HP Says Less Complexity Will Drive Unified Communications

Announced at this week’s Enterprise Connect in Orlando, HP’s new open standards-based multiservice router solutions include what it calls the industry’s first complete MSR Survivable Branch Communications Module and the MSR Open Architecture Platform with VMware vSphere Series. The offerings, including tighter integration with Microsoft Lync, and United Communications as a Service (UCaaS) are intended to address the growing complexity of enterprises adopting new communication tools like voice, video, instant messaging and shared desktop capabilities for distributed workforces, said Rob Owyang, Director, Solutions Marketing, HP Networking.

“Technology is inherently complex… and certainly that’s true with unified communications.” While vendors and service providers tried to make things simpler with the likes of the Internet and instant messaging, things actually got more complicated, he said. “It’s not only complicated on the users side, but also on the IT management side.”

Owyang said in addition to complexity, the challenges facing enterprise Unified Communications include: inconsistent tools, user experience and lack of control; IT silos, network interdependency and integration; and constraints with time, UC expertise, and budgets. HP’s new solutions will help streamline and simplify communications through interoperability with Microsoft and cloud-based platforms, enabling organizations to improve productivity, reduce cost and complexity, he said.

Simplification is an integral part of HP Network’s game plan, said Bethany Mayer, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Hewlett-Packard Networking Group, in a recent analysts briefing. “Our value proposition is actually quite unique in the industry, but it’s very, very compelling to CIOs, and that is really around simplification of their network. The network has been for many, many years, a very complex infrastructure, very fragile, very difficult to manage and change, and as a result, many CIOs have really struggled with making changes to respond to their business using the network. And so our focus within HP Networking and everything we do is focused around simplification of that networking, architecture, the infrastructure, and the operating activities that go on with that network.”

According to Mayer, HPN is one of the fastest growing business units with inside HP, doing roughly $2.5 billion of annual sales. It has actually has grown year-over-year for 13 consecutive quarters.

Last month at its Global Partner Conference, HP unveiled a barrage of  network and storage products and services under its ‘Converged Infrastructure’ umbrella. The company stated it had already delivered more than 8 million virtual connect ports, issued more than 7 million HP Insight Management licenses, shipped more than 40 petabytes of bladed storage and 50 million switch ports, and grown to nearly 900 HP CloudSystem customers, and has led the industry in blade server revenue and shipments for 24 consecutive quarters.

In a blog from last week, Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, wrote that while it will take a long time to live down the debacle of the last few years, they are doing really, really smart things. “So, does that mean they are out of the woods? Hell no, but Mr. Donatelli’s enterprise group is lock step on message, delivering product, and continues to move in the right direction.”

The MSR SBM, with Microsoft Lync Survivable Branch software preinstalled into the MSR30 and MSR50 Series routers, creates a single, highly modular system for real-time communication, even when a wide area network or corporate network is unavailable, said HP. The company is in the process of qualification with the Microsoft Lync Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP) to ensure that the routers can make and send calls over the public switch telephone network.

The MSR OAP with VMware vSphere Series integrates third-party applications on MSR30 and MSR50 Series routers, allowing virtualized services to be delivered on one platform, eliminating the need to purchase additional hardware. The first HP AllianceONE application supported on HP MSR OAP is the Riverbed WAN optimization solution, which increases application performance by up to 50 times, providing fast and reliable access to cloud services.

The company has also enhanced its 4120 IP phones that provide easy access to Lync and cloud-based, hosted by HP private cloud for connectivity anytime, anywhere without the need for on-premise infrastructure. In addition to the products, HP is also offering a variety of new service offerings, including the Mobility Transformation Experience Workshop. The HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Unified Communications is a unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) offering that combines HP Enterprise Services’ deployment experience and ability to deploy Microsoft Lync in a high-availability architecture with centralized 24/7 monitoring of communication quality and performance.

Availability: MSR SBM, Lync-qualified voice gateways, and IP phones with support for Microsoft Office 365 are expected this summer. The MSR OAP with VMware vSphere Series is available now in module form factors (multi-function interface module (MIM) and flexible Interface card), as are the services.

 

Author: Steve Wexler

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