The Edge is arguably the biggest disruptor in the industry since the frame relay changed the way we approached dial telephony. The Edge network is making continuous innovation possible in areas such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT). All these interactions are transforming at an unprecedented rate. The network looks at the bigger picture, focusing on how the end user consumes the cloud. The very fabric of the network itself is becoming a source of intelligence, rather than just a transportation layer.  

The branch has evolved beyond the traditional ‘four walls’ environments, and COVID-19 has accelerated that evolution, providing the ultimate test for remote-working technologies. Organisations have clamoured to deploy tools to better enable their displaced workforce, highlighting the absolute need for Edge computing. The Edge is bridging the gap between the server and the user, minimising latency and, more importantly, in an uncertain economy, allowing for cost savings through local data processing. 

Riding the data wave 

The Edge is driving the tech industry towards data-driven networks, where that data not only becomes relevant but integral to day-to-day life. We are already seeing organisations installing technologies that serve a purpose for cross-promotional activities.   

If we think of any sports stadium as an example, an event attendee may download the venue's app to gain access to free wi-fi and special offers. In the back end, the reality is the app is tracking that person’s movements within the stadium itself. The data collected can track anything from how long they spent in the stadium shop, to how long it took them to get served a drink. This data can then be used to determine staff requirements and to improve customer experience and targeted advertising.

The vision for the Edge should not focus solely on the network. SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area network) supports the Edge as a data-gathering tool. Increased productivity is often discussed synonymously with SD-WAN, but the value in the analytics itself tends to be overlooked.  

The real intelligent workplace 

Analysis of time spent in any location — at a desk, on a call, or in a meeting room — could help personalise employee experience, as well as identify areas of concern. The discourse around the intelligent workplace increasingly determines that your customer experience is directly influenced by that of your employees. High-performing applications increase productivity and user satisfaction, driving up your bottom line.  

The dispersed network has been undervalued and underfunded for many years, and there has been a disparate experience between branches and head office. Indeed, recent global events forced companies to navigate their uprooted employees without having the time to put the infrastructure and tools in place to adequately support them. IT departments soon discovered they did not have insight into the user experience of business applications for its employee’s home networks.  

Performance and usage patterns could not be adequately monitored, and it was difficult, if not impossible, to fix network issues remotely.   

Branch Connect fixes that immediate problem, securely standardising and stabilising across all branches straight out of the box. By providing full visibility of what is happening across the network, Branch Connect proactively responds to real-time issues and operations are seamless. A one-to-one relationship between the user and the cloud application is the building block to creating a consistent experience by standardising interaction.  

Datacom’s expertise delivers a clear, designed environment that works straight away. It enables senior executives to make informed data-driven decisions expeditiously. It is a doorway to a conversation about how Edge services can be consumed in the future, and how the possibilities from analytics can be realised.  

So, the question must be, “How do I make data-driven decisions faster?”  

The answer: Datacom Branch Connect.  

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