Enterprise networks face challenges today that were unimaginable even a few years ago. Employees are leveraging a growing number of real-time applications to perform their jobs efficiently, increasing the demand on the network. At the same time, employees, partners, and guests are bringing personal devices into the workplace and expecting seamless wireless connections. This is putting a strain on networks not designed for that type of functionality with heavy bandwidth requirements plus increasing security concerns.
Related story from Current Analysis - Principal Analyst Mike Fratto rates Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's OmniSwitch LAN portfolio “Very Strong" - well above the market average. Read highlights and access the complete Current Analysis Report.
For most IT directors, mobility is a complex challenge.
Mobility, combined with the increased use of new real-time applications such as video, places new demands on enterprise networks that they were not designed to support.
The mobile enterprise requires ubiquitous connectivity and quality access to the applications users need, anywhere, anytime, and with any device. New unified network architectures offer automation, resiliency, and simplified operations that are capable of recognizing application flows, the user and device to automatically adjust to deliver the best possible user experience.
In the mobile enterprise, user experience matters. It must be intuitive and available over wires or wirelessly, providing the user freedom to seamlessly move between whichever media and device they prefer at that particular time.
Employees who take their own devices to work have brought additional complexity to existing enterprise mobile network environments. While security is often the principal objection to BYOD, most campus networks are challenged because today’s networks were not designed for the operational management and security demands of enterprise mobility.
As management challenges grow, the ability to automate operational management and improve security become even more important. Embracing BYOD and mobility provides the baseline to increase productivity and enable innovative new business processes with tangible business benefits and ROI.
The benefits of advanced, real-time, video-enabled applications change how enterprises communicate and collaborate, between employees and with customers. At the same time, they are also placing new demands on enterprise networks.
New bandwidth-hungry applications are driving legacy networks to their limit. They create network problems such as increased jitter and delay, resulting in a decreased quality of experience (QoE) for real-time applications such as voice and video. Furthermore, the user experience is inconsistent as they move from a wired to a wireless network and some applications are not available on both.
Growing beyond separate wired and wireless networks is an important shift for mobile enterprise networks – the unified access approach. This is where wired and wireless equipment work in a unified mode, offering the same services and seamless experience for users with a common management that simplifies IT operations. A unified network also needs to be able to support multi-modal communications ranging from IM to video.
Achieving a true mobile enterprise requires a complete network transformation, from access point to the core. This may sound like a lot of work and expense, however, by recognizing the need to evolve and prepare for the future, the operational savings realized can be much greater than the cost of new hardware. Savings are achieved through automation, unified access policies, energy efficient hardware, and improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
Not only have LAN technologies become faster, more intelligent, and higher capacity, business investment models have also evolved. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and network-on-demand models allow business leaders to shift fixed capital investment into operational and consumption-based models. The result is a more capable infrastructure that will scale to meet the next wave of business innovations.
Businesses need a strong partner to help them through this transformation. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise partners have the expertise to analyze an enterprise’s specific needs, ensuring solution architectures that achieve your business goals.