Tuesday, April 07, 2020

You Are Definitely Going to Need More Bandwidth

By: John Shepler

All of a sudden, business as usual isn’t. Forget the norms of office life. They’re gone. Nobody comes in and sits at their desk anymore. The cubicles are empty. The parking lot is empty. Row after row of desktop computers and phones are… off.

Get business products with this theme from our Zazzle store.So, Where Is Everybody?
To be fair, a skeleton crew is in the building. Most everyone else is at home. It’s been a mad scramble to connect remotely by home computer, iPad & smartphone via cable and cellular broadband. Bandwidth usage has soared 30% or more. Video conferencing has come into its own using those built-in microphones and cameras over Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, RingCentral, GoToMeeting, Webex and the like.

Not as Temporary as You Think
You probably think this traumatic upset of normal business practice is a transient thing. Just a few weeks of toughing it out and everything will go back to normal. That’s almost certainly wishful thinking. This pandemic has peaked or is peaking in areas that were hit hard and hit early. But that doesn’t mean it’s over. The horror of infection rates, deaths and failing medical systems will abate in one area after another. But, the disaster will soon pop up in areas that weren’t hit early and haven’t seriously locked down until recently. Think of a rolling disaster, from city to city and even into less populous areas. Just when you think it is all over, it is expected that there will be a re-infection in the Fall and sickness will spread again.

Eventually, there will be effective therapeutics and then vaccines. Those are likely months and possibly a year or more away. Until then, you might not be living in a constant horror movie, but it certainly won’t be business as usual. You might as well dig-in and figure how to run a successful business without large numbers of people rubbing shoulders in one big workspace or cozying up to customers at your place or theirs.

The New Virtual Business Requirements
You are going to need to master distributed processes, secure communications, and remote everything. You’ll need VPNs for security, private and public cloud services to host the software that defines your organization, and lots and lots of bandwidth to tie it all together. “Touchless” will be the new, new thing that everybody wants. That means technology substituting for hands-on.

What types of bandwidth do you need? Certainly, sketchy home broadband won’t do. Your remote employees may not even be eligible to connect to the high performance business grade private lines that commonly link offices, but they will need sufficient reliable bandwidth for both video conferencing with colleagues, management and customers. Bandwidth and latency need to be good enough that the home computer runs like the office computer. Cable broadband may do a decent job but remote areas present a challenge. In some cases, an SD-WAN solution aggregating cable, T1, WISP, 4G and 5G cellular and perhaps even satellite may be a good composition solution.

Especially Demanding Applications
Medical offices, labs, and hospital campuses need really high performance bandwidth. That includes Gigabit Ethernet and 10 GigE fiber, dark fiber and MPLS networks for interconnecting far-flung facilities or collaborating companies. Fortunately these connections are readily available in populated areas, although more of a challenge in rural locations.

Your IT Bandwidth Requirements
Reconsider your own IT Department connectivity needs. They've changed. You'll want your connection to public, private and hybrid cloud services to be high performance, dedicated bandwidth links. This will give you much faster, more responsive and stable connections than the Internet can provide. You'll want the closest to "LAN" quality performance from any of your business locations. This can be achieved with dedicated point to point fiber optic lines, Metro Ethernet services and MPLS Networks that span wide geographical areas, including worldwide service.

After The Disaster
Someday this will all be over, but things might not go back to the way they were. Companies may be amazed at how productive employees are in home offices, even with kids and pets under foot and no supervisor breathing down their neck. Fact is, a lot of socializing went on in those cubicle farms and the office computers hosted a lot of personal web use and email. Letting many, maybe most employees work from home reduces their need for commuting and, perhaps, child care. It reduces your need for real estate and facilities. Managing performance by goal oriented results may finally replace monitoring physical presence as the business norm.

Expect that you will have a lot more remote work and that core teams may be housed in much smaller facilities or even rented meeting spaces. Video conferencing may replace a lot of business travel that was once thought essential. The same level of productivity might, surprisingly, be achieved at considerably lower cost overall with more flexibility. Additional help could be quickly brought on without the delays and expense of relocation.

Now, What do YOU Need?
Has the shock of recent upsets found you scrambling for IT resources, especially bandwidth, secure communications, video conferencing and hosted telephone solutions? We can help you right now. Call toll free 888-848-8749 or tell us what you need to support your business.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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