Wireless communications: Can your network hold up?

Unified communications is a critical investment for businesses, but as they evolve both their enterprise communications solutions and their IT efforts, aligning the two can get tricky. Many companies are deploying wireless LANs across their offices, and maintaining the quality of unified communications over Wi-Fi raises new issues that firms have to prepare for.

According to Unified Communications Strategies, the issues regarding wireless LANs and communications focus primarily on voice and video channels. There has been very limited adoption of such strategies – primarily in health care and big box retail industries – but the potential for such networks is massive as long as firms are able to optimize traffic and bandwidth support and align their communications needs with those of their IT infrastructure.

The news source noted that the biggest challenge in running a unified communications network over Wi-Fi is maintaining the quality of the user experience. Firms have to minimize latency, packet loss and jitter with real time voice and video by implementing service provisioning and other solutions. The issue arises primarily due to the fact that a single end point is generating multiple data streams- voice, video, IM, email, etc.

By deploying high-quality QoS provisioning solutions and the right network hardware, firms will be able to avoid specific bandwidth issues, but eliminating jitter extends beyond these factors as well. Companies also have to ensure they are optimizing the channels they are using with the right unified communications software, providing employees with swift and easy access to the channels and applications they need regardless of platform or network. The right device provisioning software will play a critical role here, as it will ensure support across the entire business.

The ultimate goal of any unified communications investment is to simplify collaboration. Wireless LAN support will establish a more efficient strategy by ensuring that employees can connect using any device, from anywhere in the office. This boosts productivity, efficiency and support for further trends like mobility and BYOD. For businesses looking to optimize their collaboration solutions there's no way to get around the importance of these trends or having the proper support.

Enhancing communications is one way to enhance operations and businesses optimizing their approach for the technology available to them will see greater success rates and be able to finish strong in the drive toward total communications efficiency.