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The not-so-obvious advantages of convergence

May 12, 20042 mins

* Convergence benefits and challenges

Last week, Siemens Information and Communication Networks announced the upscale HiPath 8000 Real-Time IP System. Supporting up to 100,000 users per node, the hosted system can be deployed and managed from a data center.

All businesses want to reduce costs and increase revenue. While VoIP affords the opportunity to reduce network costs and thereby increase the bottom line, a greater opportunity is available when network technology is used to increase employee productivity. For example, if networking advances can be used to save an average employee 15 minutes a day, that’s more than an extra workweek of recovered employee time per year.

Similarly, if a work location with 32 employees can save each employee 15 minutes a day, then the time saved can be used to reduce the workforce by one employee per day. Or the employee time saved can be reallocated to focus on improving customer service or increasing customer sales.

Intelligence about network conditions and calling patterns can be used to create business benefit – especially for the distributed enterprise. Some businesses like retail, financial services, and healthcare are by their nature distributed enterprises. Other businesses, while they may have a central headquarters, have a mobile and therefore distributed workforce. In either case, the distributed enterprise has particular challenges to solve.

Among the challenges a distributed enterprise faces are in the realm of general management; the enterprise must craft business practices that provide customers and employees alike a consistent experience. Another challenge arises in managing business-critical applications and information. And perhaps the greatest challenge is how a distributed enterprise leverages centralized resources. The enterprise has every right to expect that convergence system suppliers will address and help solve each of these business goals and challenges. 

Next week, we’ll look at how the right information derived from a converged platform can bring increased business benefits.