Reduced CapEx Isn’t the Only Reason Our Customers Love Nexus Connected Collaboration

September 11, 2012

– by Mike Heiman, VP of Engineering

One of the services that is becoming very popular with our customers is our hosted collaboration service – Nexus Connected Collaboration (NCC).  The service is based on the Cisco collaboration suite and integrates voice, video, web conferencing, messaging, mobility, and customer care.  It also includes our next generation wide area network (WAN) service – Nexus Connected Next Generation WAN.  Nexus Connected Next Generation WAN automates more than 50 network management functions, allowing companies to provision remote teleworkers, branches, and retail offices world-wide.

Nexus Connected CollaborationMany of our existing customers chose NCC as a way to expand their existing premise-based Cisco collaboration solution to new sites without spending precious capital dollars.  However, once they began to use the service, they realized that NCC provides much more than just a way to conserve their capital.  The NCC solution is not new technology – it’s a new consumption model.  It also:

  • Gave their businesses greater flexibility – With NCC, our customers were able to integrate remote staffers and contractors as well as personnel and sites secured through corporate acquisitions quickly and easily.   Instead of weeks or even months of planning, design, and implementation, our customers can add new users in just minutes.
  • Saved money– Using NCC, our customers didn’t have to overprovision existing systems to accommodate growth.  Instead, they pay only for the services they use, when and where they need them.  Additionally, NCC removes the need for additional maintenance contracts and the time-consuming process of software upgrades.  Keeping things running and up-to-date is our job!
  • Enabled IT staff to be more productive – Our customers love the fact that their staff can now concentrate on deploying new technologies that will differentiate them from their competitors, not the mundane tasks of deploying and provisioning basic voice, data, and web services.  Using NCC’s management interface, adding users is a snap – and a task that is easily handled by customer service or administrative personnel.

Finally, our customers like the way that Nexus Connected Next Generation WAN (which uses military-grade encryption and has a full Public Key Infrastructure with automated certificate maintenance) combines with NCC to extend corporate collaboration services to trusted third parties (suppliers, contractors, customers) without supplying them with access to internal systems. 

Both new customers and existing on-premise customers are finding value in the fact that the same Nexus deployment and managed services teams are supporting them regardless of solution model.  NCC is fast becoming one of our most popular service offerings.  It’s easy to deploy, saves money, is secure, and, most importantly, provides our customers with the flexibility they need to grow.


The net impact of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

August 7, 2012

– by Tom Lyon, VP of Managed Services and Shane Roberts, Director of Managed Services

the multitude of consumer devices facing ITA member of our staff at Nexus was surprised to discover that his family of four had consumed 8.26GB of data in just one month.  After interviewing family members, it was pretty clear that the culprits were streaming and downloaded video along with Pandora radio.  But his experience got me thinking about the number one issue our customers talk about when we ask them to name the biggest network management problems they face.  Almost without fail, it’s how to deal with all of the consumer smartphones and tablets that are proliferating on their networks. 

Our customers, and our own experience here at Nexus, tell us that allowing users to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), significantly impacts the network infrastructure in three main areas:

  1. Bandwidth – If four consumers can use 8.26GB of data in one month, how much more will an executive, sales person or field technician generate that uses TelePresence to stay in touch, views high-quality 1080p video, and downloads multimedia documents like PowerPoint presentations, brochures, and comprehensive reports?  Our experience, and that of many of our customers, is that users consume bandwidth almost as fast as it is installed.  We’ve found that providing the bandwidth users need at a cost the company can afford requires an approach that includes policy (limiting devices or types of traffic), technology (bigger pipes, improved infrastructure), and operational improvements (better tools, more efficient processes).
  2. Security – It’s just a little scary to realize that the Vice President’s “business” tablet is also a toy for his/her nine-year-old son or daughter.  And, that both of them are probably making the four biggest smartphone/tablet security mistakes:

    * Downloading apps from unverified sources
    * Using an unlocked device
    * Using a device without a password or using a password that’s simple to break
    * Failing to keep the device’s OS updatedIT professionals know that it’s difficult to change user behavior.

    Therefore, it’s protecting the network that’s key.  We’ve found that single sign-on, context-based access rights, and SSL VPN’s – along with policy – can help insure that a nine-year-old’s mistake doesn’t result in a network intrusion.

  3. Storage – To users, storage is like bandwidth – the more there is, the more they’ll consume. However, all of that video, all of those documents have to be stored somewhere.  And for companies that must comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and other state and Federal laws, simply deleting all of the video isn’t an option.  We’ve helped our customers – and ourselves – to manage the storage storm by implementing robust storage area networking solutions and using virtualization to help cap costs. 

Mobile devices aren’t going away.  And, since companies can’t just stay on an unlimited data plan with their wireless vendor to cap mobile data costs (like our colleague), it’s important to prepare for their impact on network bandwidth, security, and storage.  

Information on Nexus solutions that can help solve BYOD issues is available at:
Identity Services
Network Security
Meet the Demands of End Users
Keeping Up with Bandwidth Demands
The Role of the Network in Data Center Virtualization
Overpaying for Your Communications Infrastructure
Managed Services Provides a Predictable Cost Model

3 Statistics to Make You Think – Final Round

December 8, 2011

This fourth and final segment in our statistics series will make you think again about the ever-increasing challenges of managing your network. With advantages like

  • Cost Avoidance: Monitoring Systems and personnel
  • Predictable IT costing over long term
  • Allowing cutomer’s IT staff to focus on strategic projects

maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the advantages of Managed Services. 

Choose Managed Services to Boost Internal IT Skills

February 10, 2011

As IT and communications infrastructure implementation, integration, monitoring and management become more complex, companies need to consider the advantages of selecting a managed services partner. The true goal of business and IT alignment is for IT to focus on how the business can use technology to support its goals and objectives—not just to maintain and support the systems it relies upon to do so. At the rate of technology advancements that require new skill sets, incorporating managed services to boost internal IT skills can be a very cost-effective choice.

According to Frost & Sullivan, “Managed services can empower the enterprise to more effectively leverage IT investments for a competitive advantage. A trusted partner with superior voice and data expertise can become a powerful extension to internal IT staff, saving money and ensuring more efficient and effective infrastructure operation and management.

Some of the benefits a managed services partner can provide to your businesses include:

Diverse and Comprehensive Expertise: Through rigorous certifications and extensive experience, managed services providers have typically acquired a broad spectrum of technology expertise. As technologies evolve, they focus on expanding their skill sets and competencies to remain competitive. This positions them well to manage complex, multi-vendor communications environments.

Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Management: Rather than resorting to reactive infrastructure management processes that address issues after downtime and inefficiencies occur, the right partner can reverse this trend that results when IT staffs are overwhelmed and under resourced. Managed services providers typically deploy remote monitoring and diagnostics technologies that enable them to detect and prevent potential network failures and resolve issues immediately. With a technical and customer service staff available around the clock, they’re often better equipped to provide flexible and reliable network management capabilities.

Predictable Costs and Quality of Service: Managed services deliver predictable network performance at predictable costs, greatly reducing the risk for the business. Service-level agreements (SLAs) commit the managed services provider to a certain level of quality of service that may be difficult to achieve using internal resources.

Economical Scalability: With managed services, businesses can scale infrastructure management capabilities more economically, by leveraging their partner’s extensive NOC capabilities and experienced staff to economically scale based on customer demand. In this manner, adding capacity or new technologies would typically entail predictable incremental increases in monthly charges instead of hiring new staff and lobbying for a major resource allocation.  

Managed services help businesses accomplish the following objectives:

  • Increased IT effectiveness through division of labor and sharing of responsibilities with the managed services provider based on core competencies and skills.
  • Reduced HR issues due to the managed services partner’s ability to answer the need for evolving skill sets related to advanced technologies.
  • Gain efficient knowledge transfer from the managed services partner’s expertise and skills based on similar projects implemented for other customers.

With communication and infrastructure technologies at the fore to help companies create competitive advantages, adding a managed services partner to your IT arsenal can provide impressive results much easier than when you try to do everything on your own.

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