By TerryAnn Fitzgerald, SMB Solutions Marketing Manager, HP Netwokring
We all love the idea of growth—growing bank accounts, growing children and growing relationships. But like my hydrangea and rhododendron bushes, if that growth is left unchecked, you can sometimes end up with an ugly mess.
As your small or mid-size business (SMB) grows, the complexity of your network often grows as well, leaving you with your own version of an ugly mess. Your SMB may start with a local-area network (LAN). This may soon be followed by a wireless LAN to support mobile working. And as the business expands, you may extend your facilities across campus or establish branches and create wide-area networks (WANs). Along the way, your business may be merged with or acquire other companies. Now your network is overly complex, rigid and unable to meet business and end user demands.
Unlike my disorderly garden, your business can address—and solve—this complexity with centralized network management.
I caught up with Les Stuart, Global Product Line Manager with HP Networking, to talk about how SMBs can unravel network complexity. He recommends you start by focusing on unified wired and wireless management to free resources and make your business more agile.
Bringing everything together under one management umbrella provides a greater amount of control, helping you deliver quality service for all applications. It would also enable you to gather comprehensive metrics to help you forecast and plan for future business needs. The end result is greater network flexibility that will help you save time, money and keep you sane enough to tackle new projects as they arise, without needing additional resources.
When you opt to solve your network complexity, you’ll better be able to handle:
- BYOD—Personal devices in the workplace are here and they’re not going anywhere. Employees feel entitled to BYOD (bring your own device) and expect immediate access to work files, even if they’re working away from the office. Sales of mobile devices are expected to surpass sales of personal computers this year and users are accessing email more and more from mobile devices. To accommodate this trend, you’ll need a simplified, agile network.
2. Siloed ecosystem—What started as easy solutions and simple fixes have turned into a hodgepodge of wired and wireless technologies. Now you’re left with the task of untangling silos of networking technologies that are costly and inefficient to operate. Centralized management of wired and wireless networks helps you deliver quality of service for all local and remote voice, video and data applications.
3. High expectations from end users—Today’s end users are more sophisticated than ever, and their network expectations reflect that. They want more bells and whistles and real-time results. But this kind of network flexibility can ultimately drain your IT resources and puts stress on inflexible legacy network infrastructures. In an attempt to accommodate ad-hoc networks, some SMBs opt for an overarching management platform but that only places a blanket over an already complex environment. A better solution would be to integrate voice, data and video traffic onto the same network and manage that from a single-pane-of-glass management solution. You’ll soon enjoy the cost savings and network productivity benefits of centralized network management.
4. Doing more with less—When you consolidate and converge you can manage your network infrastructure in fewer steps, allowing you or your IT staff to do more without big budgets and extra hours in the day. Additionally, productivity and efficiency are metrics you can quantify when you employ a solution like centralized network management.
Take a minute and check out HP Networking’s centralized management solutions. We can help you manage all of your wired and wireless voice, video and data from a single console.
Now if I could only find such an elegant and simple solution to address my lack of any discernible gardening skills!
>> Learn more about HP Networking products and solutions.