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Nine evergreen criteria to enable mobile collaboration

23 Oct 2014

Westcon Imagine 2014 - Mobile collaboration offers the opportunity to speed up business communications, improve mobile and remote worker engagement, and create new revenue streams while shortening sales cycles.

Yet, just as it does with any integration, finding the best solution remains a daunting challenge, says Tony Simonsen, Managing Director Avaya Australia and New Zealand.

“Most businesses want a solution that supports the latest technologies and, when it comes to mobile collaboration, a solutionthat seamlessly integrates office communications with smart devices.

“However, it’s critical decision-makers don’t get swept up in the tornado of technology advances and in the process forget factors that will always remain critical to a business.”

Simonsen says those key criteria, which should never change, include:

Total Cost of Ownership. It’s imperative to take into account all costs: maintenance, CapEx, expected upgrades, expected energy consumption, and more. Measure this over a five-year period for all prospective solutions and the business will have a better picture of predicted expenditure for the life of the solution.

Simplified Management and Administration. A solution should save time for IT Managers, not increase time spent on tasks – and managers are constantly looking at ways to simplify workloads. As such, businesses should consider browser-based tools for managing IT processes such as security and user profiles– such as Avaya VENA Fabric Connect, which enables network administrators to virtualise and optimise routing in their private clouds and data centres.

Scalability. A solution should cater to current needs but be easily expanded when the need arises.

User Experience, Features and Applications. SMEs need a single solution with the gamut of communications applications: voice, data, text and video. Avaya’s Scopia video solution is one offering that covers the breadth of enterprise comms applications required.

Devices and Device Independence: Ensuring employees are comfortable with the device they’ll use daily is a critical component to any solution, but it is often overlooked. Choosing the right devices helps enable greater employee engagement. And businesses are increasingly allowing staff to also bring their own device which in turn further increases productivity and lowers device acquisition costs. Key to managing disparate devices on a network, Avaya Live Engage takes remote conferencing collaboration to the nextlevel with a cloud based, 3D virtual environment.

Resiliency/Redundancy: Companies need a network that is available and reliable. To decrease acquisition and maintenance costs and enable remote access, businesses should look at a system that offers redundancy through software rather than hardware.

Third-Party Integration: Finding a system that integrates with applications your employees use daily – such as an alert system that integrates with Microsoft Outlook – will increase employee satisfaction while decreasing training time.

Plug-and-Play Provisioning: If your company experiences frequent employment changes, plug-and-play provisioning is essential to enable the quick integration of a new employee and/or device to the network.

Support: Ensuring you pick the right technology from the right manufacturer, through a reseller you trust, is critical. Check the reseller’s certifications to ensure they’re adept at installation and, equally, support afterwards.

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