Making Disruptive Technology Work for You

Brett Rowe, Sales and Marketing Director of TFM Networks has told Comms Business Magazine why the switch to IP is imminent and why this will benefit organisations.

“Would you choose a car or a horse to travel 200 miles? No contest. But if you made that choice 100 years ago, you’d be choosing disruptive technology.

Would you send a telex or an email? Again, most would send an email. But just 10 years ago, that was choosing disruptive technology too.

The current disruptive technology of choice is VoIP, because it moves businesses away from traditional definitions and boundaries between telephony, networking and communications. It is a technological innovation that will eventually overturn the existing dominant technology in the market.

VoIP and other IP communications streamline and optimise network performance so it’s no surprise IP convergence will happen. After all, being able to operate multiple business applications including CCTV, telecoms and credit card transactions and better still, being able to automatically prioritise these applications to guarantee best use of your bandwidth is a business no-brainer.

Migrating business networks to an IP infrastructure is not a new concept and convergence will happen, and so it is more a question of when you choose to make this switch.

Time to be Disruptive
Burying your head in the sand and simply staying with the legacy system until the end of its useful lifecycle could well mean a potential cost time bomb when it does become essential to upgrade to IP.

Moving over to IP in one project would prove to be extremely costly as well as disruptive to your business operations but it is possible to adopt a stepped change approach. In this way migration can be managed over a period of time, removing unnecessary risk and disruption, improving network performance and ultimately reducing your communication costs.

Controlling the Disruption
If it was indeed a case of all or nothing and you either had to make the change onto IP in one giant leap or stay with the network system you have, it would be understandable that most companies would prefer to remain with the solution they are familiar with.

However, with the stepped change approach organisations have the ability to only move one phone line onto IP whilst continuing to run an existing PTSN line. This gives companies the advantage of being able to see first hand the benefits of the new system while, at the same time retaining the comfort of their legacy system before making the change when they are assured of the quality and reliability of an IP infrastructure.

By adopting this approach businesses are in control of their own migration so that it integrates with their own business cycle and within a time period they are comfortable with. Thus removing unnecessary risk and disruption and ultimately improving network performance and reducing comms costs.

Doing the Maths: IP Adds Up
Some organisations may be concerned about switching to IP due to the perceived cost implication but it really is worth researching the actual cost and understanding the economics of IP. By adopting the stepped approach it is actually possible to self-fund the cost of migration.

The cost of managing legacy systems is currently falling; therefore savings made can be used to fund the phased IP upgrade. You also lose the cost of maintaining the legacy infrastructure because adding new applications to the IP network represents a marginal increase in the cost base. So the total spend on comms technology actually consumes the capital cost of migration.

Is It All Worth It?
Making this stepped switch to IP will not only offer the reassurance that your comms expenditure is clearly set out, it also means you get the added benefits of a future-orientated IP solution, without the financial outlay in real terms.

Upon full migration to an IP infrastructure, you will be able to make savings on operating costs of up to 50% by operating multiple applications on a single network, and therefore getting the maximum business benefit from the available bandwidth.

Technical advantages of an IP infrastructure also translate into operational benefits, and the ability to run multiple business applications over the networks including credit card payments, real-time reservations and the IP CCTV system.

Time For Change
Adopting a gradual, stepped approach to IP migration not only improves operational performance but also removes the need for any financial outlay, and brings cost savings to your business.

However, a change in technology often needs a change in supplier. Imagine asking your current network operator to design you a bespoke, fully flexible, futureproof solution at no additional cost. You’d either get very short shrift, or more likely, get the same technology in different clothing.

That’s why it’s important to be disruptive and to look at new operating models. It’s worth approaching a new generation of suppliers who are not tied down to traditional methods and who are consequently more able to innovate, and to offer you a better deal.

It’s time to make the break and disrupt your business. It’s only by stepping outside of the comfortable and accepted minimum service you’ve come to accept that you’ll see how new technologies can truly enhance your business.

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