The extended enterprise for successful global business

Verizon Business ANZ Managing Director Ron Gauci outlines the future of business communications.

The pressures on today’s businesses are unrelenting, whether from competitors or customers, in domestic markets or abroad. Customers, suppliers and shareholders alike expect ever faster service, in ever broader geographies. Successful companies will continue to expand their borders with workers, offices and facilities located around the world; and the deployment of a reliable communications infrastructure to link these offices will be an ever more business-critical concern. 

The key to realising an enterprise’s global business potential is implementing the appropriate IT and communications products and services. Businesses will increasingly require high-performance networks that enable applications designed to run on the corporate campus to also provide a consistent experience and operate securely no matter where users are located or where the applications reside.

The complexity of the extended enterprise accelerates the need for a transformation from the delivery of services on a transactional basis to the development of solutions that help achieve business goals. The proliferation of applications will typically include collaborative and increasingly, IP- and presence-enabled, unified communications such as e-mail, instant messaging, voice over IP (VoIP), telepresence and e-conferencing; strategic sourcing, procurement and supply chain applications; accounts payable/receivable systems; HR applications including payroll; and customer relationship and sales force automation packages.

Professionals will also call on their smart phones to work harder in 2008, relying more and more on mobile e-mail, integrated calendars and contacts lists while away from the office. Managed Mobility will become the next frontier, helping businesses track, monitor, secure and manage the mobile devices accessing their corporate networks.

The increased number of applications on the network plus protocols, business and regulatory requirements drive further network complexity that stretch to the limit networks’ capabilities and may even hinder performance. Many applications will be running on the network simultaneously, a situation made more challenging by datacentre consolidation which creates application performance issues.

To make it all work, IT departments need to assess, measure, optimise, secure and manage their networks. Given that companies are producing more data as they look to open their boundaries to connect to partners, suppliers and customers, they will need to keep track of where their data resides and then develop a strategy to safeguard it. Security solutions should be designed so that they can be tailored to individual firms’ needs, focused on individual levels of risk and risk tolerance.

By extending the enterprise companies will enable more workers in more places to be more productive with more technology.  But the key is not to throw technology at the business problems; the way to success is to deploy IT and communications systems that align totally with the needs of the extended business.  By adopting this approach, enterprises will be able to focus their IT staff on projects core to their future business success.

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