Large Enterprise Forum
Managing enterprise connectivity
Companies need a reliable, secure, and scalable connectivity
infrastructure, which is easy to manage. by Kusum Makhija
President Enterprise Reliance Infocomm
With bandwidth prices coming down, connectivity has increased manifold in the
enterprise. That said, connectivity has also brought with it a host of issues
such as scalability and security. With a deluge of data flowing across the network,
it is crucial for enterprises to have secure information. More importantly,
the key customer concerns are speed, reliability, and consistency.
The boundaries of an enterprise go beyond its nationwide locations to encompass
its suppliers, distributors, retailers, and customers. Along with the need to
be connected to these entities, an organisation has to communicate with its
sales force and business executives who are on the move throughout the year.
This has lead to enterprise connectivity becoming a critical focus area in most
As business has evolved in the infocomm space, processes have been structured
in a different way, they are more technology-centric. The market for wireless
technology has picked up. My organisation is looking at connecting more than
500 cities across India through a single network for data connectivity,
says Prakash Bajpai, President Enterprise, Reliance Infocomm.
Vendors are looking at building content and broadcast management capacities
to cater to the diverse and magnified business needs of enterprise customers.
Impediments To Growth
Among other technologies, virtual leased lines, peer to peer and multi point
to point connectivity are picking up among the enterprise.
In spite of claims made by connectivity vendors, it is not unusual to have unreliable
connectivity in the last mile, especially in the case of remote locations. Enterprises
need better connectivity as they add new applications, set up new locations,
add personnel, build DR sites, and set up data centres.
Most simply purchase a new leased line or VSAT link or upgrade their existing
links. Before the successful transition to MPLS, can happen, organisations need
to look at the existing leased line structure and plan their VPNs.
As business needs are changing, so are the thinking paradigms and so are
the solutions offered by vendors like us, explains Bajpai.
Organisations need to have an enterprise connectivity strategy in place keeping
all of the above factors in mind, and should ideally be a mix of various factors
according to the companys priorities. It should create policies regarding
the deployment, use, monitoring, management, and bandwidth upgrades.
Another crucial aspect of technology upgradation is the redundancies involved.
The hardware and software upgradation and replacement cost are major concern
areas for CIOs, especially with shrinking product lifecycles. Blending legacy
and new generation applications could be the possible answer to the CIOs
The IT infrastructure services market shows demand for robust infrastructure
and core capabilities. The skill sets required are mostly for mission-critical
applications. With the managed services market expanding, enterprises are looking
at a one-stop-shop for all their IT requirements.
In some organisations, IT plays an extremely business-critical function. For
example, IT and connectivity play a vital role in the case of a stock exchange.
A minute of downtime results in huge financial losses for the exchange, brokers
and stockholders. However, an FMCG company may get away with a few minutes of
downtime, as connectivity is not vital to the core functions of its business.
The advent of IP phones have led to newer applications in enterprise connectivity.
Right from banking, bill management, ticketing, e-mail; group messaging to audio
video capability, these phones support an array of applications.
Another key trend to look for, according to Bajpai, is the evolution and penetration
of CDMA technology in India. GPRS, its competitor still lags way behind in terms
of performance and cost. In such a scenario, there is no doubt that CDMA is
going to emerge as a preferred mode of providing net access to road warriors.
CDMA is creating interesting futuristic capabilities in the enterprise
connectivity space and is a phenomenon to watch out for, adds Bajpai.