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Report: LTE’s Popularity Among Enterprises Continues to Rise

CradlepointIn Cradlepoint’s new State of the Network 2017 Business Intelligence Report, one trend is quite clear: Legacy WANs, which are predominately based on wired lines, hardware-defined, and resource-intensive infrastructures, can’t keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of today’s lean and agile connected enterprise.

This report, featuring data from more than 100 surveyed enterprise decision-makers, explores how companies of all sizes are being challenged to expand their networks to more people, places, and things. Several key findings emerged from the research, including:

Approximately 60 percent of IT pros indicated they were already deploying LTE as a WAN connectivity solution.

Our research — and experience — indicates that the majority of enterprises have indeed deployed LTE for primary or backup WAN connectivity. But what that looks like can vary across industries as well as within a company itself. Individual departments may be setting up applications for lead generation or customer analytics as they work to determine how to better engage customers and create a better customer experience.

For example, because marketing departments have such an impact on company revenue, a marketing team’s IT budget often is separate from the IT department’s budget. Sometimes referred to as “Marketing IT,” this type of arrangement can be beneficial for the entire company. A bank can set up a physically separate and secure network connection using 4G LTE to deploy digital signage throughout its branches without requiring the IT department to go through a lengthy security review, because the application is on a separate network. With 4G LTE, marketing teams can quickly, cost-effectively, and securely set up customer-facing applications that directly drive additional revenue.

This type of deployment doesn’t necessarily mean a company or department is bypassing IT or giving short shrift to security; it simply means everyone is using technology solutions to increase profits and efficiency for the company.

The 40 percent of IT teams who, according to our research, indicated they are not yet deploying LTE as a WAN connectivity solution may simply not realize that such a deployment is possible or how much easier LTE depoyment has become in recent years. Many customers discover the benefits of LTE as WAN after speaking with their wireless carrier representative.

Many of the 40 percent who are falling behind aren’t constrained by technology barriers, but instead a lack of up-to-date information. Staying competitive requires staying informed on wireless broadband solutions.

Bandwidth (30 percent) and cost (30 percent) are considered the dominant WAN connectivity challenges, according to respondents.

Many CIOs have built their networks around traditional connectivity. Many of them are using legacy MPLS networks, which are fairly expensive wired connectivity solutions with constrained throughput. The throughput offered through MPLS may have seemed impressive 10 years ago, but it’s no longer adequate to run all of the new data-hungry applications, including video and customer WiFi.

As companies add new applications to their networks, CIOs often classify them into two key areas: core applications and noncore applications. Those classified as core traditionally involve the essentials for keeping a business up and running, such as processing credit card payments.

As the amount of noncore applications continues to grow, a company’s legacy WAN network faces increasing pressure. Applications such as security systems, video surveillance, and customer WiFi all strain bandwidth. Yet if a company looks to increase bandwidth on its MPLS, the costs can be significant.

Consequently, companies are instead looking to add multi-WAN capabilities. They may still choose to keep MPLS for critical functions, such as processing credit cards, but also are looking to offload noncore applications to the traditional internet. This reduces bandwidth pressure while allowing you to offload these applications to lower-cost WAN options such as LTE.

Approximately 57 percent of IT pros cite security as the most important feature they would look for in an SD-WAN solution.

Many IT teams are paying for MPLS networks because they have the perception of being secure, and because it’s the way things have been done for quite some time. Yet using SD-WAN — i.e., using multiple WANs at the same time and securely steering traffic based on application-specific policies — can leverage lower-cost, higher-bandwidth broadband Internet while maintaining high levels of security.

Solutions such as Cradlepoint NetCloud leverage the Internet and virtual technologies to extend the traditional enterprise network. This integrated platform provides an entirely new way to build, secure, control, and manage end-to-end private networks in the cloud using wired and wireless broadband Internet services.

Half of IT pros said increased flexibility/agility gives LTE an advantage over traditional wired connectivity solutions, while 39 percent said efficiency is another key advantage.

Flexibility/agility, redundancy/reliability, and efficiency are interconnected. As LTE networks evolve, the speeds that companies can get out of their LTE networks have surpassed the speeds they get from traditional wired networking. As standards continue to evolve every 18 months or so, speeds continue to increase significantly.

Actually, companies can make the entire connectivity process more efficient. Enterprises with multiple locations — such as convenience stores or banks with branches — may end up contracting with dozens of wired line service providers. Switching the entire company, including these remote branches, to wireless 4G LTE eliminates the problems associated with wired connections, minimizes the number of monthly invoices, and reduces the number of support calls while improving reliability in the process.

In the past, few IT analyst firms  anticipated LTE’s rapid rise as an enterprise WAN option. Today, however, some of the top enterprise IT research firms are actively recommending 4G LTE for the enterprise.

Alcatel-Lucent Opentouch Business Edition

otbe_rel_photoThe Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch™ Business Edition, Release 2.0, delivers a range of communication services on a single platform, from world-class business telephony to the most advanced multimedia collaboration and mobility services.

In a competitive marketplace, enterprises need their IT tools to have the same advanced functionality, reliability and sophistication as that of their larger competitors. At the same time, they need to optimize their costs and simplify implementation and maintenance.

OpenTouch Business Edition addresses the communication requirements of enter- prises of up to 1500 employees and 3000 devices by providing advanced business communications, multimedia collaboration at the of ce and on the go, contact center functionality and management services. OpenTouch Business Edition delivers all these services on a single platform to improve the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Employees who primarily work on company premises and make extensive use voice communications bene t from OpenTouch Connection, the advanced business communications experience available on reliable desk phones, sturdy DECT or WLAN mobile handsets, and on software clients for PCs, tablets or smartphones.

Users can pick the telephony features that suit their of ce work style from the comprehensive list of telephony features offered by the embedded Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCXTM Enterprise Communication Server.

Of ce workers enjoy high-quality, wideband voice communications with easy audio and visual guidance, and ultra-fast directory look-up from the phone keyboard.

Employees who need powerful interactive visual communication will bene t from OpenTouch Conversation, the multi-device, multiparty, multimedia experience for easy collaboration at the of ce and on the go.

OpenTouch Conversation sessions feature voice, video, instant messaging (IM), pre- sentation sharing and natural conferencing capabilities to help users better engage with customers, partners and colleagues.

Users can shift their sessions between devices when they move to another location. They can also turn a two person session into a multiparty and multimedia conference in a few clicks.

The platform also offers a scalable and reliable contact center application. This application ef ciently supports the organization’s interaction with current and potential customers.

OpenTouch Business Edition can be provided as pre-installed appliances or
as a software-only version running on VMware®. Its single-server design is ideal for enterprises that want to reduce the cost and effort of provisioning, testing and managing new servers and don’t want to install additional software with every new communication application deployment.

ORGANIZATIONAL NEED

OPENTOUCH BUSINESS EDITION APPROACH

BENEFITS

OpenTouch Connection experience

Enterprise-grade communication services, including state-of-the-art telephony and a wide range of professional terminals

Comprehensive advanced business telephony services, including exible auto-attendant, screening, group, routing and messaging services

Instant business response: all important calls are identi ed and answered.

Rapid directory lookup and speed-dial

Save time when dialing contacts

Multi-platform support: desk phones, mobile handsets, and PC, tablet and smartphone software clients

Flexible options: business continuity with always-on desk phones and with robust handsets for roaming employees, supports BYOD policies with software clients

OpenTouch Conversation experience

Innovative multimedia collaboration solutions that boost productivity, facilitate mobility and decrease travel costs

Single business identity with multi-device routing pro les and rapid session shift between desk phones, smartphones, tablets and PCs

Employees are reachable anywhere and on the device best suited for their location

Easy access to multiparty conferences with audio, video, IM and content sharing

Ef cient interactions between geographically-dispersed teams and reduced travel expenses

Easy addition of multimedia, including IM, voice, video and content sharing

Instant business response with multitasking between IM and voice sessions. Better engagement with contextual video and content sharing interactions

Web conferencing with customers, partners and colleagues

New ways to communicate with customers, partners and colleagues

Integrated conferencing capabilities easily accessible from any phone or browser. Shared documents stay within the enterprise premises

Customers, partners and colleagues can easily and securely join OpenTouch voice and content-sharing sessions from outside the enterprise rewall

Integrated customer service applications

Best-of-breed customer interaction services to increase sales and customer loyalty

Professional welcome services, from greeting and group calls, to centralized attendant applications

Increased customer satisfaction by answering all calls – centrally or in branch of ces

Contact center services, including a patented visual distribution matrix

Accelerate rst call resolution with a call distribution logic that can be adapted within days to evolving needs

Uni ed platform and operations

Decrease TCO while maximizing service continuity

Ready-to-use, pre-installed applications

Improved installation time when deploying the server or mobility and collaboration applications

Uni ed user management

Improved daily move, add, change and delete operations

Advanced, real-time thresholds and alerts

Instant noti cation of changes to communications quality, service availability and service-level-agreements

High-availability options

Improved business continuity for communication services during network outages or server failures

Proven multi-site support with bandwidth control

Improved voice-over IP quality in multi-site organizations, with centralized communications to improve operational expenditure

OmniAccess Access Point 1101

Multifunctional entry level access point for medium density and small business

OmniAccess® AP1101 indoor Wi-Fi access points provides high throughput wireless connectivity, seamless user experience and simplified management required by small enterprise WLAN deployment.  Featuring enhanced RF Radio Dynamic Adjustment™ (RDA) technology, AP-Group architecture design and user-role based management, OmniAccess AP101 delivers plug-and-play WLAN deployment ideal for any small and medium business.

OmniAccess AP1101 is a dual-radio, 5 GHz 802.11ac and 2.4 GHz 802.11n 2×2 MIMO, indoor wireless access point. Powered by multi-core CPU processor, the OmniAccess AP1101 has the fast encoding and decoding capability and provides reliable multiuser access. It supports up to 1.2Gbps wireless data rate and up to 64 simultaneous clients association.

Benefits: OmniAccess AP1101

  • Plug-and-play deployment, part of a simple LAN+WLAN+UC turn-key solution designed specifically for SMB
  • High performance access points with ability to fine-tune quality of service (QoS) delivered to each application
  • Competitively priced product with lifetime warranty gives peace of mind

Features: OmniAccess AP1101

  • Quality of service for real-time applications
    • VoWLAN support with QoS for each application (Voice, Video, Collaboration, etc..)
    • Seamless roaming for real-time applications
  • Integrated simple guest management
    • Built-in customizable captive portal
    • Support of role-based management access (Admin, Viewer and Guest Manager)
    • Simplified guest account creation & management, with no need of IT skills
  • Enhanced RF technology – Radio Dynamic Adjustment with DFS/TPC to deliver reliable, high-performance WLAN access

– See more at: http://enterprise.alcatel-lucent.com/?product=OmniAccessAP1101&page=overview#sthash.SmDeCFl4.dpuf

Open Touch Cloud Communications Solutions

Cloud models and services have emerged as a transformational opportunity to reduce the burden on IT of building and managing infrastructures. Companies can increase their focus on strategic business value and begin to shift to a scalable service model. The cloud offers rapid deployment, flexible and elastic cost structures, advanced applications and service delivery with improved user experience.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise doesn’t force customers to rip and replace their whole existing infrastructure. Instead they can embrace the cloud transformation at their own pace with a fully flexible consumption-based model.

So for small, medium and large enterprises who want to provide their employees with next generation communication tools that improve their productivity, the shift to the cloud represents an immediate opportunity to capitalize on state-of-the-art technologies and respond with agility through flexible business models. It means no upfront investments, reducing capital expenses and TCO.

OpenTouch Suite for Cloud is available in following versions:

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise also provides Rainbow, a cloud-based, enterprise-grade, Communication Platform (CPaaS) that connects people and systems.

5G Today vs. 5G Tomorrow

Among the more than 108,000 attendees at Mobile World Congress 2017, it wasn’t difficult to find the most buzz-worthy topic. At the forefront was 5G — what it means for people and enterprises today, and what it can potentially do for mobile networks within the next few years.

5G is rapidly climbing the hype cycle toward the peak of inflated expectations. Qualcomm has even claimed it could be as “transformative as electricity.” Officially named by the 3GPP global standards organization, 5G is supposed to combine all the aspects of 4G with massive mobile data, 3G with voice and video, 2G for M2M and IoT deployments, and WiFi spectrum, all with zero latency and gigabit throughput to become the next-generation WAN.

Watch this three minute video with Cradlepoint Product Manager, David Rush, to identify the hype around 5G, what 5G means today, and what it will be by 2019.

Moving To An Operational Expenditure Model

 by Michael Marchioni, ICON Cloud Solutions

 

A very attractive option to consider is moving to a hosted or cloud-based voice platform. This solution offloads a large amount of operating expenditure (OPEX) away from the school. A major cost with a standard PBX deployment is day-to-day maintenance, keeping up-to-date with the latest software levels and respective processing hardware to deliver the voice service or feature set.

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In a cloud solution, the provider keeps the central communication servers up to date and removes this cost from the school district’s expected expenditure. Cloud-based offers also incorporate key elements and services into the “rental” of equipment per month (per user/per site). The running costs, the telephones, media gateway, feature sets, dial plans, trunking and integration of emergency notification or e911, are all included. This significantly lowers the per month spending and substantially lowers the communications overhead.

A key element of moving to an OPEX model like this is the ability to adapt to change faster. Circumstances can change very quickly. Additional school buildings, unforeseen situations, peak events (registration, end of year), and adopting new educational technology can all lead to a significant shift in your requirements. An OPEX model enables you to adapt to these changes without the need for extensive re-budgeting or bidding. You can be aware of what everything will cost before you commit, and there are no hidden extras. Similarly, if there are budget restrictions within your organization, the district will automatically benefit from the cost reduction for fewer deployed devices. K-12 schools should look for a cloud voice solution that allows flexible integration and customization.

A hybrid solution with elements both on-premises and in the cloud will give larger school districts the flexibility for more advanced communications services without having to use disparate systems. This includes integrations to LMS (Learning Management Systems) or SIS (Student Information Systems) and special education programs (distance learning). A hybrid solution gives schools full autonomy under the same cost effective OPEX deployment model.

New unified communications features added to smart phones will enable professional and personal usage. It is as simple as removing the cost of the teacher’s desktop phone from the overal cost and still enabling them to listen to their voice mail and other system features.

Telspan Cloud Solutions Unveils Its Office Phone System in the Cloud

Telspan Cloud IntroductionTelspan Cloud Solutions has unveiled its new cloud-based business phone system. Customers can take advantage of the most up-to-date services and stay ahead of the technology curve without worrying about on-site hardware. The system is hosted and managed by Telspan Cloud Solutions and includes a full suite of business telephone features and VoIP phones with HD Voice and Encryption.

The advantages of moving your communications to the cloud include:

  • Little or no capital investment
  • Reduce monthly expenses
  • Consolidate all communications expenses to a single, manageable monthly bill
  • Easy to Mange
  • Intuitive browser-based programming interface
  • You no longer have to spend time managing your phone system
  • Single vendor supports all communications, lines, phones and applications
  • 100% of ongoing management and maintenance included as part of standard service
  • Guaranteed reliability and built-in disaster recovery

Download complete information here.

Cradlepoint 4G Internet Failover

Telspan Solutions Cradle Point

No wired connection can deliver 100% uptime so the question isn’t whether your business will lose connectivity to the Internet, the question is how to protect your organization from loss and disruption when it does happen. With Cradlepoint WWAN failover solutions using 4G/LTE, your organization can protect from these losses and mitigate risk to your brand.

UN steps in to end marketing war over what 5G means

With mobile operators’ marketing departments already throwing around claims about their 5G services, the United Nations is weighing in with its definition of what qualifies a network as next-generation.

Verizon Wireless will begin delivering “5G” service to select users in 11 U.S. cities in mid-2017, even though some places don’t yet have access to 4G. And at the Mobile World Congress 2017 trade show in Barcelona, companies including Intel, Qualcomm and Ericsson will be promoting their moves towards 5G.

But what marks the difference between one generation of mobile technology and the next?

Read the entire article at Network World

7 Key Factors to Consider for Failover

 

Key Factors of Failover

Business Continuity Solutions for Variety of Mission-Critical Needs

By David Rush and Landon Reese

Regardless of industry or location, every business needs to strategically and proactively plan for network failover. When connectivity goes down, Point-of-Sale (POS) services, business operations, profits, and even customer satisfaction suffer.

In the interest of business continuity for your network, here are seven key factors to consider regarding failover:

1. Overlay Failover

Organizations that may not have the resources to overhaul their new network architecture can instead implement overlay failover with their existing infrastructure as a simple, cost-effective solution. Cradlepoint’s ARC CBA850 bridge converts LTE broadband to Ethernet by providing the existing wire-line router with a second “wired” WAN connection.

Overlay failover increases reliability without relying on last-mile connectivity via the same trench. It’s easy to set up as well; IT staff can simply plug in the router and configure remotely with Enterprise Cloud Manager (ECM), the network management service within Cradlepoint NetCloud.

2. Redundancy

Multiple parts of a network can fail, so it’s important to deploy different types of redundancy. If your wired WAN connection goes down, you can failover to LTE. In the event that your router goes offline, you can take advantage of a second, parallel router using Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP).

VRRP, a layer 3 protocol, empowers businesses to take failover to a higher level by allowing Internet failover and router failover simultaneously. If the primary router fails, a backup hardware solution — many organizations use the Cradlepoint AER1600 Series — can take over as the primary router. The entire network automatically fails over to the Cradlepoint router — with the LAN and WAN uninterrupted.

3. Out-of-Band Management (OOBM)

OOBM is another important element of network failover. Traditionally, a truck roll — requiring expensive equipment and labor — is needed if something goes wrong with a primary router’s configuration. Through OOBM with ECM, IT staff can use LTE connectivity to remotely access the router and all LAN-connected devices sitting behind Cradlepoint’s ARC CBA850. It’s like having an engineer sitting at a laptop plugged into the console port of the primary router,  from anywhere in the world..

These robust OOBM services are available through ECM without the primary Internet connection, inbound SSH, or a static IP address.

4. Bandwidth

Many businesses are simultaneously exchanging multiple types of data, such as sales information, voice and video data, and inventory, often at peak times. LTE failover is ideal in the event that your primary WAN connection goes down, but why not utilize the extra bandwidth all the time?

LTE is incredibly powerful because it supports high bandwidth, which your business can benefit from by utilizing LTE failover for load balancing. Critical traffic can be sent across LTE while public traffic can be routed through a land-based connection. In the case of an outage, public WiFi can simply be shut off to preserve critical services, thereby ensuring failover when you need it while expanding bandwidth when you don’t.

5. Multi-WAN Management

At first glance, 99.5% uptime sounds impressive — until you realize that the missing 0.5% equates to four hours of downtime each month. If your business has multiple locations, that downtime can become very expensive very quickly.

A multi-WAN solution can boost that uptime to “four-nines” uptime, or 99.99% solution. With multi-WAN failover and several failure detection and decision agorithms, Cradlepoint provides flexible and robust failover and failback. Cradlepoint offers best-in-class mechanisms that allow you to pick which WAN source to use and can handle advanced multi-WAN management.

6. Wireless-to-Wireless Failover

In vehicles, where wired lines aren’t an option, LTE is the primary connection, but that doesn’t mean failover isn’t available. The Cradlepoint COR IBR900 and COR IBR1100 both support multiple LTE connections as well as WiFi as WAN. WiFi offloading of video DVRs via station WiFi for busses or police is common so as not use the LTE connection while in the field. IT managers can select WiFi to automatically attach and trigger video offloadingwhenever available and LTE to activate while on the road.

IT teams that deploy the COR IBR1100 together with the Dual-Modem Dock can achieve true wireless-to-wireless failover, going back and forth as needed between two LTE connections and WiFi.

7. Future-Proofing

Future-proofing your network is a smart investment now and later. Ensuring that what you buy today is adaptable to what is released tomorrow can be an extremely important — and financially responsible — element of your network failover solution.

Cradlepoint’s, for example, connects into the CBA850 and other Cradlepoint routers, which offers a turnkey networking solution for best-in-class 3G/4G/LTE. When the next generation of LTE modems is released, businesses can take advantage by only upgrading the MC400 modem portion of the product instead of the entire router.