Today, IT is expected to be a vital business unit as well as technology provider, and IT leaders must provision a more versatile voice and data infrastructure to meet business objectives, at the business’s pace. However, multi-system, multi-site communications infrastructures are not conducive to being “nimble” — the result of non-standardized legacy equipment, greater network impacts for data storage and reporting, disjointed administration among systems and locations, and the integration complexities that are native to such disparate architectures. The time and resource demands on IT also contribute to the inability to react quickly in delivering new infrastructure-driven products and services, as do cost restraints and working within existing or diminishing IT and corporate budgets.
In a similar sense of consolidating infrastructures to perform “at the speed of business,” versatility in the consolidation process can be of tremendous benefit. By taking incremental steps and focusing on one multi-point component at a time, or a manageable number of components or applications at a time, businesses and their IT teams are able to consolidate infrastructure more cost-effectively and successfully.
The ongoing move to standards, applications, and cloud-based solutions
Along with the SIP standard, Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) continues to gain acceptance among IT leaders as a mechanism for making converged data network configurations both more flexible and robust. Beyond consolidating networks and simplifying network management with solutions such as SIP and MPLS, IT can further simplify the infrastructure by consolidating applications, physical servers and even processes. In contact centers and more recently in the enterprise, voice and data applications are continually being consolidated into integrated and easily managed all-in-one suites that significantly reduce physical server volumes.
By design, most all-in-one application suites currently on the market allow a contact center (and an enterprise) to simply activate or “turn on” only those applications it needs, when needed, such as ACD, IVR, voice mail, etc. Hosted cloud-based services such as Communications as a Service (CaaS) are taking the same approach with their pay-as-you-go pricing models, in that an organization pays only for the apps and functionality it actually activates and uses.
For planning and making incremental moves in the contact center and enterprise, consider this scenario:
To transform the data center in stages, consider this approach from a leading OEM, which views consolidation as part of the bigger infrastructure picture:
IT and operations benefit
The contact center benefits
About the author: Shaheen Haque is the Territory Manager, Middle East & Turkey at Interactive Intelligence. Originally from Bangladesh, he spent his early years being educated in London, U.K. and subsequently has worked in the U.K. and Europe for predominantly U.S. software companies since graduating from University in 1993. The list of organizations includes SPSS (now IBM), LBS, Oracle, Seagate Software, AppSmart Software. It was his job with Micromuse (now IBM) that first brought him to Dubai. After his stint in Micromuse, he worked with IBM Middle East for a while in the Tivoli division. Then in 2007 he joined Interactive Intelligence when the company opened its first Middle East office in Dubai Internet City.