Saturday, March 17, 2007

Teleworker Guide - Management

To close the series on Teleworking, I will talk about Management. How do you manage all the systems involved on a Teleworker solution?... we have VPN's, NAC, Wireless, IP Telephony, and Unified Communications.... lots of systems. And as you probably know already, the more global the company is, and the more of this systems are in place, the greater the need for a centralized and intuitive management solution.

You need to take into account that in reality you are to manage a suite of products. For example, for the IP telephony piece, you manage your Communications Manage, dial plans, Voice-Mail storage and servers, and also end-points (e.g. physical IP Phones and Soft-phones). Also, for your wireless solution you must manage your SSID provisioning and centralized deployment, and also the end points (e.g. Access Points). You must understand the size of the monster that it could become. Although, you should not be scared of deploying it! Teleworker can be (and should be!) deployed phased out. Say for example, first the VPN and NAC must be rolled out to the users, and once the system is stable and manageable Wireless and IPT can be installed.

Although, it is important to understand that as things get messy and complex, cost of operation and maintenance goes up. Therefore, the big benefit of a centralized management system in place is to contain that cost from offsetting all the benefits that you get from the Teleworker solution. In summary, if you want any of the following, you should get a centralized management solution:

  • Lower and Contained operational cost - as the system gets larger, it gets more costly to manage
  • Free-up some personnel - IT Department may spend more time in other tasks
  • Reduction of business down-time - Greater optimization and design due to appropriate design practices reduces potential problems that lead to business down-time

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