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Converging With Six Sigma

Aug 17, 2007
Converged Networks

In the 1980s, the concentration was on the integration of voice and data applications into telephone circuits, to serve as a common transmission system. These circuits were enhanced to support the higher bandwidths that were required for data transmissions. However, during implementation, this did not find popular acceptance, but the concept of using one system for transporting information sourced from dissimilar sources was still viable.

Growth Of The Internet And Internet Protocol

The 1990s witnessed the growth of the Internet to dizzying heights with the emergence of new applications such as the World Wide Web, designed around the Internet Protocol, which had till then been used as support to remote host access, file transfers and email. With the rapid spread of the popularity of IP, it literally became the de-facto communication platform for virtually all host-processing systems.

But, as budgetary constraints increased, network managers were faced with the ever-increasing problem of deploying latest IP centric applications, such as e-commerce, under tight budgetary restrictions. To face the challenge of rolling out new revenue generating applications while reducing costs of networking infrastructure at the same time, network managers once again started toying with the idea of converged voice and data network.

Benefits Of Converged Networks

The benefits of having one communication interface from an office to the outside world would translate into lesser number of cables to connect, fewer systems to manage and only one organization to call in case of any difficulty. The applications available on a computer's desktop integrate both data and voice applications to enable a fax or voicemail to be redirected to an email account, even if the addressee was away. It serves to make online purchases easier by integrating a website with a live customer response center. Along with this, there are economic benefits due to the lower cost of a single high-speed connection, as opposed to the cost of many low speed circuits.

The Six Sigma Approach To Converging

The focus of Six Sigma is to employ the highest quality at the lowest cost, by following a repeated cycle of DMAIC (i.e. Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control), through which it provides the skills needed to meet higher service requirements and reduced costs.

To be really successful, converged networks need to provide 99.99% availability and low latency with low operational and infrastructure costs. To achieve this, network managers need to look beyond technology and adopt a holistic approach that would include identification of areas of potential savings like process efficiencies and operational synergies.

Network professionals can take the benefit of Six Sigma methodologies to benefit from discipline, skills and tools to make sure that their converged networks deliver at the highest quality levels, with minimum operational costs. The continued success of converged networks depends not just on technology, but mainly on ensuring that it is able to provide overall service and value to the user - and there is no better way than Six Sigma.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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