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Connect the right people, at the right time, with the right tools

KWhelan

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Guest Blogger: Peter Schrady, Senior Vice President and GM, HPE ProLiant Servers

 

Unlock productivity with collaboration apps

The nature of work is changing, and even though we often work remotely these days, the workplace is becoming more collaborative. Two-thirds of workers say they do more collaborative work today than they did three years ago.[1]  It used to be that collaboration meant sliding your chair over to the next desk to consult with a co-worker. Now, that co-worker’s desk might be across the country or on the other side of the world.

Chances are at least some workers are virtual

More likely than not, enterprise workgroups are virtual, with workers distributed around the world and business running 24 by 7. Yesterday’s communications technologies (standalone data, telephony, and video solutions) no longer meet the communication and collaboration needs of today’s workplace or the demands of today’s knowledge workers. Employees are more mobile, using their devices to facilitate work both on and off-campus and outside normal working hours. Corporate executives support this trend, with almost nine-in-ten agreeing that mobile technologies improve collaboration.2 Twenty-two-year-old college students enter the workforce with the expectation that tools like instant messaging, file sharing, and video chat will be universally available, and they instinctively know how to leverage those tools to drive collaboration and productivity.

How to meet virtual collaboration needs

To address this need, many organizations are turning to unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions, which bring together disparate communication methods (instant messaging, voice, application sharing, mobility, etc.) in a single, integrated toolset. One of the most widely used solutions is Microsoft Skype for Business, featuring enterprise-class capabilities like instant messaging and presence, voice-over-IP services, web conferencing, and application sharing through integration with Microsoft Office, and fully-integrated mobility support for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone.

What to do with legacy networks built for a different time

Many enterprises have been using Microsoft Lync but are reluctant to integrate additional features found in Skype for Business like voice and video conferencing. This is most often due to concerns that legacy networks won’t support the addition of video and voice traffic.

Those are valid concerns. If you migrate from a PBX to Skype for Business, you switch to a new paradigm where voice, video, and other UCC traffic moves over your IP along with existing network traffic. This will likely require additional network capacity, but raw bandwidth is not the only issue. You’ll need to adjust quality of service (QoS) parameters to throttle existing data traffic to free up bandwidth for higher priority voice and video traffic. This can actually help you use network resources more efficiently and reduce the cost of upgrading the network.

Getting it right

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Your best resource is an experienced partner who can take you through the planning and deployment process step by step. Hewlett Packard Enterprise offers an accelerated Skype for Business deployment with a tested, high-performance reference architecture that includes:

  • The right compute, configured for enterprise-grade availability and scalability
  • The right networking, including a partnership with Aruba Networks for wireless infrastructure
  • The right software, including Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
  • The right services, from assessment to deployment and data center care

Few things affect your productivity, customer relationships, and bottom line more than being able to connect the right people at the right time with the right tools. For more information on how HPE can help you meet your collaboration objectives, please download the best-practices guide, “Modernizing Unified Communications with Skype for Business” or visit the data center modernization website.

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HPE ProLiant Gen 9 servers

powered by Intel® Xeon® processors.

Intel Inside®. Powerful Solution Outside.

Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 

[1] & [2] Untethered employees: The evolution of the wireless workplace, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2014 http://www.economistinsights.com/sites/default/files/Untethered%20employees%20July%202014.pdf

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About the Author

KWhelan

Editor, writer, and social media content strategist with specialization in Information Technology and Digital Marketing