A boom being heard around the world – again
The first “boom” was well over 60 years ago when returning WWII servicemen started their families and had lots of babies. Well, it is happening again. Today’s boom is from “baby” companies who are creating new trends. These small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the future of digital business – and the world is trying to adapt to it. This creative segment is driving the older generation to question their current approach, and in return, make something original and fresh.
In 2019, more than 50% of SMBs will have millennials in senior management positions. The young and inquisitive are now mature and mighty. Along with their growth, technology is still evolving and responding to business issues that have not been solved yet. According to IDC FutureScape, SMB IT spending will increase by 3.9% in 2017 and 60% will have adopted at least one IoT solution.
According to Daniel Ferrero, Business Developer in Network solutions for SMBs at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, “It’s difficult for SMBs to choose the right network solution for their growing business. Here at ALE, we’ve worked hard to make it easier, and more afforsable, for a small business to benefit from the latest network technologies”.
Budget and expertise constraints removed
While most SMBs have youthful energy and willingness to invest their time to make their business grow, they often lack the financial resources that a larger business might have access to. An ideal network solution is one that is not only affordable, but provides automated deployment. This frees up and requires fewer IT staff. It also removes a lot of the hardware and software training required. In a perfect world, a wireless and local area network could be deployed and configured automatically with zero touch software updates.
Web GUI should simplify your life
If you’ve ever tried to configure your home wireless network you probably appreciate the challenge of doing it with a web application that seems to work only when it wants to. And, if you’ve ever tried to configure a business wireless network, you are the first to appreciate a well thought out graphical user interface (GUI) that takes your input for the first access point (AP) and then configures the remaining APs based off your initial input. And, ideally it would do it in a secure manner to ensure access to only those who should have access.
One network, one vendor
Unifying your network is something to consider. A single vendor for converged and lab tested wired and wireless user experience, voice PBX and cloud collaboration allows for more efficient vendor support throughout deployment and after sale support. A one-stop-shop solution will help cut your costs and save time.
Green savings comes in many forms
Most of the world has recognized that many traditional power sources create pollution and are becoming a limited resource, increasing costs to users in both a financial and health nature. Networks use a great deal of power making them ideal candidates for research into how to lessen their demand. Plus, it’s not just the cost of running the equipment but the cooling equipment required to keep them and their environment at an operating temperature. A “green” vendor is one that follows energy efficient Ethernet standards. Their equipment should reduce power consumption during low data activity and have a way to automatically idle the power on ports that are inactive on a device.
You can also do your part by working with a vendor who recycles e-waste and returning your old products to them. As much as one million tons of electronic equipment becomes obsolete each year generating one million tons of waste. Most of the components of e-waste are electronic equipment that can be re-used and recycled for material recovery.
Mobility on the same wavelength than security
Just like large corporations, SMBs need information security and security resources. Unfortunately, most cannot afford extensive teams for cyber security. Look for a vendor that offers network security through its network management system. You want mechanisms that control and authorize devices attached to the LAN (via the MAC address), meaning no stranger can easily access your wired or wireless network. You should also have the choice of your own or being assigned an ID and password or other authenticating information that allows you access to information and programs within your authority.
SMBs also need to consider access control security mechanisms. This involves the authorization of access to the data in a network, controlled by the network treasurer.
Not everyone works in the office
Mobility is a must nowadays. You probably have a smartphone, a laptop or even a tablet, and you need to be able to connect your devices while at work. BYOD is continuing to grow as well with 95% of employees stating they use at least one personal device for work.
Universal network profile (UNP) allows dynamic association of a user with a network regardless of location, thus, there is no IT action or support needed. Ideally, this is an automated process that binds users and devices to a UNP, saying this is user or device “X” assigned to profile “Y” that is already set up. Flexibility is possible with the right network infrastructure.
So, where does an SMB turn for such a network?
Alcatel- Lucent Enterprise (ALE) has completely thought out what the needs of SMBs are and how to best address them. Today, SMBs have more options than ever for their digital transformation. Whether it is a new business model solution based on-site or in the cloud, or some combination – ALE has an affordable solution that minimizes IT requirements, saving a “baby” business headaches, money and time.