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Flexible working, mobility and Unified Communications

NCC Guidelines – Volume 1 – Number 1, June 2011

NCC Guidelines – Volume 1 – Number 1, June 2011
Download the PDF of NCC Guidelines – Volume 1 – Number 1, June 2011

The fully Unified Business and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is on the radar of most CIO’s and IT Director’s and remains one of the hottest topics around at the moment…. And with a tough economic climate and cost savings paramount, there is little doubt that adoption of the technologies that enable this will grow exponentially throughout 2011/12. There are other trends emerging strongly that will also continue to impact the way we work:

  • Consumerisation – Users want to have access to the latest devices. Some organisations favour personal budgets to buy what you want, many are supporting BYOD.
  • Mobility – Mobile devices are being increasingly used for access to corporate data.
  • Newly sophisticated users – Users entering the job market today have used the Internet and social networking most of their lives.
  • Virtualisation – cost effective way of supporting changing infrastructure requirements.
  • Cloud Services – the most flexible model of supporting IT operations.
  • Endless Data Growth – The many different ways of accessing and using information are leading to an explosion in the amount of data stored.

Unified Communications and the Cloud’ action plan and checklist

The following guidance for enterprises is made with the objective of gaining an advantage from deploying Unified Communications in a cloud-centric scenario, enabling you to addresses quick-wins but also seeks to prevent costly mistakes:

  1. Strategy: the concept, not the products – position UC as a cornerstone of your IT strategy. Failure to do this will increase the challenges downstream.
     
  2. Network-readiness: IPT requires networks that are voice ready. Upgrading networks is a huge investment, use cost-savings of deploying IPT in the business case for upgrading networks.
     
  3. Software is the future: Proprietary hardware IPT is costly. Remember hardware always becomes a commodity, software and services provide the value-add. Software-based IPT offers better investment future-proofing.
     
  4. Step-by-step: IPT is not a prerequisite; UC can be deployed using UC-enabling desktop applications with traditional TDM PBXs. However to gain the full benefits transition to software-based IPT is inevitable.
     
  5. Avoid complexity: Building UC infrastructure with gateways, middleware, and complex connectivity may be necessary in the short-term. But the strategic objective must be to simplify.
     
  6. Virtualise: UC server and desktop applications to gain full cost savings. The centralisation of these applications will facilitate easier future deployment of next generation communications applications.
     
  7. Open standards: There is no reason to acquire proprietary communications infrastructure. Software-based IPT servers can be virtualised. Applications should be able to call UC functionality using open web services.
     
  8. Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC): One user, one mobile device should be the objective, integrated with other enterprise applications. Desk phones for non-mobile workers, but the simplest approach is the most effective… using the smartphone.
     
  9. Interoperability is key: Without interoperability, there would be no ubiquitous electronic communication. Architectural plans for UC should target a similar objective.
     
  10. Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS): UC services deployed from the cloud. Alternatively, replacement of on-premises hardware and software by an outsourced or hosted service on a pay-as-you-go basis.

This action plan will help you assess the potential advantages from deploying Unified Communications and creating a more flexible enterprise. They are an extract from the NCC March 2011 conference: Flexible working, mobility and Unified Communications – March 2011

Copies of the complete slide deck from can be viewed at: www.ncc.co.uk/mobileworking

 

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