How to Calculate Bandwidth Needs: Part 3

Welcome to the final part of our three part series on how to calculate your bandwidth needs with Team One Solutions. This is a transcript from a recent webinar. We’ve already talked about the contracts voice and data providers use and what to look out for. Now let’s explore what applications in the cloud are and the implications to businesses with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Paul Svec: Okay. Understanding longer term plans. Jeff, why don’t you get us started here on understanding exactly what we say mean when we say applications in the cloud?

Jeff Bell: Yeah, sure. Thanks, Paul. I’m sure most people have heard about the cloud. I mean, you can’t help but see it everywhere these days in advertising, magazines etc. but when we talk about moving applications to the cloud, what are we talking about? Well, it could be a voice application, such as a hosted voice application, or a PBX that you’ve put in a data center. You may be doing storage in the cloud, once again, which equals a data center. You may be accessing software applications, say, like office 365. Maybe you’re doing QuickBooks in the cloud. Then the other point that I think is important about the cloud, is disaster recovery. A lot of people are moving applications there, or having failover between different cloud sites within the cloud.

There’s a whole lot of things going on through the cloud right now. We can help you understand that. The applications are going to require a certain bandwidth. You’re going to have to understand access and the disaster recovery, how do you get to the cloud if you’ve got a problem? Do you have redundant loops, etc.? We can discuss that with you and help you navigate that. The other one is, are you planning on using more video? I mean, video is probably one of the biggest application growth areas in the, kind of, voice and data world right now. Many people are doing video conferencing, whether it’s like a Cisco TelePresence application, or it could be just as simple as the camera on your monitor at your desk, okay? A lot of people are obviously doing webinars such as we are. People trying to cut down on travel, etc. and so much more video going on now. I think what you’re going to see in the future is the cost of video going down, so I think it’s going to be one of the big growth areas.

The next one is are you having more physical locations, okay? Let’s just think about that for a second. If I’m adding a second location, well, I’m going to need to add voice access so I may need some analog trunks. I may need a PRI. I may look at maybe some SIP trunking perhaps. Also, from the data side, then we’re looking at setting up a connectivity to that second site. We may do that with a number of different technologies. It might be as simple as having a point-to-point T1. We may be using something like a MPLS network so we can transfer voice data and video efficiently from site to site. Once again, we have the ability to assist and walk you through all that. Of course, one other thing for the physical locations, is obviously cabling. Team One Solutions is a licensed C7 contractor.

Adding a home worker, once again, similar in some ways to adding another a physical location, because it kind of is, so you’re going to have to have a voice access. Then you’re going to have to have a VPN or a network access back to the servers and applications, whether that’s hosted or at your existing office.

Then, the longer-term plans once again is the Bring Your Own Device. I think a lot of people are struggling with that right now and when Paul was talking about policies and procedures, those types of things, I think that’s an area that a lot of people are, kind of, struggling with right now, is they need to understand how much bandwidth do they have? What’s the usage on these smart phones, tablets, etc., and make sure that you have the proper policies in place to manage all that because the smart phones and tablets are not to go away. They’re only going to get more and more use, and become more valuable to businesses as time goes on.

Paul: All right. Jeff, thank you for that. Yeah, just one last point on this the BYOD. That horse is out of the barn. Organizations and businesses are not going to be able to stem the tide. In fact, a smart phone and a tablet can be a productivity enhancement to your business, as opposed to a problem. Once again, management is key to that, understanding how they work, how to manage the usage of those devices correctly and this is something that we can help you with. There’s some very sophisticated software tools that we offer that will allow for the management of those devices on your premises.

Okay. Let’s review the changing applications that we’re talking about. Software as a service, you hear about it all the time. That includes things like call relationship management centers, ERP, Office 365, Dropbox, a file sharing service etc., there’s many of them. All of these services require increasing amounts of bandwidth. Streaming media, video conferencing obviously also requiring more bandwidth.

Voice over IP applications. Many organizations are moving their Voice over IP systems to the cloud. Carriers are providing relatively sophisticated voice applications via the cloud. I’ll make a quick point here, by the way, there’s two kinds of clouds, if you will. One’s a private, and one’s a public. For secure, in particular, voice applications you’re going to want to consider the private cloud as opposed to the public cloud. The reason I say that is for security A, and B, for managing voice quality. No matter how good the system is, no matter how good the carrier is, if you’re going through the public cloud, you can expect that your voice quality isn’t going to be as good as it might be over a managed, private cloud so be aware of that. We can help you decide which one makes the most sense for your business.

Wireless for guests and employees, we touched on that. There should be a different amount of access, and amount of bandwidth, and the amount of applications that can be accessed depending on whether it’s an employee or a guest.

Video surveillance, increasingly being used everywhere. We saw some tragic examples of how beneficial it could be in the Boston Marathon instances. Video surveillance is being used almost everywhere these days, small, medium, and enterprise businesses and organizations and, once again, it’s a bandwidth requirement that you need to plan for.

The deployment of mobile and home workers, we touched on this before. We’ve been talking to a couple of organizations that are transitioning some of their senior employees to become home workers as opposed to suggesting things like early retirement, and hiring new young, employees and putting them through the drill on the experience that they have to go through to become productive. Those home workers, depending on the connection and the technology used, can be a valuable continuing asset for an organization. We can help you to figure out how to do that correctly, easily, and economically.

All right. Assessing carrier choices. As we’ve discussed, the trend is to more and more bandwidth and that’s not going to slow down. The good news, bandwidth pricing is mostly coming down. We now are seeing multiple megabit circuits, ethernet over copper, at just a fraction of the price of what the same circuits might have cost just a couple of years ago. That’s the good news. The bad news is there may be too many choices. Cable from Comcast, fixed wireless, T1, bonded T1s, ethernet over copper or fiber, DS3s, etc. etc.

You should know that this is an area of particular expertise that Team One Solutions can provide to you. We have access to real-time pricing tools that will allow us to select the appropriate bandwidth product from the appropriate carrier, no matter where you’re located in the United States. We can get the answers, and multiple quotes from multiple carriers, literally in a matter of minutes after putting in the information. Probably more importantly, we can help you choose the right carriers. One of the advantages of being in the business for as many years as we have, is that we’ve worked with most of the carriers over time. We know the good guys from the bad guys. We know the quality customer service from the, well, maybe the price is good, but the customer service isn’t there. You can depend on us to help you with that.

The challenge, we’ve got the tools to research dozens of companies, pricing, terms, quality of service, service level agreements. We can help you do that.

Jeff: Hey, Paul. Just one real quick note. Before we move on, I just want to say. I just want to point out something. You talk about the good news is the bandwidth price is mostly coming down now. That should relate back to how we’re looking at the length of our contracts that we sign. I would make a strong recommendation that no one go past three years. Mostly, I’d say, you want to be looking at changing or getting a renewed pricing agreement every two years because prices are going down, continue to go down and there’s just more bandwidth becoming available at a better price. So that’s just…

Paul: Good point, Jeff.

Jeff: …another tip for the wise there.

Paul: Yup. Thank you, sir. All right. In conclusion, what we talked about is rapidly changing technology that’s requiring more bandwidth and it’s easy to make mistakes. We meet clients all the time that signed up to those long-term contracts that Jeff was just mentioning, that are providing them with not enough bandwidth at something greater than market pricing.

IT resources are stretched. I think this is a continuing problem. It started the back in the 90s, and it continues through today. We can help you with that.

We want to be your tech partner. We think we’ve got the resources, and the experience, and the relationships to do that. Just quickly to let you know who we partner with in our industry. We’re authorized resellers for companies like Cisco, HP, Polycom, NEC, Zultys Communications, and Avaya. When we offer a product, you can be certain that we’re an authorized reseller. We’re not a broker. We’re not just a reseller. We’ve been factory authorized and certified to install and maintain everything that we sell.

We can help you assess your network readiness for both voice and data. If you’re considering going to a Voice over IP system, your internal network’s got to be ready. If you’re considering moving some applications to the cloud, you’re going to need to know how much bandwidth, and where you’re going to get it from. We can help you find the right carriers and we can help you implement. One of the services that we offer is that if you choose to use us as your agent for providing a business bandwidth, and independent of what carrier that might be, whether it’s TelePacific, or AT&T, Global Crossing, Verizon, etc. We’ll help and assist in the implementation program. You don’t just sign the contract and then hope to get it provisioned and installed correctly and on time. We’ll serve as your agent and make sure that all that happens.

That’s how you contact us. I want to thank you for joining us today. I hope you got some information that will be of value to you and your organization. If you would like to discuss your particular situation, please feel free to contact us at 1-866-832-6663 or by email here.

Posted in Bandwidth, Cisco Meraki, Cloud Services, Data Networking

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