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Posts Tagged ‘BYOD’

I’m not sure what happened to the IT mindset this year but it seems BYOD has gone from something that most IT departments are trying to avoid to something that tops most IT priority list. Perhaps it’s the result of better MDM tools, pressure from the business leaders, or maybe just a willingness to admit that it’s the way things are now.

Whatever the case, a switch flipped, and ZK Research shows that fewer than 20% of companies actually oppose BYOD. That means for every five companies out there, four are embracing it.

So what happens after BYOD is put in place? Now companies have, what, 3, 4 or 5 times as many devices to manage? That means with an employee growth number of zero, IT departments have to manage up to 500% more devices. Now, think of the impact that has on the network. DHCP servers get slammed, DNS requests go through the room, the number of IP addresses jumps an order of magnitude, devices have to be assigned to VLANs and then reassigned as that worker moves through the company. Then all of that information needs to be updated and kept in sync.

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It’s been a couple of weeks since Interop and I’ve had some time to think about some of the happenings from the conference. One of the sessions I ran was a panel on the value of session management, and I came away disappointed in the panel responses. Session management has been hyped by the vendors as one of the next big things in Unified Communications. On my panel I had a number of representatives from various UC solution providers and I asked what I thought was a pretty basic question – What are the killer applications for deploying a session management solution?

There was one answer given by all four of my panelists and that was that session management makes it easier to deploy SIP trunking. While this is true, I felt the answer lacked much of the real, long-term value of session management. Here are the primary reasons I think session management needs to be part of every company’s UC strategy:

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To say cloud computing is a big trend today is an understatement. There’s not a company I talk to, small or large, that doesn’t have cloud on the mind. While much of the focus on cloud has been on lowering the cost of computing, some organizations I have interviewed recently have been focusing on understanding what cloud enables that traditional computing does not.

This is similar to the transition that enterprises went through when computing shifted from mainframes to client server applications. One of the first mainstream PC applications was a 3270 emulator, which made it much cheaper to deliver “green screens” to more users. However, over time client server allowed IT to deliver new applications to branch offices and other locations where mainframe connections couldn’t reach. All of a sudden, if you hadn’t moved to client server, your company was falling behind competitively.

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Consumerization and BYOD are all the rage today. It’s tough to discuss anything with an IT leader without this topic rearing its ugly head.

To combat the issues that stem from BYOD, many IT departments have turned to mobile device management or some sort of solution that goes on the end point. While this solves some of the BYOD challenges, it doesn’t solve all of them, nor does it scale easily since it requires touching every device that comes into the company. In my opinion, the most scalable way to address BOYD is through the network, as it sees all and touches all.

This was the basis of Extreme’s “Intelligent Mobile Edge” launch, which includes wired switches, wireless infrastructure and identity management software – all core components of supporting BYOD. Extreme’s solution is designed to help companies with the challenges of allowing workers to bring their own devices into the work place.

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