Technology moves fast, and advances in information technologies, along with changes in work force behaviors, are driving the need for faster, higher-bandwidth data solutions.
Businesses that want to stay ahead of the pack need tailored, fast data solutions.
“It’s critical for businesses today to map their current and future data needs and to partner with a data provider that can offer customized access solutions,” says Jitesh Bhayani, vice president of marketing for the Midwest Region, Time Warner Cable Business Class.
As data-intensive activities such as online collaboration, video viewing and Web conferencing grow more prominent, businesses need the bandwidth to support these functions. Clients, vendors and colleagues expect to communicate with businesses online, and your systems need to have the speed to make it happen.
Smart Business spoke with Bhayani about innovations in data and bandwidth and what opportunities are available for businesses.
What data trends are driving the need for more bandwidth?
Forecasts show that business Internet traffic will double between 2009 and 2014, and in 2010, Internet traffic demand among businesses in North America grew by 17.2 percent. The way employees work today in a Web-connected world is driving this demand.
There’s an emphasis on continued collaboration and companies are interacting online with customers through platforms such as e-commerce. Work environments are highly dependent on being connected to the Internet — a Forrester Research survey revealed that 72 percent of employees use a Web browser hourly or daily. Over time, a business can easily exceed its available bandwidth, and the answer is a higher-speed data solution.
What technologies give businesses greater capability to collaborate online?
Internet-based technology and software have advanced so that businesses can collaborate more readily with satellite offices, vendors, partners and customers. The days of passing paper are over as the ease and speed of sharing documents electronically increases and businesses recognize the cost effectiveness and environmental friendliness of using Internet-based tools for collaboration.
For example, with Web conferencing, employees do not have wasted travel expenses and unproductive time spent en route to a meeting location. Web conferencing is an alternative to in-person meetings, and it’s an ideal tool for conducting product demonstrations or service calls with customers.
Meanwhile, cloud computing with the use of Web-based business software frees up employees to work anywhere, anytime and still be connected to the office. These tools are often called Software-As-a-Service (SaaS), and include e-mail, calendar, project management and accounting systems. Basically, a business rents the amount of the application it needs and accesses it through an Internet connection. As more businesses use cloud computing, these firms will require higher-speed solutions and more bandwidth.
How does social media impact a business’s need for higher-speed solutions?
With the rapid growth of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, businesses have new opportunities to reach more people and respond to customers more effectively. They can share their corporate environment through blogs. They can use social networks to connect with potential clients, build relationships with peers, vendors or prospects, and get the word out about their products and services.
Looking ahead, social media will integrate even more software applications and advanced Web services, which will put more of a strain on existing data solutions. Businesses need to assess whether they will have enough speed and bandwidth to accommodate emerging technology. Now is a good time to consult with a data solutions provider and take an inventory of what your business’s current data capabilities will allow. Do you have room to grow? What are your plans for technology integration? Discuss your current and future needs with a provider that can act as a partner and customize a solution.
How can a business customize data services and add bandwidth?
The amount of bandwidth you need will depend on the number of employees in your company and the Web-based applications you use. Take stock of your current business situation. What high-speed data challenges do you face as you prepare for the future? What are your current bandwidth levels? A data solutions professional can help you understand what tier of power and speed you will need for optimal business performance.
What options are available for power and speed?
There are several tiers of power and speed, so first consider what your businesses needs on a day-to-day basis. Then think about goals for the future. Will you do more cloud computing with Web-based software programs for accounting or project management? Are you ramping up your video conferencing to avoid windshield time? Will more employees work outside of the office from satellite locations or home offices?
For businesses that use e-mail and basic Web applications, broadband Internet access can provide ample bandwidth and speed. Businesses that do more data sharing and use Web-based applications and require advanced connectivity are better served by wideband Internet access. For businesses that need a dedicated, scalable solution to meet growth and security requirements, there is dedicated Internet access. Start by talking with a solutions provider who can explain how each of these options works, and help you understand what level of power and speed you need to accomplish your business goals today and in the future.
Jitesh Bhayani is vice president of marketing for the Midwest Region of Time Warner Cable Business Class. Contact a Time Warner Cable Business Class account consultant at (877) 407-4260 to discuss your communications needs.
In today’s business environment, companies cannot afford downtime and breaches of security that can compromise client and proprietary information.
A company’s network security can be compromised in a number of ways, from denial of service attacks to viruses, giving outsiders access to company resources. And a network that isn’t properly protected and monitored can inhibit employee productivity, says Darren Wolner, director of corporate product management at Time Warner Cable Business Class.
“Downtime has the potential to put a company out of business,” says Wolner.
Implementing a managed security solution can reduce the risk of network security breaches and the downtime that results from systems being compromised.
Smart Business spoke with Wolner about how companies can put security in place and basic steps that can make a big impact on a business’s IT infrastructure.
What is network security?
Network security includes provisions and policies to prevent and monitor unauthorized access, misuse, modification or denial of the computer network and its resources.
In a secure network environment, only users with assigned passwords can gain access to information on the network. Network security can include private and public networks, and it can give businesses the ability to control how users — their employees — access information on the network. For example, a company might limit access to certain Internet sites or programs. Or perhaps only managers or key employees can gain access to certain areas of the network.
A business can decide who accesses what on the network when security solutions are put in place. In the most general sense, network security begins with a username and password, called one-factor authentication.
To add additional security, companies might put into place two-factor authentication, which can include a security token such as an ATM card or mobile phone. Three-factor authentication involves using additional information, such as a fingerprint or retinal scan.
The level of network security depends entirely on a company’s needs, who should gain access to information and the organization’s vulnerability to security breaches.
Having a protected network prevents disruptions in your business and internal sabatoge.
What are some common breaches of network security that companies experience?
One common type of network security breach is a denial of service attack. This is when a computer or network limits or prevents access to the Internet by flooding it with requests, usually for a website, online resource or e-mail. The result is a system overload.
Also, viruses that infect files can be very damaging. Malware, adware and spyware can compromise network security and, ultimately, when a company does not put systems in place to secure its network, outsiders can gain access to inside resources.
How can a business begin to protect its network?
First, a business should consult with its existing telecommunications provider to determine what solutions are currently being offered. While a company can set up its own firewall, it pays to partner with a firm that specializes in network security and that can ensure that you have the tools to reduce your risk of the system being compromised.
A business must know quite a bit about network security in order to deploy a solution and maintain its integrity. A provider can offer an all-in-one solution that provides protection in a managed way. Once you determine what network security is in place now at your business, get referrals for other network security providers and talk to them about the options. Technology changes rapidly, so businesses should find out what new solutions are available. Ask a specialist to draft a network security plan that will protect the entire business.
What levels of network protection are available?
Managed security solutions offer a wide array of features and options that are scaled to serve businesses of all sizes, from small operations to corporate enterprises. The standard features included in a network security solution are a fully managed firewall device, 24/7/365 system monitoring and management, management reporting, gateway anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, intrusion prevention, content filtering and the ability to access the network remotely from a virtual private network.
Putting this suite of network security tools in place will not only protect the business from security breaches, it will enable it to get more productivity from its network and employees. For instance, if a business can control which websites employees visit through management reporting tools, that eliminates time wasted on surfing the Internet or using personal e-mail and social networks. The company can decide what level of management reporting to put in place, but it’s nice to have this option available to truly optimize the way the network is used for daily workflow and to accomplish business goals.
What are the benefits of having a fully protected network?
Ultimately, having a protected network prevents disruptions in your business and internal sabotage. It protects a business from the outside in, and from the inside out. With a solid managed security solution in place with content filtering and other features, companies can better understand how they utilize bandwidth and avoid threats from viruses and denial of service attacks that can harm the business.
Darren Wolner is director of corporate product management for Time Warner Cable Business Class. Contact a Time Warner Cable Business Class account consultant at (877) 612-7474 to discuss your communication needs.
In today’s business environment, mobility has become a critical factor. People are constantly on the go, and they need their data, wherever they are, at any time of the day. And they need that access to be fast, easy to use and reliable.
Simply put, if your employees are out in the field trying to find a Wi-Fi connection at a hotel or coffee shop, you’re at a significant competitive disadvantage. Not to mention the money you’re wasting on wireless cards and connection fees.
As a result, more and more companies are embracing wireless solutions, technologies that allow people to access data anytime, anywhere.
“It has become incredibly affordable for businesses to implement wireless technologies,” says Jitesh Bhayani, the vice president of marketing for the Midwest Region of Time Warner Cable Business Class. “If you’ve been spending money on per-day access charges at hotels or coffee shops, a wireless solution is a no-brainer. If your people are on the road and need access to the Internet, to access their data, they need a wireless solution.”
Smart Business spoke with Bhayani about wireless solutions, how they work and how you can benefit from using them.
What technologies are available to help with wireless data and mobility?
A very popular technology that’s growing every day is a 3G or 4G mobile network — a high-capacity mobile broadband network that uses WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), a wireless technology standard. These networks offer high-speed mobile Internet connectivity anywhere you need it, without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Taking this anywhere, anytime connectivity a step further are new hotspot devices that allow you to connect multiple Wi-Fi-enabled devices at the same time. These coaster-sized devices provide a high-speed mobile Internet connection for up to six users at the same time, assuming they’re at the same location.
It’s a wireless connection, but you have to be in the same general vicinity. So now you can send six people out into the field and they’ll be able to connect to the Internet and access all of their data wherever and whenever they need it.
What’s the difference between 3G and 4G?
You’ve probably heard a lot recently about 3G and 4G networks. 4G refers to the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards, which is a successor to 3G. 4G provides higher data rates compared to 3G technologies, allowing you to access applications, stream content and download e-mails and attachments faster.
4G offers network speeds up to 6 Mbps. Typically, you can expect download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbps, with bursts of up to 10 Mbps and uploads up to 1 Mbps. 3G network speeds average .3 Mbps to 1.4 Mbps for downloads, peaking at 3.1 Mbps and .35 Mbps to .5 Mbps for uploads, peaking at 1.8 Mbps.
Actual speeds may vary based on a number of factors, including signal strength, your wireless device, structures, buildings, geography, etc.
Besides speed, what other benefits do wireless solutions provide?
When your people are on the road, they likely pay $10 to $20 a night to use their laptops in their hotel rooms. Then, once they leave the hotel, they have to stop at a coffee shop to send e-mail, or ask clients to connect to their network to share files.
Needless to say, this method is inefficient, costly, time-consuming and, often, unreliable.
A wireless solution saves money and increases productivity. Your employees can use their computers to access the Internet anytime, anywhere. And you don’t have to worry about them connecting to unsecured networks.
With just one device, your employees will be able to connect to the Internet, and, with a VPN, access everything that they would be able to at the office, whenever they need it. There are three major benefits to wireless solutions:
- Your users will have access to both 4G and 3G networks, so they’ll always have network connectivity, no matter where they travel.
- You’ll be able to increase productivity by connecting multiple Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including laptops, PDAs, network printers and scanners. Users will be able to share their connection with co-workers or clients, again, assuming they are at the same location.
- Easily compatible with Wi-Fi-enabled computers, allowing you to access the Internet quickly and without purchasing additional hardware.
Are there any drawbacks to wireless solutions?
Like with your cell phone, there is always the possibility of a dropped connection, but these are usually few and far between. Also, like a cell phone, there may be certain spots in an area or a building where you simply can’t get service.
In addition, if you have to move from a 4G connection to a 3G one, or vice versa, you may have to reconnect to the network.
Other than that, wireless hotspot devices are durable and reliable. You do need to keep them charged, of course.
Jitesh Bhayani is the vice president of marketing for the Midwest Region of Time Warner Cable Business Class. Contact a Time Warner Cable Business Class account consultant at (877) 612-7474 to discuss your communications needs.
The word “telephone” has become outdated. Mobile, cell, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) —these are buzzwords in the communications industry today as consumers embrace the ability to be anywhere and everywhere while staying connected.
Today’s business class phone systems make this possible with options designed to ring you at home, the office or while away. And there’s also the evolution of the computer as a tool for not only administrative functions such as billing, but also expediting phone calls by way of cutting-edge click-to-dial applications, says Debra Wakeley, director of product management, Time Warner Cable Business Class.
“The lines between using a cell phone and landline are starting to blur,” says Wakeley. “We see increasing demand for wireless, and a demand for mobility and the ability to work wherever you are to answer the important call and close that deal.”
Mobility is just the beginning. Businesses today can function more efficiently and effectively with phone systems that provide more features and more control, and can be accessed from any computer.
Smart Business spoke with Wakeley about the evolution of phone service and the newest features that are available to help businesses take their communications to the next level.
What phone features are available to provide flexibility and mobility for businesses?
As the lines between mobile and landline phones blur, systems such as ‘remote office’ are in development to allow a person to tell the system where calls should be directed, to wherever they may be — be it a cell phone, home office, corporate office or vacation home. Not only are calls directed to the assigned phone, all outgoing calls appear as if they are being dialed out from the office line, regardless of the originating call location.
This feature is similar to another convenience, the find-me-follow-me feature, which is a call-forwarding function in which the phone system rings all of your lines in sequential order or at the same time.
This can be combined with a remote office service for optimum mobility.
What other phone system features are making life easier for business users?
The line between computer and phone service is blurring as the computer has evolved into a platform for phone systems. For example, an application called Voice Manager allows you to make changes to your phone service from any Internet-connected computer.
If you have auto attendant, you can modify how calls are answered and where they are directed through your computer. Essentially, the computer can be used to control phone features at your convenience. You can view your bill, your call history, etc. This is especially convenient for businesses that need 24/7 access to phone system information.
In the future, you’ll see greater availability of click-to-dial applications that allow you to generate and receive calls from your computer, tablet or smart phone.
What should a business consider when developing a phone system strategy?
First, think long term. What are your needs now and going forward? Consider how many employees you have today, and what your growth looks like in the next few years.
You want to get a handle on the size and scope of the system you’ll need. How many calls do employees make? How many calls do they receive? Are there features to help you better distribute calls? Is Internet Protocol (IP) technology a smart strategy for today, or can this type of system wait? How old is your phone equipment? What is it about your current system that frustrates you? What features do you desire in a phone system?
Ultimately, ask yourself how your ideal phone system would work. Then partner with a professional who can provide knowledgeable insight on what technology is available to meet your needs. This person will help you design a phone system that meets your demands today and is flexible to accommodate growth or changing business needs in the future. He or she will also help you understand how to best use phone systems to maximize the technology you have.
How can a company stay up to date with technology without constantly reinventing its phone system?
As a business grows, so will its need for technology to accommodate communications needs. Business growth should drive the adoption of technology. Avoid the temptation to buy brand-new equipment just so you have the latest bells and whistles, unless technology is your niche and your business is an early adopter by nature.
Ask business peers about the phone systems they use, and what works and what doesn’t. Talk to local chambers of commerce to find reputable business class phone providers that can provide the customer service and consultation you really need. Get plenty of opinions before you make a leap to a different system. But also keep in mind that leaping can be a good thing.
The technology that is available today allows you to connect anytime, anywhere at your convenience. And the flexibility that phone systems continue to offer as they become more sophisticated will only serve to benefit businesses.
Debra Wakeley is director of product management for Time Warner Cable Business Class. Contact a Time Warner Cable Business Class account consultant at (877) 612-7474 to discuss your communications needs.
As technology advances at lightning speed, the amount of data that businesses create and store is growing exponentially. Companies are not always on top of how and where that data is being stored, and information can get lost in the confusion.
Maybe you’re just throwing everything on your server, or having your employees use external hard drives or backup as needed. If you’re relying on physical servers or devices to store your data, your information isn’t as protected as it should be. Computers crash, which could lead to disaster if that’s the only place your data exist. Data is critical for a business to survive, so what are you doing to protect that vital asset?
“These days, data is everything,” says Alina Montano, senior director of product management for Time Warner Cable Business Class. “Regardless of size, every company has important information that must be protected. Data protection is critical for the success and growth of any business.”
Smart Business spoke with Montano about data protection and how a cloud-based storage service can protect your company’s data in any situation.
How can a company’s data be compromised or lost?
Statistics show that approximately 12,000 laptops are lost in U.S. airports every week, and two-thirds of those are never returned to their owners.
In addition, 20 to 30 percent of PCs suffer a major crash every year. Portable data storage devices such as USB sticks often get lost and, quite frankly, storing all your data on your computer is no longer an option.
The question isn’t how data can be compromised; it’s what you’re doing to prevent data from being compromised because, in all honesty, it’s a given that eventually every computer, hard drive and server will be compromised in one way or another.
What measures can companies take to protect their data?
All back-up measures are centered on replicating your company’s data and storing it in a remote location. That location can be as simple as a USB stick or a physical server room at a remote location. But, again, USB devices can get lost, and servers and computers can crash.
To truly protect your data, you need to implement a cloud-based storage service. A cloud-based service allows businesses to automatically back up computer files to a secure and remote data center as a protection against data loss; the service is centrally managed and configured with a Web-based administrative console.
What is the return on investment for cloud-based solutions?
Cloud services can be very cost-effective — you only pay for the data you use and/or store. This could range from as low as $5 or $6 per month, depending on the amount of storage used, type of service, or features you choose.
Think of the monthly fees like an insurance policy for your data. The cost is relatively low, and the peace of mind you get is priceless. In addition, you can take advantage of economies of scale, which means the cost-per-user is less.
Also, you don’t have any hardware to buy or install and you don’t need any resources to manage your IT. In the cloud, the vendor takes responsibility for maintaining the software and servers. In an on-premise environment, you would pay for the hardware, storage space and IT personnel to maintain the system, in addition to the software.
In a cloud environment, the vendor pays those costs, so a larger percentage of the total cost of ownership by you shifts away from hardware and people and toward the service.
What qualities should a company look for in its technology partner?
Choose a technology partner that can bundle services — phone, TV and Internet all interconnected. But at the same time, you want a vendor that is providing solutions for your business based on its needs, not just selling you products.
You also have to look at the technology partner’s data network. Does it have the speed and capability to keep up with your business? If you have a lot of data to back up, it could take a lot longer than it should if your business is on a slow network.
Finally, you want to find a technology partner that’s a serious player in the field, that will be around 10 years from now. It’s very difficult to move from one vendor to another because of the initial setup, so you want to choose wisely so that you’re not jumping from vendor to vendor every year.
Alina Montano is senior director of product management for Time Warner Cable Business Class. Contact a Time Warner Cable Business Class account consultant at (877) 612-7474 to discuss your communications needs.
Communication needs are changing, and if businesses don’t keep up with new and emerging technologies, they could quickly be left in the dust by their competitors.
But with new technologies launching almost every day, it can often be difficult to know if the latest “next big thing” will actually help your business or just be a waste of money.
While there are many buzzed-about technologies being pitched to business owners, there are certain technologies that, if properly implemented and maintained, can really change the way a company carries on day-to-day operations and interacts with its customers.
“The business world is always changing and, with the proliferation of new technologies, that change is exacerbated,” says Kurt Fennell, vice president of product management for Time Warner Cable Business Class. “You don’t need every new technology that comes out, but there are things that can really make a difference for businesses of all sizes.”
Smart Business spoke with Fennell about current technology trends and what businesses should be paying attention to.
What current technology trends should business owners be most aware of?
There are three main technology trends right now that business owners would be wise to pay attention to:
• The migration from TDM to IP. Businesses are looking for increased flexibility, scalability and value, and moving from time-division multiplexing (TDM) to Initiation Protocol (IP) applications helps them achieve that. Traditional services such as voice and conferencing can now be run over IP infrastructures, thus simplifying integration, enhancing communication and improving interactions.
• An increase in mobility. With more companies employing mobile workers (people who work on the road) and teleworkers (people who work from home or some other remote location), there has been an increase in wireless applications. These applications allow employees to be more productive and more collaborative, regardless of where they may be working.
• The emergence of managed services. With companies now able to get more bandwidth, flexibility and scalability due to the migration from TDM to IP, we’re seeing an increase in mobile managed services, such as storage, messaging and security.
How are the phone needs of businesses changing?
There are two key things that today’s businesses want: the ability to self-manage and the ability to utilize more advanced features.
Self-managing means that a business has remote access to things such as call forwarding or hunt group configuration. A hunt group is the ability for a call to be routed to a station or person based on a set of rules. For example, you could have one telephone number for your sales department. If a call comes in to one of your phones and that salesperson can’t answer it, the hunt group will route the call to another salesperson who is available to take the call.
Advanced features include capabilities that allow your people to interact with customers in the way they want to — like having an auto attendant or Web access for live chats.
How are Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) changing the way employees do their jobs?
A VPN enables two locations to be connected together on the same network, so you can transparently and securely share information between those two locations, as if they were existing on one network. An example of this would be a company’s headquarters connecting to its branch offices, so that employees in the branches could access the file server, e-mail server and/or Internet connection of the headquarters.
Another aspect of a VPN is the ability to tie in mobile or remote workers to that network environment. Normally, this is done through software components that talk back to the VPN, connecting the remote or mobile workers to the network. This offers increased mobility and the ability to access company resources in a secure fashion. Secure remote capability is vital to doing business in today’s technological business world.
How does mobile Internet tie in to all of this?
With a large increase in mobility and the need for employees to be connected while on the go, applications such as productivity tools, messaging systems, video, etc., need to be always available and as fast as possible. Whether employees are connecting their laptops or smartphones with USB cards or Wi-Fi devices, they need to be able to access the applications they need to do their jobs. They also need to be able to connect and interact with colleagues and customers across the country. With the proliferation of 3G and now 4G networks, the mobile Internet allows workers to always be connected.
What would you say to business owners who don’t think they need all this new technology?
There are more traditional businesses that are not on the forefront of the adoption of technologies, and there are other more tech-savvy companies that always adopt technologies early on. There’s no hard-and-fast rule as to when to adopt a new technology, but it does make sense for a business to take advantage of those technologies that could improve productivity, enhance operations and save money.
If you have a business that has employees who need to collaborate in any way, or need to maintain a flexible work environment, you should look at what these technologies can do for you. Doing so can not only help you attract and retain the best and brightest employees, it can also help you remain competitive with other businesses that may have more resources than you do.
Kurt Fennell is the vice president of product management for Time Warner Cable Business Class. Reach him at (703) 345-2443 or email@example.com.
Nearly every business relies heavily on technology, with critical operations and processes that are dependent on information technology (IT). But if disaster strikes, how can a business ensure that it stays up and running to remain competitive in the marketplace?
The answer is a comprehensive business continuity plan, which every business should have in place, says Derek Dalton, a sales engineer for Time Warner Cable Business Class.
“Not long ago, business continuity required millions of dollars in redundant systems, facilities and bandwidth,” says Dalton. “Now, more cost-effective solutions have been introduced, helping organizations ensure that their business will always be up and running.”
Smart Business spoke with Dalton about how to craft an effective business continuity plan.
What is business continuity?
While business continuity and disaster recovery work in tandem, they are separate and distinct disciplines. Disaster recovery refers to the protocols and procedures that an organization follows to activate backup servers and alternative facilities should an unforeseen event disable critical IT systems. When most people think of disaster recovery, they think of natural disasters or terrorist attacks, but something as simple as a broken water pipe, tripped circuit breaker or computer virus can constitute a disaster for a business and thus require a recovery plan.
Business continuity extends the concept of disaster recovery to reflect the processes and procedures that organizations put in place to ensure that critical business functions continue, despite an event that disrupts normal business operations. This can be as simple as identifying alternate resources when employees are unable to work, or as complex as recovering servers and mainframes with network backups in the event of a system failure.
Why is business continuity so important in today’s business world?
Business continuity means your company stays up and running, no matter what happens. And with today’s businesses relying heavily on the Internet and other technologies, constant connectivity is vital.
Forrester Research reports that 76 percent of companies experience at least one disruption in any five-year period, and that 27 percent have to declare at least one disaster, meaning mission-critical IT systems were disabled long enough that recovery procedures had to be executed. It’s not if a disaster will strike, it’s when it will strike and how you will be able to deal with it. And, according to the Meta Group, one hour of systemwide downtime, depending on the company, can cost a business from $330,000 to $2.8 million.
It is important for business owners and IT staff to identify potential risks, figure out the costs of downtime, choose the most effective technology and work together to implement recovery services. These calculations fall into direct costs and indirect costs.
A direct cost could be the amount of business lost if a network experiences an outage. If the system handles a certain amount of business every hour, the organization can know exactly how much an hour of downtime will cost.
Indirect costs are no less important. For example, what would the cost be to a company’s reputation or relationships should a disruption render customer service or supply chain management systems inoperative? What might the penalties be if the company’s financial or customer data systems were compromised?
Awareness and qualification of these cost factors highlight how companies that have effective business continuity plans can quickly recover from system outages, which can be a competitive advantage and an opportunity to take revenue and market share from companies that cannot.
How do cable Multiple System Operators (MSOs) tie in to business continuity?
Organizations seeking to implement business continuity plans recognize cable MSOs as reliable and cost-effective alternatives to traditional telecommunications providers. Because cable MSOs operate over one network, their infrastructure offers advantages such as security, scalability and the ability to support multiple communication solutions.
Cable MSOs deliver availability and redundancy. Because their networks were designed to provide bandwidth-intensive video services to broad areas, cable operators can offer high-bandwidth services regardless of a premise’s distance from a central office. This access to reliable connectivity allows even rural backup sites to be incorporated into business continuity plans and ensures that employees telecommuting can access the same resources available from headquarters.
Cable MSO infrastructures are independent from traditional telecommunications companies. They can provision services with their own resources, delivering new services more rapidly than many traditional telecommunications providers, an important capability in an emergency, when time is critical. They also provide the important alternative routing component of a business continuity solution, as the networks are separate from traditional telecommunications providers that may share common infrastructures.
How are telecommuters protected by business continuity plans?
A key to a comprehensive business continuity plan is ensuring that employees can work remotely in the event of a disaster. This includes telephone and broadband Internet to facilitate communications between employees and management and provide access to enterprise applications. Because the technology is not distance sensitive, cable broadband options offers scalable Internet access options, up to 10 Mbps of throughput speed, allowing you to connect to a virtual private network for enhanced communication and collaboration, with bandwidth to facilitate videoconferencing and database file transfers. Solutions include scheduled backup of desktop files to off-site, secure storage, with backed-up files available from any desktop computer, allowing employees displaced by an emergency to work from any location.
Derek Dalton is a sales engineer for Time Warner Cable Business Class. Reach him at (614) 255-2762.