Managing Convergence

The final, uncharted waters for applications will focus on management and administration. Clearly, the opportunity exists to streamline multiple platforms and organizations into a single entity that can manage the entire enterprise network: voice, data, video, and collaboration. The question is how to deploy new management techniques and processes that take advantage of a single network.

We can expect to see new applications, or applets, at the desktop level to enable companies to self-manage and monitor devices/clients on the network, regardless of their use. Voice devices (phones) will be managed by the same platform that can handle data devices (PCs). New applications will focus on being more proactive in identifying potential problems, and alerting the right people—both within the organization and potentially within that company's support partner organization.

Chapter 7, "Watch That First Step," explained the need to assess the network environment prior to deploying IP telephony. It follows that it also makes sense to conduct such assessments periodically as companies begin to add additional users and new applications that will generate additional traffic on the network.

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