On one hand, enterprises today face a great challenge to be energy efficient with particular regard to the network infrastructure. Yet on the other hand, there is an established trend coming in of the need to support multi-media collaboration for an increasingly mobile workforce. Combined with the need for eco-friendly business processes, this means that enterprises require bigger, better networks to be able to support these applications, whilst retaining efficiency and maintaining a low carbon footprint.
So how can this be done?
Firstly, developing an energy efficient network – There are multiple new energy efficient switches out there in the market which are making a significant impact on reducing overall energy consumption. By using this new generation of switches within your corporate network, you could build a much more dynamic network, one that is 'tuned' to cope with your individual company's users, applications, devices and locations.
Secondly, supporting a workforce with a lower carbon footprint – The dramatic increase in the use of multiple devices and changing user habits, such as remote working, are driving the need for businesses to put in place some sort of unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) strategy – you may have the switching power to support this, but is it green?
You need to offer your employees the same user experience everywhere, regardless of whether they're based in the office, working from home or are at a remote location, so that they can achieve increased productivity and efficiency whilst still reducing each individual's carbon footprint. With the introduction of advanced UC&C technologies like visual collaboration technology, employees can be provided with high-quality, cost-effective video with advanced data-sharing and web-conferencing capabilities across the enterprise over multiple devices, eliminating the need for often costly, environmentally damaging travel.
And finally, creating eco-friendly business processes – Enterprises need to evolve business processes that in themselves encourage more eco-friendly use of this advanced UC&C technology. There are three particular areas I think where improving business processes can encourage increased sustainability:
Within the enterprise and across enterprises: Hold virtual meetings. Employees can communicate effectively from wherever they are, travel can be significantly reduced, meetings much more effective – productivity up, carbon footprint down!
In customer service: Enable customer service agents to work from any location – and so cut down on travel costs and emissions in yet another area of the company, whilst still providing customers with an equally effective service.
Build products to last: No rip and replace of existing network infrastructure to support these services. Technology must have the capacity to be upgraded with minimum disruption.