At this point, Microsoft environments are used by corporations everywhere. Over the past 30 years, most organizations around the world have standardized on Windows with significant investments in their Microsoft environments, including licensing, configuration, professional services and infrastructure for Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, PC lifecycle management and more. Using whatever their latest version of technology…
The way we work has evolved. The days of having an entire team in an office setting working from their desktops are gone. Employees have become more dynamic and place high value on the option to work from wherever they want, from home to on the go. As employee flexibility increases, tool flexibility needs to increase and this falls squarely on IT’s shoulders. Supporting communications with colleagues from anywhere via real-time applications (like Teams) poses a challenge, and one that needs to be met accordingly in order to maintain high productivity and efficiency.
The use of real-time applications (especially video and voice conferencing applications) is very much bandwidth intensive and requires a complex network configuration to maintain consistent availability and high performance. Aging infrastructure can be an issue sometimes making it hard to fully support unified communications and spending money on a traditional WAN upgrade will only lead to more problems. A reminder too, that when these business applications are being used, it is not always internally. When on a call with a potential client if there is a hiccup with connection or poor video and/or voice quality that can damage a company’s reputation. This could lead to lost customers and revenue.
Ready to Download the White Paper: SD-WAN for Video and Voice Performance
IT teams face a real and serious challenge when strategizing how to deliver a consistently superior user experience. It also does not help that statistically their budgets are shrinking even as infrastructure needs and costs grow. In a heterogenous environment, IT teams require visibility and control over their global network, along with the ability to eliminate complexity and simplify operations. Relying on the public internet, like many organizations do, has its pros and its cons. Cable, DSL, and 4G cellular are strong alternatives, but they may at times experience congestion which results in latency, packet loss, and jitter. Applications like voice and video have their quality degraded by these issues and impact end users. There is a genuine need for a cost-effective solution that extends high quality communication to a distributed workforce.
A way to circumvent these issues is to make use of an SD-WAN solution. SD-WAN solutions deliver an experience that is required by users to take advantage of the advanced collaboration and unified communication practices at branch offices and other locations. The right SD-WAN solution will aim to lower costs and improve flexibility, plus if a connection experiences performance difficulties or fails, IT teams can automatically use other available links.
An Ideal Solution Should Provide:
• Application Recognition and Smart Business Policies:
- Built-in deep packet inspection identifies business voice and video media traffic and signaling, using application signatures
- Support business policy with smart defaults for necessary bandwidth management, traffic steering, and link conditioning—without the complex configuration tasks required for traditional WAN environments
• Dynamic Application Steering:
- Constantly monitoring all available link conditions and bandwidth, the solution can steer latency and loss-sensitive voice and video media traffic during sessions on a packet-by-packet basis around links that are experiencing high latency or packet loss
• On-Demand Link Conditioning:
- Applies link conditioning techniques such as Forward Error Correction (FEC) to provide up to full packet replication
- Helps mitigate loss and reduce jitter introduced by broadband and hybrid networks
Providing deep visibility into off-net remote location network links, devices, and applications is necessary as well. If you would like your IT team to be able to get instant feedback or view any previous data to be able to make a more informed decision, then this is something to take into account.
Now is the time to prioritize upgrades to network technology to support remote work, video, and voice conferencing. Failure to do so could result in the loss of business which is the last thing most organizations can afford. In order for employees to get the best results possible, they need to have access to the best solutions possible and with SD-WAN that is what you’re getting.
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