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June 2015 Vol 6 / No. 5

UC as a service saves the day when disaster strikes

No enterprise is immune to disaster. Whether it's a burst water main or a Category 1 hurricane, there are a number of scenarios that could prevent employees from coming to the office and using the applications and tools they rely on to do their jobs.

This is especially true of telephony and unified communications (UC). If users can't access their usual voice, messaging, collaboration and video conferencing tools, then productivity quickly degenerates. Call center agents can't answer the phones. Meetings are impossible. Team-oriented projects grind to a halt.

Preparing for these events with a disaster recovery and business continuity strategy is, however, often a tricky and expensive endeavor. Many organizations don't have the budget to maintain redundant UC platforms -- and network connections to them -- in various off-site locations.

That's why, as we explore in this issue of Network Evolution, some IT pros are finding UC as a service to be an attractive alternative. Most cloud services are inherently off premises and reachable from anywhere with an Internet connection. So when disaster strikes, users can start communicating and collaborating from home, a temporary office or wherever else they can access the Internet.

Also in this issue, find out how the demand for "IT generalists" is influencing networking jobs -- and whether it's still possible to simply be a network engineer. We also take a look at the intersection of network management and big data; see how some enterprises are using advanced operations analytics to turn their IT departments into profit centers.

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