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How can IT and Communications Managers better manage their network?

Data#3 is a leader in delivering complex integrated solutions that are uniquely equipped to provide strategic guidance to customers in aligning technology means to business outcomes. We speak with our expert  John Tan about how IT and Communication Managers can better manage their network. If you are interested in a network review service that documents the network infrastructure and evaluates the health of your network against your business requirements, click here.

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Q: Obviously, in most organisations the ability to manage sometimes very complicated voice and data networks is critical to being able to do business every day.

JT: You are absolutely right. In today’s knowledge economy, the corporate network – both inside the organisation, and where it connects to outside the outside world is critical to business communication.

Q: So if the network is so critical, why do we hear about organisations that struggle with maintaining the links that keep their business going?

John-TanJT: There are a number of factors that could contribute to that situation, far too many to discuss here. That being said there is one key issue that if controlled will have a significant impact on any organisations network.

Have you ever heard the famous quote “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”?

If you can’t measure the current state of your network, you are really on the back foot from day one. You don’t have the visibility, nor the information necessary to make informed decisions about what is one of your businesses most critical pieces of infrastructure.

Q: So why is it so hard to paint an accurate picture of your network?

JT: Simple; networks have organically grown from what was a manageable handful of devices, to vast arrays of hundreds, thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of devices. Unless you have been on top of documentation from the very beginning, chances are there are pieces of hardware out there that you don’t know about… pieces of hardware you can’t manage.

Q: So what is the solution to this network visibility issue?

JT: Cisco have recently partnered with Data#3 to deliver a service called “Know the Network” (KTN). The KTN service can assist your organisation to understand exactly what network devices exist, and most importantly, if or how they are currently covered.

By having this information, you are able to make informed decisions about refreshing end of life hardware, enhancing your strategy for network evolution, and ultimately take significant steps towards reducing the risk of interruption to your critical business networks.

Q: So what is involved with a “Know the Network” engagement?

JT: The service is obligation free and collaboratively delivered by Data#3 and Cisco. A Data#3 engineer provides the service and will consult with you on the findings in conjunction with a local maintenance account manager. At the end of the engagement you can expect an Inventory Report deliverable which provides detail as to your current service coverage, uncovered equipment, and end of life equipment.

And from personal experience previously being an IT manager, I appreciate that this information and your resulting ability to have the network covered by a comprehensive maintenance solution is the best way of mitigating the risk of network downtime.

To learn more about Cisco’s Know the Network Solution, and how Data#3 can help you better control your network, Contact your Data#3 Account Manager.

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