Thursday, September 3, 2020

How Modern Enterprise Communications Work? (Part 1 of 4)

Overview :

This blog uncovers the journey of modern day telecommunications from its very inception. It also discusses how Enterprise Collaboration is playing an integral part during COVID-19 as a technology. Thus, it is perfect for anyone who is planning to start a career in Voice over IP, Telecom, PSTN systems, video conferencing services and other similar industries.

After going through Part 1 of this blog, you will be able to:

• Define Communication – Collaboration from an Enterprise Standpoint.
• Understand the Scope of Enterprise Telecommunications.

Part 2 of this blog will make you understand and appreciate how telecommunications evolved and transited from its inception to Analog Telephony(POTS). The pointers covered are:

• Switching and its evolution.
• Analog Telephony (POTS).

Part 3 of the blog discusses transition of POTS to ISDN and then to VoIP:

• Transition from Analog to Digital Telephony (ISDN).
• Transition from Digital to IP Telephony (VoIP).
• VoIP and Unified Communications.

Part 4 discusses different VoIP protocols and what powers modern day Voice, Video and Conferencing technologies. Pointers covered are:

• Protocols & Concepts (POTS, T1/E1 - CAS & CCS, SIP, H.323, MGCP. H.264, BFCP, RDP, XMPP, WebRTC, STUN, TURN, ICE, STIR and SHAKEN).
• Unified Communications as an Industry and what the Future offers.
• Conclusion.

(NOTE: The terms Telecommunications, Communication and Collaboration have been used interchangeably throughout this blog)

Let us Begin :

We at tcplabs believe that the 3 basic questions that any Engineer should ask before choosing a technology as a career or job Role are:

What
Why
How

Figure 1.a. The 3 Basic Questions from an Engineer’s Perspective

In Part 1 we will focus on the major Whats and Whys that arise around Modern Enterprise Communication.

What is Communication ?

According to Google -

Figure 1.b. Communication Googled

The key words here are “information” and its “exchange”.

Consider an example.

There are several ideas, we can think of, to deliver INFORMATION on this blog and make it interactive, like a YouTube Video, an In class Session, a Zoom Conference Session under a Tree somewhere 😊 etc. However the EXCHANGE of information becomes possible only when there is a dialogue between the Sender and the Receiver in some form, like the comments section under the YouTube Video or Questions posed by students in a classroom setting or even on a Virtual Zoom Classroom. You may want to leave a comment on this blog under the comments section and tell us how you liked this Blog, which is again an example of EXCHANGE of INFORMATION.

Communication is sort of Boring unless it bears some good results for a common cause. Now, to bridge the concept of Communication to Collaboration – Try a fruitful exercise with someone you know to achieve a common goal by Communicating with them… Collaboration achieved.

Modern day Enterprises leverage Collaboration to achieve Common Goals and thus the term Enterprise Collaboration is born.

What is the World Doing with Enterprise Collaboration today ?

With the far reaching affects that COVID-19 had on the world, Governments leveraged Enterprise Communication and Collaboration tools in a recent G20 Virtual World Summit.

Figure 1.c. The G20 Virtual World Summit leveraging Enterprise Collaboration

Why do you think this Summit was organized Virtually ?

How do you think this would have worked ?

The Answer is simple - To achieve common goals for the Betterment of the World Via Enterprise Collaboration Technologies.

Today’s Situation With

COVID-19

Figure 1.d. The Buzz around Enterprise Collaboration

COVID-19 has changed the Enterprise Telecommunications and Collaboration scenario over the past 7 months. With more and more Enterprises adopting and promoting Remote Work, there has been a sharp rise in the Job Marketplace and the overall development of the Collaboration Technologies. In fact, Collaboration today is shaping the world in many ways. Several major organizations like Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. have shifted to remote work where ever possible. India’s National Informatics Center (NIC) and the PMO is utilizing VC as primary mode of communication for Cabinet and Federal Meetings. Another major example is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in USA, one of the primary places for COVID-19 vaccine drug research utilizes Collaboration Technologies and Tools to share information and spread intelligence and awareness about COVID-19 Vaccine.

Some other use cases include :

• Education and Learning Management Systems
• Broadcasting and Media
• IT
• Software Development
• Industrial Production
• Health Care and Insurance
• National Defense

and the List goes on.

What does Communication/Collaboration in Modern Enterprises look like ?

Figure 1.e. The Modern Enterprise Collaboration Portfolio

Today’s Enterprise Collaboration Portfolio has Devices and Services which meet all kinds of demands and necessities for successful execution of entrepreneurial goals. Ranging from apps running on Hand-Held Devices to those huge Video Conference Room Equipment. From Capex Services to Services with Pay as you go models, there is a plethora of available options from a Procurement Perspective as well.

CapEx vs OpEx :

CapEx refers to a Capital expenditure while OpEx refers to an Operational expenditure. Capital expenditure is incurred when a business acquires assets that could be beneficial beyond the current tax year. For instance, it might buy brand new equipment or buildings. Also, it could upgrade an existing asset to boost its value beyond the current tax year. CapEx is also known as a Capital expense.

Operational expenditure consists of those expenses that a business incurs to run smoothly every single day. They are the costs that a business incurs while in the process of turning its inventory into an end-product. Hence, depreciation of fixed assets that are used in the production process is considered OpEx expenditure. OpEx is also known as an operating expenditure, revenue expenditure or an operating expense.

What Tech is trending ?

Figure 1.f. The Trending World of Collaboration Tools

In today’s era of World Trends, Collaboration Tools clearly emerge as one of the winners if compared with Data Analytics Tools, Programming Tools, Cloud Computing Tools and for that matter Automation Tools which show a downward trend (green line) vs Collaboration Tools (yellow line) which shows an upward trend.

If you have come this far reading this Blog, you may be wondering Why go ahead and read more?

Well, if knowledge is something you want and if you are wishing to work in an industry that will last through a pandemic like COVID-19, you should really do the math. Else the following numbers should get you going:

Figure 1.g. Numbers and Salaries - Courtesy - Global Knowledge

What is the Scope of Engineering in Enabling Communications in Modern Enterprises ?

There are a lot of moving parts in an Enterprise Collaboration environment. This may comprise of Desk phones, Conference Meeting Rooms, Whiteboards, Chat Clients, Paging Systems, Emergency Dialing Systems, Contact Center Systems, ChatBot Automation, PBX and Switches etc. To make all these pieces work in Synch together, it takes Engineering and Project Management Excellence right from Project Inception to Implementation and then to Maintenance and Ops. Today, even Data Analytics is an integral part of taking Business Decisions on what technology to adopt and what to discard in a Unified Collaboration (UC) Environment. Some common Engineering Practices involved are:

• Systems Development Engineering.
• Software Development Engineering.
• Security Engineering.
• Operations and Support.
• Overall Program Engineering Management.

Well, you might be wondering where the term UC came in from… Unified Collaboration or UC is a combination of enterprise collaboration tools assembled into a single interface and integrated into a single management system. UC makes an enterprise more connected, efficient, and productive to achieve their Goals.

A typical set of UC products includes a variety of communications and collaboration tools including:

• Email and voicemail
• Calendars and scheduling
• Voice and telephony
• Real-time communications
• Web, voice, and video conferencing
• Instant messaging

So, really the SCOPE = UNLIMITED.

Before we end Part 1 of this Blog, we want to give you an idea of what is next.

In Part 2 of the Blog, we travel back in time and see how the Switching Technology Evolved the initial generation of Telephonic Devices. We will also understand how Analog Telephony operated. In Part 3 of the blog we will analyze IP Telephony that drives Modern world Collaboration.

Figure 1.h. Mr. Alexander Graham Bell making the first ever Telephone Call

Listen to Mr. Alexander as he makes the first phone call in human history -


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For feedback, suggestions, or corrections, please leave us a comment below.

Join the tcplabs’ Collaboration Webex Teams Space here: https://eurl.io/#ByElUITFN

References:
https://www.google.com/
https://www.globalkn … lary-report/#reports
https://www.cnn.com/ … ronavirus/index.html
https://americanhist … itions/hear-my-voice