There are still many organisations where there are separate networks for different functions. Data, telephony, storage, process control are often distinct networks, based on specialised technologies and with their own management regimes. Obviously, all the extra cables, connections imply extra costs, but It is the additional costs of training and systems administration that weigh heaviest on the budget.

Efficiency and Effectiveness
It is evident that costs can be reduced by reducing the number of networks. Moreover, today’s company network needs to be accessible from anywhere and at any time. Not just in the office during normal working hours, but also from home on a Saturday evening, on the road on Tuesday afternoon or in the train on Wednesday morning. Our “work style” is changing and we are becoming more flexible. This style of working can be better supported by a single integrated network.

Everything over IP
The arrival of the IP protocol has led to improved capacity and functionality in our data networks. IP operates well over many different types of infrastructure; in wired environments over copper or fibre or in wireless environments over WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G/4G/5G, EDGE and GPRS. Moreover, IP is also a very suitable carrier for most applications.

IP means that only one network is required. This so called “Convergent IP Network” has many benefits: lower management costs but a higher service level and improved functionality. As they now share the same network, integration between previously separated applications is now far simpler.

New challenges
The foundation for the convergent IP network is the old, tried and tested data network which the ICT department has provided for many years. There are, however, now new applications which may have more stringent requirements. A few milliseconds delay in retrieving a web pages is not noticeable, but during a telephone conversation this is extremely irritating. These new applications mean a new dimension for designing, implementing and managing networks.

The Exapent approach
Each company is unique and has its own set of requirements. Exapent’s role is to identify these requirements and provide a well considered set of alternatives. Exapent is critical towards partners and suppliers, and also towards customers. Exapent will continue to ask questions until all the required information is available, and will not propose a solution until the benefits are proven.

Professional Solutions
The results of our work are a professional, well reasoned solution: extra functionality where it is needed, but affordable and no overkill. Exapent delivers total solutions as a project with additional services for maintenance, support and systems management for an optimal operation.