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Are You 'Getting Real' About Communications Services Support and Management?

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Diane RoyerBy Diane Royer

There are only 10 weeks left in 2012. Can you believe it? This is the time of year that we all get a bit reflective about yearly achievements and look toward goals for the upcoming year. In my household, that means my teenage daughter starts reminding me about her "achievements" and tries to find out how she's tracking against getting a car for her junior year in high school. I keep inching up the bar for her achievements with the hope that I can get her to achieve even more. When I tell her how great a new bike could be and how good it would be for the environment, she doesn't find that too entertaining. I get that look that says, "come on Mom, get real ... "

Well, when we take a look at the world of communications support and management, customers are saying, "OK, we see what you've been able to do so far, but I have a set of upcoming needs that require changing the status quo. Today's complex environments and relentless demands to rapidly add new applications while also ensuring greater reliability are requiring a new way to think about communications support and management." Companies are asking service providers to "get real" about the path that will be required to provide the level of communications services that are needed.

So, I reached out to our services visionary and president of Avaya Client Services, Mike Runda. I asked Mike to share his vision on what the future holds for support and communications environments. Remembering the recent conversations that I had with my daughter about her not only sharing her needs and desire for something (a car), but her also pressing hard to clearly understand what the path would be to get there, I asked Mike to not only share his vision, but also share a view about the path to get to this next level of communications support and management.

Mike Runda's vision for communications services along with the path to get there, are captured in the new white paper, "Communications services: Challenging the status quo: A vision for the future, a path to get there," Mike discusses the market dynamics, the business needs and a perspective on how to challenge the status quo.. Here's a brief excerpt from the new the white paper:

"Ongoing technology development will continue to provide organizations and individuals with new, more powerful communications capabilities. But the complexity that accompanies these innovations is making it harder for IT leaders to keep up. Finding people who have the talent and training to manage these new environments is a growing challenge. And IT budgets are likely to remain tight amid ongoing economic pressures, even as users demand the latest and greatest capabilities. As a result, any deployment of new technology will include aggressive goals for return on investment, including the mitigations of ongoing support and management expenses, including both hard and soft costs.

"Another major factor is the growing user demand for features and functions that were barely imaginable just months ago. A prime example of this is the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. Employees in organizations of all sizes are taking their own tablets and smartphones into the workplace and using them to collaborate and handle business matters. This presents both opportunities and challenges for organizations. On the plus side, like social media, BYOD can contribute to creating a highly collaborative environment, involving both employees and customers. At the same time, you need to wrap these new devices into your overall support and management structure in a way that minimizes the effects of the added complexity and keeps the electronic environment safe and secure from intrusions, hacks and unauthorized information access.

"Also influencing the communications management environment is the rapid adoption of video. High-definition video communications with colleagues and customers is no longer expensive, bandwidth-intensive, and only found in conference rooms. Instead it's right there on our smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Video demand is soaring as people realize the potential to communicate more fully by sharing facial expressions, body language and other nuances. And instead of gathering people physically, personal devices allow it to happen virtually, which leads to greater participation. Also, IT doesn't need to get involved, and the business enjoys substantial savings in time, travel and cost.

"Finally, the growing complexity of communications technology increases the need for advanced diagnostics. Technology stacks are getting thicker and more often include elements from different suppliers. Organizations will need better diagnostic tools and techniques to stay up and running and respond to outages quickly in these multivendor environments."

So how do we all "get real" and get the types of support and management capabilities we need from service providers? Stay tuned! That will be the subject of an upcoming blog!

Diane Royer is senior marketing manger of Avaya Client Services who leads Services Thought Leadership along with the integration of services into Avaya solution launches. Her business experience of 30+ years spans marketing, sales and field operations within the telecommunication space along with experience as a market researcher for a leading international firm and loan officer for the Small Business Administration. Follow her on Twitter @Royer_Edge.

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