author points out that unified communications (UC) offers significant opportunities for enterprises to improve productivity, foster collaboration among employees and increase customer satisfaction. But, she also properly notes that UC comes with its own distinct challenges: both guaranteeing good UC performance and, perhaps more important from an economic perspective, making sure other applications are not degraded. If these challenges aren't addressed and overcome, the UC project will not yield its anticipated return on investment (ROI).
Among the several challenges: the need to guarantee UC performance, an issue made all the more difficult since users and resources rely heavily on the wide-area network (WAN) which is a shared resource. Variable traffic patterns that change based on user demand make capacity planning difficult, potentially affecting the performance of other business-critical applications. The good news is that application performance management systems can help overcome some of these challenges.
The paper concludes with a total cost of ownership (TCO) model that looks at the cost of sample UC configurations alongside the cost to properly manage these investments. More details, including the whitepaper and associated discussion, can be found here.
In a second report also available on Webtorials, Avaya looks at the implications of the BYOD (bring your own device) trends on wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments -- focusing on how IT managers can make sure that "BYOD doesn't have to mean Bring Your Own Difficulties."
Avaya contends that if enterprises are not prepared for "the tidal wave of wireless devices ... their networks will be crippled," not in small part because "each new wireless device brings with it the possibility of malware, viruses and other programs that could damage or disrupt the corporate network." Businesses that extend corporate hospitality with guest access are especially vulnerable. The paper, while Avaya-specific, continues to explain an approach to security solutions that nevertheless offers readers some good metrics to consider for protecting their corporate WLAN.
Our usual thanks to Webtorials for providing access to these educational resources.
Read more about voip & convergence in Network World's VoIP & Convergence section.
Steve Taylor is president of Distributed Networking Associates and publisher/editor-in-chief of Webtorials. Larry Hettick, an independent analyst and consultant, is a 30-year industry veteran. He has covered VoIP and UC at Network World for 12 years.