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Misconceptions hamper converged networking

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Looking at the way the Internet has evolved over the past five years and the uses consumers are finding for this vital lifeline to the outside world, it’s clear that the convergence of voice, data and video traffic on corporate networks is inevitable.
“And it’s not something we have to wait a couple more years for,” explains Marius Vermeulen, Cisco product and pre-sales manager at Tarsus Technologies.
“The technology already exists today, the case for cost-savings and more economical network operations has been proven time and again, and the technical expertise to implement these kinds of the solutions is becoming more commonplace.”
The unfortunate reality, however, is that there’s a severe lack of awareness in the market about the existence of converged voice, video and data solutions; and more importantly what these solutions can do for the business sector.
Complicating issues, Vermeulen says that where some awareness exists, there’s a distinct misconception that converged networking solutions are reserved for the heavy-hitters in the enterprise market.
“And nothing could be further from the truth.”
He says that some of the most exciting converged voice, video and data networking solutions exist in the small and medium sized business and corporate markets, and these solutions are furthermore some of the easiest and most cost-effective to implement.
“Additionally, when it comes to the percentage game, the associated cost-savings in these markets are often more significant than they are in the enterprise market.”
However, in order to have these cost-savings realised, market players need to work together to drive awareness and familiarity into the minds of users.
“And the linchpin to this is the efforts of the resellers, since they have a far more direct channel into their customers with the regular site visits, courtesy calls and other opportunities for contact. Resellers are also viewed as their customers’ trusted advisors, meaning that this kind of advice is always received with a level of credibility and respect,” Vermeulen says.
“Right now, what’s sorely lacking is buy-in from the reseller community. And with healthy margins to be made in this market space, resellers that have been experiencing difficulties making a comfortable living in the desktop and notebook market would be well advised to capitalise on this opportunity.”
Vermeulen says that in order to support resellers wanting to make the transition to the sale of converged networking solutions, Tarsus has invested in test-case equipment, a demo centre and technical resources who can assist resellers in selling these solutions to customers, as well as specifying and rolling those solutions out when the time comes.
“We realise that skills transfer is one of the most efficient ways of driving expertise into the market and to this end we’ve set a great deal of resource aside. Interested resellers should get in contact with us, as we’re eager to capitalise on this opportunity in the market as soon as possible,” Vermeulen concludes.