Hyperconnectivity Challenges and Opportunities

Have you heard that
1. Nortel and Microsoft announced that enterprises are deploying more than 430,000 licenses for our joint Unified Communications (UC) solutions?
2. One enterprise’s HVAC system has 30,000 IP addressable points?
3. iPhones at Duke University temporarily knocked out up to 30 Cisco wireless APs?
4. A Florida hospital is rolling out a communications-enabled business process to discharge patients earlier, targeting a saving of $2M for every hour advanced from its average discharge time of 6:00 pm?

What do these four have in common? They all signal a growing megatrend through which everyone and everything that can benefit from being connected to the network will be connected. We call this Hyperconnectivity. These examples are insightful. The first (Nortel-Microsoft) stems from the first anniversary of the Innovative Communications Alliance and is an industry proof point that the telecom and IT industries are indeed converging. Firstly, telephony (traditionally a vertical hardware-centric solution) is becoming a software application; secondly this application is becoming an element of a broader UC application; and thirdly UC is not just about unifying the user experience but also unifying the UC infrastructure around software. The second (networked HVAC) is just one data point. There is an explosion in network-connected devices - for example, in the realms of energy and property management, asset and location tracking, telemetry and enhanced security systems. This is enabled by low-cost sensors and actuators that can detect over 100 different physical parameters, including temperature, radiation levels, door closures, visual and audio signals and location - and that can cost-effectively transmit this information. The third (iPhone) conveys an important principle. The sheer number of devices on the network and the capabilities of these devices will complicate life for network IT professionals. The network has to be reliable and secure and not rely on well behaved devices. Scaling the network by a factor of 10 to 100 can’t be achieved within current budgets without fundamentally streamlining current networking environments. Hyperconnectivity demands simplification. The fourth illustrates in dollars and cents terms that the human delay inherent in many business processes can be streamlined through communications-enabled applications. This is all about accelerating communications to gain competitive advantage. So let’s have some fun with this blog, learn from each other and explore the challenges and opportunities of Hyperconnectivity. What do you think?
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