Traditional tools aren’t effective for managing the mobile enterprise

Burgeoning growth in the use of mobile devices is surely among the most significant trends impacting enterprise communications. Much of this growth is uncontrolled, as droves of employees increasingly make use of their personal mobile devices over company networks, as they’re accustomed to doing at home.

How can you get a handle on what your mobile users are up to, let alone make the best business use of the enormous potential that mobility presents? For starters, you absolutely need to understand and manage the performance impact of mobile devices on your network infrastructure.

If you don’t, all your business-critical, IP-based communications services – including VoIP and video conferencing – are at risk. As you know, pretty much all of today’s IP-based applications totally depend on acceptable network performance. More mobile devices mean less network capacity for other services. The greater the volume of mobile traffic converging on your network alongside everything else, the greater the chances of service quality problems like dropped calls, disrupted videoconferences and frozen virtual desktops.

To manage mobile communications effectively, you need to know how much of your network bandwidth is being utilized by mobile devices at all times, and how your network is performing as a result – both at the home office and at remote sites. This entails:

  • Visibility into what applications (mobile and otherwise) arerunning on the network
  • Insight into the real-time, local experience of users consuming your IP-based Unified Communications services
  • The ability to notify network administrators in real-time about network performance degradation and spikes in bandwidth utilization

Traditional network management solutions aren’t designed to measure the quality of network-dependent, IP-based services from the viewpoint of your distributed users. They also aren’t very good at pinpointing the cause of traffic-induced performance degradation.

So-called “netflow analysis” tools and services are helpful, but are notoriously expensive and require heavy-duty network hardware. An affordable, cloud-based solution that delivers instant value through actionable insight into the impact of mobility on your network is the way forward.

Jim Melvin is currently the President & Chief Executive Officer at AppNeta. Prior to AppNeta, Jim was the vice president of marketing and security solutions at RSA, The Security Division of EMC. In this role, he was responsible for corporate, field, solutions, channel, and partner marketing; corporate and marketing communications; interactive and web programs; press and industry analyst relations; and RSA Conference events worldwide. Jim has been awarded three US patents in fault tolerant systems design. He holds a B.S. in computer engineering and an M.S. in management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and sits on the board of directors at Fortisphere, and Cape Cod Beer.