Today's organizations are largely global in nature with the workforce being
mobile and virtual. In the present environment, it is important for
employees to stay connected and collaborate, says Chandru K., Business
Manager (Converged Communications Services) at IBM India.
In an interview with Manu Sharma of CIOL Bureau, he spoke on the challenges
faced by enterprises and the steps a CIO needs to ensure success of
converged communication systems.
CIOL: Role of IBM in Converged Communications?
Chandru K: IBM offers a suite of assessment, design, deployment,
integration and managed services to deliver converged communications
solutions. IBM offers a uniquely flexible and broad portfolio of services,
software and financing capabilities that can be easily customized to
address specific needs required to support communications for a diverse and
These capabilities are backed by the experience and technical know-how
required to provide smooth, successful unified communications and
collaboration deployments. Working with a broad network of partners and
suppliers (device manufacturers, network equipment vendors,
telecommunication service providers and independent software vendors), IBM
can offer an extensive range of skills and solutions to meet the customer's
immediate and long-term business needs for converged communication
CIOL: What are the present challenges in communication that the enterprises
are facing and what does Converged Communications help address/solve?
Chandru K: Organizations are largely global in nature with workforce being mobile
and virtual. The focus for organizations is to improve their bottom line
that means they are focused on employee productivity. It is important for
employees to stay connected and collaborate.
Typical challenges are:
Communication-caused delay and disruption is a pervasive business
Communications complexity affects long-term productivity, business
process reform, and financial performance
Decision support outcomes suffer from the inability to access and
collaborate effectively with primary players
Resources are improperly used or misallocated because of the complexity of communication
Converged Communications helps address these challenges and streamline communications.
CIOL: What do you accomplish by deploying Converged Communications, in the
short and long terms?
Chandru K: Converged Communications with its emerging class of applications and
services helps improve communications. It helps businesses in simplifying
communications for their mobile and distributed workforce to improve
communication flows, access primary decision makers quickly, enhance
collaboration, and improve productivity to positively affect their
business. They speed access and improve communication, integrate different
device modes and communication applications, and dramatically improve
collaboration, allowing organizations to streamline business processes,
reach the right resource the first time, and enhance profitability.
CIOL: What are the steps a CIO needs to prioritize to ensure success of
Converged Communication systems?
Chandru K: Firstly take a step back and do an assessment of the opportunities What
do I spend on tools today? What are my opportunities for savings? And then
do a business evaluation. Given those opportunities I uncover, how will I
leverage those against my business processes?
Then, a very, very important step and that is to do a network assessment.
Is my network ready? And if not, take the step, which is to get the network
ready for voice deployments. And when we say network-readiness, we're
talking about things such as what sort of network latency do I see in my
data network? What are the jitter characteristics of my network? How much
bandwidth do I have? And very, very importantly, have I implemented quality
Beyond those steps, customers need to begin to prepare themselves to
develop the skills necessary and really to begin to bring together skills
between their traditional telephony groups and their data networking
groups. And, of course, once you've gotten to that point, then it's time to
move into the design and implementation phases.
CIOL: What are the differences between Unified Communications and Unified
Chandru K: Unified Communications enables people to find peers or decision makers
using a single telephone number or Internet address. It integrates e-mail,
instant messaging, and calendaring applications with communications devices
and applications telephony wired and wireless; voice messaging; and audio,
video, and Web conferencing.
Unified Communications applications support advanced presence-sensitivity
and find-me capability, and media independence. They are easy to use, with
a familiar intuitive interface linked to powerful functions. Finally, they
provide voice access to applications and data.
While, Unified Messaging is a subset or one of the Unified Communications
applications, Unified Messaging is the integration of different messaging
(voice, email and fax) into a single or Unified Message store. They can
access this through a variety of devices. Since these are integrated it
makes it easier for users to access their message store. For e.g., they can
access their voice, fax and email messages through a single touch point,
CIOL: What are the benefits of using IBM UC2?
Chandru K: IBM offers the essential software, services, strategic alliances and
hardware elements that companies need to help people stay connected to
applications, data and one another anytime, anywhere. So, users can find an
expert, reach out within and beyond business boundaries and collaborate
more easily. And, as a result, help organizations improve productivity,
speed responsiveness and lower operational costs, while creating a better,
more attractive work environment that's easier to manage, extend and
Unified Communications requires an integrated communications strategy and
architecture enabling the secure combination of voice, video, data, and
mobility applications within a robust, intelligent network. IBM, with its
industry-leading breadth of solutions, its world-class partnerships, and
its understanding of how to map technology to address business challenges,
is uniquely able to fulfill the promise of Converged Communications.
CIOL: Why do I need technology from Avaya, AVST or Cisco?
Chandru K: Global Technology Services within IBM focuses on providing
infrastructure solution for customers. We work with customers to understand
their business problems and check on the best technology to fit this.
Working with a broad network of partners and suppliers (device
manufacturers, network equipment vendors, telecom service providers and
independent software vendors), IBM can offer an extensive range of skills
and solutions to meet the customer's needs.
CIOL: What is IBM's predictions for Unified Communications?
Chandru K: The Virtual Workplace will become the rule! There will be no need to
leave the office. Just bring it [Unified Communications] along. Desk phones
and desktop computers will gradually disappear, replaced by mobile devices,
including laptops that take on traditional office capabilities. Social
networking tools and virtual world meeting experiences will simulate the
feeling on being there in-person. Work models will be changed by expanded
globalization, and green business initiatives that reduce travel and
encourage work at home.
Instant Messaging and other real-time collaboration tools will become the norm, bypassing e-mail. Just as e-mail became a business necessity, a new generation of workers has a new expectation for Instant Messaging (IM) as the preferred method of business interaction. This will fuel more rapid adoption of Unified Communications as traditional IM becomes the core extension point for multi-modal communications
Beyond Phone Calls to Collaborative Business Processes. Companies will go beyond the initial capabilities of IM, like click-to-call and online presence, to deep integration with business processes and line-of-business applications, where they can realize the greatest benefit
Interoperability and Open Standards will tear down proprietary walls across business and public domains. Corporate demand for interoperability and maturing of industry standards will force unified communications providers to embrace interoperability. Converged, aggregated, and rich presence will allow businesses and individuals to better find and reach the appropriate resources, removing inefficiencies from business processes and daily lives
New meeting models will emerge. Hang up on routine, calendared conference calls. The definition of "meetings" will radically transform and become increasingly adhoc and instantaneous based on context and need. 3-D virtual world and gaming technologies will significantly influence online corporate meeting experiences to deliver more life-like experiences demanded by the next generation workers who will operate more efficiently in this familiar environment
CIOL: Why is IBM holding this roundtable and what will be the focus? What
issues will IBM address at the meet?
Chandru K: IBM in association with CIOL is bringing a live session on Converged
Communication. The rountable will focus on the subject, "Enhancing
effective business communication". IBM will address issues such as how to
communicate and collaborate effectively in today's disparate work
environment and how to reduce reliance on external voice, video, date
The forum will provide an opportunity to discuss the communication
challenges organization are facing today and understand how Converged
Communication solutions help address these. Customers will have an
opportunity to talk to experts and also network with industry peers. IBM
will also showcase the actual working of Converged Communication solutions
at our customer solution center at Delhi.
Over 13 years of experience in designing, building and managing some of India’s mission-critical infrastructure
Strong presence in the BFSI, IT Services, IT Enabled Services (BPO) and SMB markets in India
Managing more than 10,000 network elements including routers, switches, lease lines and more
India’s largest network integrator with more than 700 network engineers across India
India's largest structured cabling integrator
Recognized by IFMA as the “Best IT Infrastructure and Support Provider of the Year”
Gold Certified and Best Support Partner for Cisco with the highest CSAT score
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