Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ve probably heard the term ‘intelligent edge.’ In our last blog post, we talked about how Software-defined networking and SD-WAN fit into the edge conversation. In a nutshell, the intelligent edge includes processes where data is analyzed and aggregated on actual devices. This approach is contrary to conventional networking technologies that send information across the network for processing in a data center or cloud infrastructure. The intelligent edge is a major breakthrough because it collects data right at the source and generates insights. Then, it sends processed data to the cloud. These capabilities are especially important with advancements in Artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics, IoT devices, augmented reality, real-time online collaboration tools, Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), and much more.
Intelligent edge powers the modern workplace
The intelligent edge is central to building modern workplaces where employees can stay connected and productive with each other and with the applications they need most. Want some proof? Here are some examples of how an intelligent edge infrastructure, supported by SD-WAN and agile networks are supporting digital transformation across the enterprise.
- Creating a more adaptive network for always-on communication – Companies need an adaptive and responsive network architecture to better support unified communication and online collaboration platforms. These include applications that improve productivity and streamline communication between dispersed teams working at home, in branch offices, or other remote locations. The intelligent edge makes seamless communication possible by efficiently collecting and analyzing data in real-time. Edge computing also delivers faster and improved integration between connected devices and systems. An example might include syncing databases between a cloud contact center and CRM system. By eliminating service interruptions during the transfer of data, edge computing helps teams access the information they need quickly, to make more informed decisions.
- Streamlining network operations – By relying on SD-WAN and other intelligent edge technologies, companies can reduce the need to make costly network upgrades or to continuously add more and more bandwidth to keep pace. Instead of a traditional enterprise network that routes all data and traffic types across the WAN and to the data center, edge technologies route data in the most efficient way possible. The intelligent edge pairs well with unified communication, online collaboration, IoT, and applications that leverage advanced analytics because it captures and analyzes data at the source, instead of sending all raw data across the network. These capabilities will become more and more critical for streamlining network operations, freeing up bandwidth, and reducing network complexity.
- Centralizing control and improving network visibility – Leveraging intelligent edge technologies like SD-WAN gives teams real-time visibility into systems and applications connected across an organization. Improved network visibility also enables network teams to prioritize business-critical applications like UCaaS to maintain Quality of Service (QoS) and improve the users’ experience when using real-time applications. This is critical for ensuring reliable access to Software-as-a-Service apps like Office 365 or Salesforce, or for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms like AWS or Google Cloud.
- Enabling ‘smart’ conference rooms – In addition to serving as a framework for running UC systems, an intelligent edge can also support ‘smart’ conference rooms. An intelligent edge infrastructure can efficiently run connected devices like high-tech video conferencing equipment for Huddle rooms, including audio, HD video, and display systems. An agile software-defined network infrastructure lets teams have highly-productive meetings with teams across the office or globe all with HD-quality audio and video – all to enhance collaboration and innovation.
- Connecting other IoT devices – IoT has the potential to transform organizations, enrich customer experiences, and drive significant productivity gains. However, it takes a robust and secure network to make this possible and handle real-time data transmissions. The intelligent edge meets these needs by routing traffic to its required destination, identifying the fastest and most efficient routes possible. As a result, the intelligent edge reduces latency, lower network costs, and minimizes security risks – all required for Io
Whichever way you slice it, there’s an ever-increasing amount of data that’s traveling across enterprise networks. Intelligent edge technologies are making it possible to more efficiently analyze and route traffic in real-time. In doing so, the edge is supporting new UCaaS, IoT, and other business-critical applications and allowing companies to apply machine learning, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and more. If you want to learn how the intelligent edge can transform voice services and online collaboration, talk to Telapprise. We can help you decipher hype from reality and make moves now to strengthen employee engagement and streamline network operations. With the intelligent edge as your foundation, the sky’s the limit!