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Organizations urged to start thinking about ‘converged communications’

A report released today by Avaya Inc. details how converged communications can help organizations optimize an IT in...

October 29, 2002  

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A report released today by Avaya Inc. details how converged communications can help organizations optimize an IT infrastructure for greater business performance, cost savings and customer service.

“Businesses today face a tough dilemma,” said Avaya Chairman and CEO Donald Peterson. “They need to address the demand for greater value from network resources at a time when business imperatives are driving smaller IT budgets. To do more with less requires a new way of thinking about networks, and an understanding of how applications are helping enhance enterprise communications.

"Taking steps now to evolve to converged communications helps businesses sharpen their competitive edge, and prepare themselves to manage under any economic conditions.”

The report contains a roadmap for evolving an enterprise’s IT infrastructure, which is divided into three phases: traditional, converged voice and data networks, and converged communications.

The first phase — traditional networks — is where most enterprises are today, and is characterized by maintaining separate voice and data networks, the report said.

Traditional systems often have embedded applications, which are fully functional and reliable, yet could pose challenges when integrating into the enterprise infrastructure.

In the second phase – converged networks – enterprises focus on leveraging a single, unified IP infrastructure for both their voice and data needs. The main business drivers for transitioning to this stage include cost reduction, support for new business models, and business continuity.

"In this phase, applications have been separated from their systems, and are more modular," the report said. "Although this makes it easier to combine applications, resources are still required for the custom development of each integration.

According to Avaya, as enterprises grow increasingly complex, with geographically distributed employees, customers and suppliers, maintaining effective and timely communications becomes vital.

Graduating to the third phase — converged communications — empowers enterprises with new capabilities, enabling users to send or receive critical business data from anywhere, according to their preferences and availability, and through the devices most convenient for them. It is at this stage that converged business and communications applications play a central role in deriving new value from a business model, Avaya said.

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