How can your infrastructure support changing UC mobility needs?

How can you make sure your UC infrastructure can keep up with mobile device software and hardware updates? Expert Carrie Higbie explains how to prepare your network for ever-changing UC mobility needs.

There are a few things to consider when supporting mobile devices in a unified communications infrastructure. The first is whether or not your users are actually updating their phones and the second is whether your infrastructure will support those updates. The nice thing is, in general, updates fix problems rather than create them. For minor releases, there generally isn't an issue. Major releases may require some testing on your network. And generally it is a good idea to have a policy instructing end users not to update until they receive confirmation from IT. Depending on the device's operating system this policy may not be necessary.

For your UC services, most software vendors work to assure their packages are backwards compatible with previous releases and are tested for major new releases from the most common operating systems (OS) on mobile devices. If a vendor's service cause problems, people simply aren't going to buy them and won't stay with them. I would think you have a higher risk of third-party applications causing issues.

Laptop versions of UC smartphones should also work well between new OS releases. Vendors generally do a great job of pretesting in their test and development labs to assure there won't be an issue. If there is a problem, you can be certain there will be an upgrade or patch released to deal with it. In short, the vendors should take good care of you and your devices with very little effort on your part. Pay your maintenance fees and make sure you are operating on the recommended configurations and your life will be much easier.

Where you might run into problems is bandwidth constraints due to the increasing number of mobile devices that use networks to communicate. New wireless standards like 802.11ac are going to be a great help. Even though there will be some upgrades to in-ceiling cabling, the newer antennas boast a significant increase in Wi-Fi capability and bandwidth. If you are evaluating wireless increases to handle bandwidth issues, look for those that are already 802.11ac enabled. The boost in speed will be a great asset to your overall UC plan.

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