08 Feb

CTO Update: SD-WAN

So, what’s the hype with SD-WAN? Our customers are talking about going to SD-WAN. But why? SD-WAN means different things to different people and its often confused with SDN.

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Chief Technology Officer, Geoff Tyerman


SDN is more about defining a network and something a telco or a very large organisation might use to optimise the operation of their network by dynamically changing and configuring the network, usually in the Data Centre in Realtime via software.

Both SDN and SD-WAN aim to virtualise network resources, provide better performance and visibility, automated deployment and most importantly reduce total cost of ownership.

However, SD-WAN is all about delivering business solutions and not just providing infrastructure.  When you break it down, it promises four main outcomes:

  1. Transport Independence by virtualising the network to introduce multiple independent network paths;
  2. Application optimisation via centralised network visibility and control of QOS and bandwidth to improve productivity and user experience;
  3. Intelligent path control with policy based routing including automatic best path selection based on loss, latency and jitter to help ensure high network availability;
  4. Secure connectivity using AES encryption to help secure communication with cloud applications, remote office and data centres.

One of the strong messages from the many SD-WAN vendors is the emphasis on removing private networks and replacing the traditional WAN with broadband tails. However, these TCO’s are based on the cost of MPLS network tails in the US where MPLS tails are very expensive and broadband is very cheap. This is quite a different story in Australia for example in the US MPLS tails are charged around $150-300 per Mb, where as in Australia we see prices around $5-$20 per Mb.

This dramatic price variance may mean that moving away from MPLS networks in Australia might not be the answer, particularly as the NBN is only a broadband network and has yet to mature into a business grade service that matches the quality we enjoy from fibre or bonded copper.

So, I see SD-WAN being introduced as more of a Hybrid solution by mixing MPLS and the underlying transport technologies, and using the features of the SD-WAN with the MPLS network particularly as we become increasingly security focused.  As businesses strive to ensure their most critical applications perform, whether customer-facing or productivity tools for their employees, SD-WAN will continue to evolve and will play a key role as network managers continue to search for a new approach to WAN infrastructure.

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18 Dec

Gilbert + Tobin Case Study

Earlier this year we were part of one of the most transformative projects, with Gilbert + Tobin’s Sydney office relocation and upgrade at Barangaroo.

A traditional legal office layout with numerous, individual offices was swapped for an open-planned fit out to facilitate closer collaboration, unlock staff mobility and workplace flexibility, and modernise a rigid telephony platform.

Read about the entire project and the outcomes via the case study, available here.

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31 Aug

Global Interconnection Index: The Explosion of the Digital Economy

Interconnecting bandwidth is expected to grow by 45% to 5000 TBPS by 2020, while digital technology use can create $1.36 trillion in additional economic output in the world’s top 10 economies in 2020.

Equinix’s Global Interconnection Index sets out the regions, industry sectors and bandwidth models that are due for significant growth in the next 2 years. We have invested significantly into our core to be prepared for business’ explicit need for secure, strong and fast connectivity.

Download a copy of the Infographic and Report.

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25 Jul

Managed Data Network – Professional Services

Office moves and relocations are a common exercise in business – whether it be a large-scale head office move or a new site coming online with a small workforce to get off the ground first. A managed data network, by Comscentre, will ensure the change supports the business objectives and delivers value before the project has even started.

Regardless of project size or scope, it is imperative that communication technologies transition seamlessly from the existing site to the new, particularly internet connectivity given today’s enormous reliance. Undergoing a service availability check with a Comscentre Account Manager is something that should be scheduled into the project plan from very early on. New site addresses can easily be inspected remotely, as the network and data team examine available link options. And because we’re a service aggregator, if a service installed at the existing site is not available at the new location we can easily identify a like-for-like alternative to ensure application continuity. Effectively, every single site is different and every network connection is also specifically provisioned, connecting the business’ data services with the infrastructure, either on-premise, hosted or a hybrid of both.

What’s more, by carrying out a service availablity check through the Account Management team, who will engage our network and data team, it is easy to identify the sites and addresses that will deliver the highest quality connections and best serviceability. The goal is to either maintain a robust service delivery standard on current network connections when moving or develop a plan collaboratively to deploy an upgraded service.

Ultimately, it is most important that when office moves are being carried out, new sites are becoming active in the network or adding new staff and changing your environment, that we deliver the best possible service to make the transition as straightforward and productive as possible.

Reach out to your Account Manager if you have a project upcoming where we can assist.

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22 Jun

A New Class of Collaboration Technologies

Organisations today are not seeking out a greater amount of communication or collaboration technologies. What they seek is more efficiency in collaborating. ‘Collaboration’ comes in many forms: email, meetings, conference calls, etc. The idea that more is needed is inaccurate.

HBR’s Services Report was formed on feedback from more than 300 executives. “In reality, people don’t want more collaboration. They want to decrease the amount of time spent on collaboration while doing it more effectively.”

The report gives an insightful view into the expectations of collaboration solutions and what’s of greatest value for companies when considering the technologies. Cloud and file sharing solutions ranked as the most effective collaboration technologies. Instant chat / instant messaging was an aspect of collaboration that is not front of mind yet, though the number of applications that offer this functionality are growing in quantity.

 

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What Comscentre delivers

Comscentre’s collaboration solutions empower and enable businesses to focus less on the activity and stress of their communication tools, and focus more on the opportunities and outcomes of collaboration itself. It is fundamental to us that we allow businesses to focus on their core competencies, while we ensure the communications environment is best managed to perform at the optimum every day.

Talk to us today about designing and deploying a collaboration solution that is tailor-made for your business.

Download your copy of the report here: HBRAS_Final_Report_Todays_Teams.

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04 Apr

Product News – Cisco Spark Board

In late January, Cisco released their latest piece of collaboration hardware, and further built out Cisco Spark as the long-term conferencing platform, in the form of the Cisco Spark Board.

The device features heavily in plans for the reshaping of the conferencing experience within organisations. In the long-term, the Cisco Spark platform will encapsulate present instant messaging (Cisco Jabber), presence and web conferencing (WebEx) technologies.

The Cisco Spark Board has been designed as the centrepiece for collaboration within organisations, effectively replacing the whiteboard, flip-chart, projector, audio conferencing and/or video conferencing in meeting rooms around the world with a consolidated Smart device that delivers connectivity to workers within proximity or remote / work-from-home employees. On the global scale, 20 per cent of global orders for the device have already come from Australia.

It features the newest componentry available at assembly: a Smart touchscreen with 4K-Quality for video content and specially engineered microphones for acoustic optimisation. In terms of sizing, the first option, 55-inch, has already hit the market – though is highly sought-after and deliveries will be delayed due to the high demand. Meanwhile, a 70-inch version is scheduled for release later this year.

For the release of the Cisco Spark Board, we have available demo devices that can be shipped to customers for Proofs of Concept. If the Cisco Spark Board is something you’d like to trial at Head Office or elsewhere get in contact with your local Comscentre Account Manager or send the request to sales@comscentre.com and we can assist in scoping out the project.

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13 Jan

Call Connect Product Release – Inbound Call Management

We’re pleased to introduce and highlight in early 2017 one of our newest product solutions: Comscentre Call Connect.

Comscentre Call Connect is an inbound 1800 and/or 1300 number call management solution. It has been established focusing on simple and straightforward functionality while offering numerous advantages for business’ inbound enquiries. Immediate call-flow changes, a web-based management portal and extensive reporting options provide an excellent footing on which to ensure excellent customer experience for incoming calls, consistently.

The feature-rich integration encompasses:
– Easy-to-implement call-flows;
– Instant call reporting;
– Customisable, white-label management interface;
– Multi-device access;
– Technical and business support; and
– Seamless incorporation into monthly invoicing.

For more information on Comscentre Call Connect, please download the Call Connect Brochure here or talk to your Comscentre representative to hear more about the options for deployment.

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02 Nov

Cloud Managed Security Cameras

The MV family brings Meraki magic to the video security world. Impossibly simple to deploy, configure, and manage, both the MV21 and MV71 provide reliable security at any scale.

Stream local, stream remote. View customisable video walls from anywhere in the world using the Meraki dashboard in a web browser.

By utilising industrial grade, high write endurance solid state storage on each camera, the MV family has removed the NVR from the equation.

Read more on the Cisco Meraki website.

As a Cisco Meraki partner, Comscentre can provide you with this solution and supporting managed services. Contact us today.

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24 Oct

Skype for Business Users: Meet with More People Using WebEx

How often do you attend meetings that start late due to technology issues? According to Ovum, the average delay is 10 minutes and 40 seconds. When technology isn’t easy to use, it impacts productivity and can cost millions in lost time. But when everything works and everyone can join the meeting on time, you can accomplish great things.

At Cisco, we’re focused on finding ways to bring people together. That’s why we are excited that Cisco WebEx Meeting Center video conferencing works with Microsoft Skype for Business.

Read more on the Cisco blog.

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17 Oct

Get a Year of Meraki Licensing for Free!

Customers making new license purchases (3 years or more) get an extra year of licensing for free from Meraki! No matter whether you’re adding new devices to an existing Meraki network or thinking of purchasing for the first time, it’s a great time to take a look at your IT needs and see that you don’t have to compromise due to budget constraints.

See the Meraki blog for more information.

 

*This is for new license purchases only, so license renewals are not eligible for this offer. This offer is only valid between September 1, 2016 and July 29, 2017.

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