August 2014

Converged Voice & Data Networks – When All is Said and Done

Published 10th August 2014, written by Peter Stephen for Alchemy Systems International

Convergence of voice and data networks is transforming the workplace. CFOs are realising the cost savings that result from utilising and managing a single network infrastructure, CTOs are enabling their organisations for a new generation of applications and users are increasing productivity by changing the way they communicate and collaborate.

Standard telephony systems within many enterprise organisations typically require cabling, PBX equipment, telephones, equipment rooms, and resources to maintain, and manage the voice infrastructure.  To deliver and maintain a data infrastructure, the same organisations require cabling, routers, switches, server and desktop hardware, and resources to maintain, plan, strategise and manage policies. One of the major drivers behind the convergence of voice and data networks is how bringing together two disparate technologies (PBX and the computing network), is streamlining the technology that underpins business processes.

Managing a single IP network with telephony services delivering voice capability via an application, makes great financial sense. A converged network for both services can save in the region of 70% on administration with far less hardware to manage and between 40% and 50% on the maintenance and operational overhead against these primary operating expenses. Bringing voice and data together into one network also significantly cuts telephony bills.

In a blog we posted last January, we talked about why Microsoft Lync is such a big deal and how, as an on-premise or a hosted application it unifies users’ messaging capabilities, enabling colleagues, partners, stakeholders and other team members to collaborate on campaigns and initiatives from wherever any of them happen to be at a given time.

Whilst most large organisations agree that cutting telecoms costs is a major driver behind the decision to introduce a converged network, a recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) shows that almost 20% of enterprise organisations don’t currently have a plan to converge their voice and data networks.

Many of these businesses have invested in on-premise PBX systems, but want to improve user productivity by introducing collaboration, follow-me click-to-dial capabilities, email and messaging without replacing their telephony infrastructure and are looking to integrate universal messaging applications, such as Microsoft Lync 2013, to provide for this. Integrating Microsoft Lync within an existing PBX infrastructure can greatly increase user productivity by adding services like presence, instant messaging, document sharing and white boarding to all the existing call features.

Regardless of whether a business is looking to rip and replace the two disparate systems with a next generation network, or wants to leverage existing telephony investments by adding next generation functionality, the underlying connectivity is vitally important to performance. Almost half of all network downtime is caused by ineffective cabling and if voice and data network cabling fails to cope with the additional demands that next generation services place on it, investing in them can fail to provide the desired returns.

As telephony increasingly forms part of the wider IT infrastructure and as voice requires priority over data traffic, ASI has forged a strategic partnership with voice and data specialists Avandda to deliver complementary consulting and technical services that help to ensure convergence and integration projects are planned and implemented smoothly.

Designing a structured voice/data network, that incorporates wired and wireless connectivity, together with CAT 5, CAT 6 voice/data cabling as part of an overall convergence project, ensures full scalability and compliance with all necessary quality standards, with the additional protection of comprehensive warranty programs.

Together, ASI and Avandda offers expertise and considerable experience in creating multi-site connectivity and on-premise or hosted cloud services, built with technologies from leading vendors such as Samsung, Panasonic, Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec, IBM and HP.

  • Are you looking at voice and data convergence solutions for your organisation?
  • Do you want to add collaboration applications to your telephony infrastructure?
  • Want to find out more about integrating Microsoft Lync 2013 with your PBX system?

Business Intelligence: Using Yesterday’s Data Today, to Make Better Decisions Tomorrow.

Published on August 10, 2014 written by Peter Stephen for ASI Cloud
ASI Cloud single-view reporting provides actionable business insights.

As you may probably already be aware, Alchemy Systems International (ASI), has launched its Next Generation Cloud and Hosting infrastructure. Developed and built alongside technology experts from Microsoft, Citrix, IBM and Arrow ECS, the new infrastructure, known as ASI Cloud has been designed to make several key service features available to ISVs and IT Buyers.

Bringing together business intelligence analytics, software monetisation, application lifecycle management and on-demand workload management features is a differentiator that ASI believes is vital to delivering comprehensive cloud-enablement support for a growing list of ISVs and sales partners that are looking to transition their business models in line with the huge demand from IT buyers for technologies on a Software as a Service basis.

Available as a single source from the white label ASI Cloudbank ecosystem, these high value features offer ISV’s an ideal opportunity to enter the cloud market with minimum overhead. The ASI Cloudbank portal brings global vendors, ISV’s, software companies and channel partners together to deliver complementary, integrated cloud apps and bundles straight to IT customers and end users.

What does this mean to customers? How do businesses derive greater value from the growing volumes of siloed business data being generated by users? In particular, how, when properly analysed, can this data can be a valuable source of business intelligence? The big question that big data raises is how do resellers and ISVs become analytics driven to realise competitive advantage, agility in the marketplace and be more aware of emerging trends and opportunities?

If Business Intelligence is the answer, what is Business Intelligence? Business Intelligence is not a single technology-based solution; it is best described as prompt, accurate, valuable, and actionable business insights, and the processes and technologies that are utilised to obtain them. The Business Intelligence feature delivered by the ASI Cloud infrastructure enables businesses to gain these actionable insights by analysing unstructured or semi-structured data, pulled from internal or external silos and sources.

This ability to analyse data enables businesses to augment – or even to replace/centralise their entire reporting capabilities within a single view. The ability to tag, index, report on and act on all manner of data enables those businesses to make better decisions and to define better IT strategies.

Business intelligence has become a pre-requisite in the modern digital world for any management team. ASI Cloud utilises a combination of BI24 methodology and the HDInsight tools available through the Microsoft Azure platform to extract important data from internal, external, relational and non-relational sources within an organisation. Agile analytics provide a real context to everyday activities and by leveraging these tool kits, ASI Cloud enables businesses of all sizes provide for short, mid and long-term plans.

Providing this capability to Software partners, sales partners and IT Buyers within a catalogue of SaaS services and augmented capabilities, further differentiates the ASI Cloud value-add proposition, in an increasingly congested, me too cloud market place.

Want to find out more about how Business Intelligence can help your organisation make better decisions?

Are you looking to do more with the growing volumes of data your organisation is generating?

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