Step 3

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2007-11-13 Print this article Print

: Deploy in Parallel"> Step 3: Deploy in Parallel A UC deployment project will require much heavy lifting. Given the sheer magnitude of the project, maintaining parallel deployment threads will be essential, as upgrades of the majority of the network can be done concurrently with the early pilots of the communication and collaboration tools. Companies that are embarking on their first VOIP deployment will have an especially large amount of work to do on the network to ensure QOS (quality of service). Since large enterprises are commonly composed of many globally distributed branch offices—often melded together through mergers and acquisitions—organizations need to extend that kind of network resiliency to the WAN as much as possible.
"One of the first things we did within Accenture when we approached our internal unified communications program was to start with a network transformation program," said Accentures Redey. "On the wide-area networks, we moved to MPLS [Multiprotocol Label Switching] to take advantage of its quality-of-service features, and we also upgraded our local-area networks so they also have quality of service built in. With this foundation in place, we could then layer collaboration tools on top."
Redey also recommends beginning UC pilot projects while the network upgrades are taking place. UC projects are frequently driven by the needs of a specific group within a corporation or by a remote office needing better communication capabilities. While the forklift upgrades are occurring throughout the network, select members of a pilot team in the target group can begin trying out the new modes of communication and collaboration. Siemens tailors unified communications for SMBs. Click here to read more. Ciscos Thompson posits that expansion can happen rapidly with an IP-based communications platform. "Once you have moved your voice traffic onto an IP network, it is very easy to add capacity, as expansions to your data network mean automatic expansions for the voice network as well," he said. Duncan Greatwood, CEO of messaging vendor PostPath, points out that the messaging and storage infrastructures may require a significant update, as well. "You need to have the right level of scalability," he said. "Weve found that many companies are still running with [100MB to 150MB] mailboxes, but for UC it has to be multi­gigabyte at the least." Page 5: Step 4: Expand the Application Base

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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