Employees want real-time, reliable ways of working together – often sharing data or visually working with each other as much as collaborating over the phone or using email and other written media.
At the top of the list of technology must-haves for this kind of collaboration are IP-based virtual private networks (VPNs) that use multiprotocol label switching (MPLS).
It sounds like a mouthful but MPLS IP VPNs are designed to simplify things, allowing for more flexible, scalable communications.
Currently there are still legacy networks in use but there is a strong trend towards MPLS IP VPNs. This is especially strong in medium-sized and large companies with analysts saying approaches such as site-to-site VPNs or site-to-site leased lines are around eight times more likely to be on the decrease.
Take a North American company with over 1,000 employees and sizable locations all around the world. These offices are used for sales, production or other functions such as back office admin.
Data from Forrester Research shows three main communications priorities for decision-makers at these types of company:
■ Migrating more voice traffic to VoIP (cited by 64%)
■ Implementing or expanding unified communications (UC) (57%)
■ Implementing or expanding IP videoconferencing (eg telepresence systems or on the desktop) (56%)
There are other reasons, but it’s striking that the top three on the list are focused on employee-to-employee collaboration as opposed to other factors in migrating such as WAN optimization or using third-party managed services.
While cost is also a factor and a traditional concern of telecoms managers and CIOs, the seismic shift of recent globalization – shown in those top drivers – is telling because it is closely linked to demand by employees at leading companies for the tools to do their jobs well, across time zones, without delay.
The accompanying infographic to this post draws on the Forrester research to examine the reasons for interest in MPLS IP VPNs. The infographic depicts levels of interest in MPLS IP VPNs, adoption rates, benefits and the technology that is being replaced.
Click here to read the full study.
What are your thoughts on MPLS IP VPNs? Are they set to replace traditional collaboration approaches?
Tony Hallett is a director at Collective Content (UK) and senior partner at Erbut. He has written the above guest post for the Networking Exchange Blog.