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PRESS RELEASE
By 24 October 2013 | Categories: Press Release

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The mere thought of a messaging platform migration has sent many operational managers and IT administrators running for the hills. Messaging is the lifeblood of the organisation and in the past; it impacted every corner of the business and was a highly risky and challenging initiative to ensure everyday business operations were unaffected.

This notion has changed somewhat. With the advent of cloud computing and the regular version refresh cycles for vendors like Microsoft that embrace new collaboration methods and cloudbased options, it is gathering a new momentum due to a unique combination of business and technology drivers.

In fact, organisations that run leading platforms like Microsoft’s flagship solution, Exchange, should no longer see migrations As a once-off event, but rather as a continuous process that is aligned with commercial, organisational and technology business needs.

Cloud and hybrid deployments are also driving the need for a shift in how migrations are performed, perceived and managed by organisations which are rethinking how email should be actualised in a public or private cloud. However, it is often only when the process is in motion that they realise that the most efficient or cost-effective deployment model could be a ‘hybrid’ cloud deployment.

Hybrid deployments enable organisations to optimise where they host their user mailboxes. Often large numbers of users are external or remote ‘desk-less’ resources and their mailboxes are more suitable for a cloud environment, whilst other users are best to be hosted on site. The key to a successful email migration is to manage it as a transformation cycle, applying best practice methodologies and proven technology, combined with a knowledgeable practised advisor.

Today, businesses must adopt an approach to email migration that will provide a repeatable formula for success via a single investment rather than viewing the process as a once-off event.

Binary Tree, distributors of global messaging platform migration solutions with experience spanning 20 years, is exclusively distributed in South Africa by SoarSoft Africa. The company has adopted Binary Tree’s revolutionary SMART migration methodology which combines technology and guidance with the right formula for successfully managing the Microsoft Exchange transformation life cycle.

The SMART approach dictates the use of superior, proven technologies and partners to ensure that the migration is started with proper discussion and planning. This is followed by messaging, the most basic and critical component of an organisations’ infrastructure and together with a trusted advisor, companies are able to select the most suited platform and benchmarks for what constitutes a successful migration.

Therein lies the rub. There must be a thorough analysis of the messaging infrastructure to establish what is the most important to the business. This comprehensive collection will illustrate the complex and unique nature of the messaging environment, consisting of users, servers, policies, workflow and content.

The most important phase of Binary Tree's SMART methodology is deciding on what to migrate where, when and how. This rationalisation comes from mapping the results of the comprehensive analysis of the business requirements and promotes the optimisation of the migration process.

By employing the SMART methodology, businesses are automatically transforming the way they approach future migrations. As messaging platforms continue to evolve and the technologies supporting them continue to shift, it will become more advantageous for companies to adopt the ability to continuously transform their infrastructures.

Maintaining a competitive edge is at the centre of what makes companies leaders, and innovation is traditionally what drives the evolution of messaging platforms to deliver the capabilities that keep users happy, productive and mobile.

In closing, many view Exchange and other messaging platforms as a commodity that operate on their own with limited administration and do not need special attention, but this is not the case. The ultimate key to success of an ongoing Messaging administration, transformation and evolution is a combination of complementary methodology and technology which enables an organisation to collect, analyse, rationalise and execute. This incorporates the collection of information that must be based on well-defined technical, organisational and financial rules to ensure that the execution is precise, and importantly a success.

Today, businesses must adopt an approach to email migration that will provide a repeatable formula for success via a single investment rather than viewing the process as a once-off event.

Being a part of a wireless world has made life a lot simpler. Our mobile lifestyle is now supported by a variety of personal connection options and public Wifi solutions making the process of getting online almost effortless.

That said, it has, traditionally, been a less than satisfying experience connecting to a WiFi network due to restrictive speeds which confined one to very basic browsing and mail downloads. This is perfect for simple communication purposes but for those looking to access business applications on the cloud, make full use of video conferencing and indulge in media rich content, among others, the situation was less than ideal. There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel. The imminent roll out of the latest standard and fifth generation in WiFi protocols, the 802.11ac which promises to deliver speeds on wireless LAN sites of up to three times faster than the previous 802.11n standard. This, in theory, will make high-definition video streaming at 500 Mbps possible.

From an almost zero base in South Africa, demand for wireless bandwidth is increasing. More users today use wireless access as their primary source of connectivity, accessing bandwidth hungry services such as iCloud, video conferencing and radio-streaming sites. Coupled to that, with the burgeoning smartphone and tablet market, there are more wireless devices than ever before. Users sometimes have two or three devices, which has created a great demand for new Wi-Fi design considerations.

According to Martin Ferreira, executive head of Technology and Operations at Jasco Carrier, South Africa follows the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recommendations as outlined by Europe, and the local market can expect the 802.11ac standard to be legal at the same time as when the standard is ratified.

“The 802.11ac project was approved in Septtember 2008,’’ says Ferreira. ‘’The Draft 2.1 is currently available, and the final third version is expected to go out for ballot shortly. Final ratification of the standard is expected in the latter part of 2013. However, the Wi-Fi Alliance is aiming to have the certification process in place in Q1 of 2013.” However, Ferreira says 802.11ac won’t deliver the enhanced speeds and performance if organisations are still using older technologies that are not Gigabit enabled. “Companies must have a strategy in place to migrate to the new standard. The reality is that the standard does offer the benefits of unprecedented speeds, but there are a few considerations that organisations need to address before upgrading to this latest WiFi development.”

Ferreira explains that these super-fast speeds may not be experienced by the ordinary end-user in a company. “In order to hardness the performance benefits of the 802.11ac standard, end-user equipment, such as PCs and notebooks must be 802.11ac ready.”

802.11ac network equipment will have limited backward compatibility and as many end-user devices still operate at the 802.11n standard, lower speeds and performance will be experienced. ‘’Organisations will have to exclude slower modes, such as 802.11b and g, by not allowing these devices on the network. However, operational requirements will have to take president in order to implement this strategy. If correctly implemented, 802.11n device should get throughput close to the maximum of the device capability.”

There are a number of benefits which the 802.11ac environment offers but, notable, it is less prone to interferences from appliances, such as microwave ovens, electric fence energisers and remote control devices to name a few. Better modulation techniques have also been implemented with the 5GHz standard.

When putting your strategy to migrate to 802.11ac in place, Ferreira says that there are a number of steps that need to be taken. “This entails identifying the roadmap by an infrastructure provider, as well as allocating a budget for the switching infrastructure and LAN cables, followed by a phased approach to implement the standard. We will definitely start seeing improved automation in factories, to include real time monitoring. What's exciting are the efficiencies and productivity that will reach the end-user, as well as the enterprise. It paves the way for more intelligent Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as IPenabled fridges, televisions and other appliances”. TSB

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