Every business is looking for more efficient ways to conduct business, and is seeking the greatest opportunities for doing so without sacrificing their ability to operate in a competitive environment. That is why the communications industry has been at the heart of cost savings initiatives even before the current economic recession hit. Businesses worldwide are looking to leverage the latest communications technologies to help drive down operational costs.
To the benefit of the communications market, that has led to a level of growth that sets it apart from most industries, because, in order to gain the benefits of VoIP
, unified communications, telepresence, mobility, and other capabilities made possible in a next generation communications environment, they have to invest, at least minimally, in their infrastructures.
But even then, there are ways for enterprises to seek out differentiated alternatives that add even more to their cost saving initiatives - specifically, Green IT. Investing in energy efficient hardware to replace legacy products not only brings the features and flexibility of IP-based communications, but further helps cut recurring costs through improved efficiency, reducing power and cooling requirements. Furthermore, Green technology
helps support environmental awareness programs globally.
This has resulted in enterprises seeking out suppliers who have incorporated energy efficiency and environmental impact into their product design. It also plays neatly into the growing movement towards becoming a more dynamic enterprise
, where the infrastructure, its users, resources, and processes are all converging to improve operational efficiencies. To realize the transformation to a more dynamic, more operationally efficient enterprise, businesses must reflect those same values in their infrastructures, which support their entire operations.
Indeed, studies suggest that more than 50 percent of businesses consider environmental factors when making investment decisions, and almost 8 out of 10 executives claim the role of Green IT is increasing in their organizations.
As business continue to migrate to IP infrastructures
, consideration for power and cooling requirements becomes increasingly important, since IP phones and other infrastructure components - like Ethernet switches, PoE switches, and servers - are "on" day and night, drawing power, emitting heat, and increasing cooling requirements.
Certainly, these hardware components are required for an enterprise to function, but all of these infrastructure components can be selected to optimize power and cooling in the enterprise. For instance, using PoE capable devices helps eliminate additional backup power sources, which themselves draw power and emit heat. Appropriately sizing server hardware and adopting virtualization technologies also helps reduce physical infrastructure requirements, with multiple systems running on the same hardware, again reducing power and heat.
So, as enterprises consider their communications technology
investments, it is clear that Green IT and eco-sustainability are becoming increasingly vital, not only for environmental awareness, but for lowering operational costs, as well as additional capital expenses related to power and cooling resources.
To help enterprises achieve their Green IT goals, Alcatel-Lucent builds and develops its communications equipment in support of and in compliance with a number of environmental initiatives, including RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), and electrical emissions, as well as the IEEE's goals towards shaping a more energy efficient communications environment.
In fact, Alcatel-Lucent, using an energy efficiency calculator developed in conjunction with Frost & Sullivan, undertook a comparison between its enterprise switching and telephony equipment and those of its competitors. The result: for an enterprise network with 6,000 1Gb access ports and 3,000 IP phones in a 10Gb backbone configuration, Alcatel-Lucent equipment can save businesses more and 1,000 megawatt hours and more than $150,000 over a five-year period.
The message is simple, as enterprises look to become more dynamic in their overall operational capabilities, they must first invest in infrastructure that embodies those same values. Green IT is become an important differentiating feature among technology vendors, and enterprises looking to become more flexible and environmentally aware are looking for that differentiator.