commentary If one could sum up current enterprise telecommunications trends in one word, that word would be "convergence". A whole generation of communications managers are fully aware that their voice and data networks are likely to become one and the same in the next few years.
commentary If one could sum up current enterprise telecommunications trends in one word, that word would be "convergence".
A whole generation of communications managers are fully aware
that their voice and data networks are likely to become one and
the same in the next few years.
The wave of construction of networks based on the Internet
Protocol (IP) is one indication of this inevitability.
Just this week, Gloria Jean's said it would connect its 340
cafes down under with its head office and data centre via an
IP-based virtual private network.
And property group Investa revealed a move to IP telephony in
its new Sydney HQ.
Another signpost on the convergence road is the the amount of
interest shown in networking vendor Cisco's VoiceComm converged
comms forums just last week.
The conferences held in Melbourne and Sydney were attended by
250 and 300 people respectively, solid numbers which a Cisco
spokesperson described as not surprising, but certainly
The giant vendor has recently sold its 400,000th IP phone down
under -- double the total this time last year.
Your writer reflected on this trend over coffee with Dimension
Data's Australian chief executive Steve Nola yesterday
DiData provides ICT services (especially networking) to
enterprise clients, working right at the coalface of the nation's
According to Nola, while convergence may have been hyped a few
years back, it's finally hit the big time down under. And the CEO
should know -- his staff are the ones actually linking voice and
data networks together in the field.
Nola's view is that convergence is breeding a new brand of
communications manager with skills in both voice and data. CEOs
and other top level managers are increasingly looking to the same
person for these same skillsets, he said.
Nola's opinion rings true -- after all why maintain separate
personnel for functions that are increasingly becoming one?
However they also raise the question of training. Voice and
data hardware has traditionally been worlds apart.
It's not likely traditional telephony experts are comfortable
with logging into a router and configuring Cisco's IOS operating
system. On the other hand, data gurus are probably loath to get
their hands dirty configuring a PABX.
For this fully "converged" communications manager to step up
to the plate it's likely some beefing up of skills will have to
What's your opinion? Is convergence taking place in
your workplace and what effects is it having? Drop us a line at