What’s shaping the future of global converged networks?
In October 2015, Coleman Parkes released the results of a survey, sponsored be Genius Networks and Microsoft, that examined the communications challenges of multinational businesses operating in Europe and the US. It looked at the critical issues they needed to address in order to improve efficiency, mitigate risk and optimise financial performance, along with the role of technology in helping them move forward.
With the help of technology experts David Blackburn and Frank Bruce, this white paper revisits the key findings of the research, discusses how the landscape has changed over time, and explores some of the technologies that are currently shaping the future of global converged networks.
A number of key themes emerged from the survey, particularly around the issues of global network quality, the deployment of Skype for Business and the use of SIP. For reference, the full results of the survey are available in the downloadable document below.
Network Performance Determines Voice Performance
Most respondents stated that they operate a global Skype for Business strategy and around half of them identified connectivity and voice integration as two of their most significant challenges. Skype for Business voice performance has to be guaranteed over the WAN in order to deliver its benefits, and while services such as messaging and presence consume little bandwidth, real-time voice, video and conferencing applications require stable delay, low jitter and guaranteed bandwidth in a very dynamic environment.
The unpredictable, bursty nature of these traffic flows puts pressure on other business-critical applications and in many cases has resulted in the overprovisioning of bandwidth, which has significantly increased TCO.
Network Performance Is A Priority
A majority of respondents said that managing a global communications network was expensive and problematic. In the past, complex multi-carrier solutions patched together by traditional aggregators have failed to deliver on cost, reliability and quality of service. Partnering with an integrator or aggregator that had a peer-to-peer relationship with carriers could eliminate these difficulties.
One of the biggest concerns was the impact of latency on sensitive applications such as voice, and the unnecessary costs this added to their business. However, some progressive service providers were tackling the latency issue. For example, by establishing strategically positioned international hubs, providers can enable delivery of global services from a location local to the end user to keep latency levels low and network performance high.
Sip Is Critical
Nearly all those interviewed saw SIP as critical in underpinning their voice strategy, and recognised its cost and productivity benefits. Yet many were still unsure about the capabilities of SIP, despite it being the protocol of choice for UC and Skype for Business deployments. In building a business case for SIP, the need for increased mobility and business agility, rapid scalability and lower TCO were identified as key issues.