What is Network Convergence & Why it May Be a Frugal Option for Your Small Business

It is well known that successful small business owners must learn how to juggle the various demands of running a business. But these days that juggling act may extend to things like managing a mobile and geographically disparate workforce, coordinating multiple modes of communication, working with various forms of data, and doing it all in a prompt, personalized way.

 

Staying on top of all of these networks, services, and resources can create one big headache, not to mention, it can burn a pretty hefty hole in your small business budget. This is where network convergence steps in.

Defining Network Convergence

Network convergence is the integration of telephone, video and data communication within a single, seamless network. The demand for texting, surfing the Internet, VoIP, streaming media, video conferencing solutions, online gaming and e-commerce continues to increase among consumers, businesses, and other institutions. People and organizations want the ability to work from any single device at any time from anywhere, and with these demands, the technology and capability of network convergence has progressively evolved.

Today, it is possible to turn to one network provider and receive a bundle of services, often at a significantly reduced cost when compared to buying into these services separately. These services typically include some or all of the following:

  • VoIP- Voice over Internet, business telephony services including multiple phone lines, extensions, call forwarding, toll free numbers, and international calling
  • VVoIP- Video VoIP, including video collaboration and web-conferencing solutions
  • High Speed Internet Access
  • Website Hosting
  • Email Accounts
  • Support for Wireless and Mobile Networking
  • Collaboration and Productivity Tools

What Are the Benefits to Network Convergence?

There are many benefits to relying on a networking convergence solution in your small business. Here is a rundown of just some of them:

  • Integrated communications means avoiding duplicate hardware and software as well as multiple, disparate upgrades, and centralizing all networking equipment and connections.
  • Support future business growth by easily accommodating any increase or change in network usage due to new applications, users, and locations.
  • Improve collaboration among geographically separate workers and clients by having all of your collaboration tools and information in one place. This in turn can enhance decision-making and work processes as well as reduce production cycles.
  • Improve the customer experience by reducing response times and making sure that your employees can access the customer information they need when they need it in order to deliver personalized service.
  • Allow remote employees to effectively work from home or in the field with seamless integration of wireless and wireline networks.
  • Maintain a cost-effective, green network solution that allows you to conserve electricity and other resources, travel time, and physical space.

Should You Use Network Convergence in Your Small Business?

If your business relies on a high speed Internet connection, must maintain several phone lines and/or extensions, has remote workers and/or clients, and needs collaboration among geographically separated employees and/or clients, then you should definitely look into a network convergence solution. If you would like to actually crunch some numbers to see how much you could save, Allstream has this handy savings calculator that you might want to check out.

This post was brought to you by AllStream. As a self-described “all business communications provider” Allstream SIP Trunking will put all of your business’ data and voice traffic onto a single network that smoothly connects your business to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Comments

  1. Nicole Schuman says

    This is very informative! I have never heard about Network Convergence. Thanks for this post because now I know some options to save myself a lot of headache and $$$

  2. says

    I think this is going to become more and more valuable as more organizations find it beneficial to have their employees work from anywhere. For a lot of industries, there’s just no reason to have a daily physical meeting place anymore, and the money saved on office space, commute, and parking is significant.

  3. Adam Gottlieb says

    True. Businesses in general, including smaller companies, have been using social media, web conferencing, and other collaborative tools to break through many geographical and cultural borders. With so much collaboration this kind of “global business” is fast becoming the new norm.

    But, it’s not just a matter of saving money; the demand for network convergence is also being driven by a desire to get the best information and assistance from the best people, even if those people live thousands of miles away, and to accomplish this as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

  4. Scott Bodkin says

    Nice post. I’ve been working in I.T. for 15+ years and this is one of the best, most-concise explanation of convergence and how its benefits directly affects small business. Well done! I have forwarded this article to several peers.

    Thanks!

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