Feb 18 2010

Collaborative Efforts

Photo: Matthew Gilson

In the never-ending effort to gain efficiencies, improve communications and make the most of the resources they have, businesses are turning to collaborative technologies such as unified communications and Voice over IP. That’s the case at Forbes, which stripped down two legacy networks and replaced them with a unified communications platform. The move helps the Forbes IT team meet one of the pimary visions of CIO Mykolas Rambus — “that any Forbes employee be able to work anywhere, anytime, on anything, using our tools.”

There are bottom-line considerations, too. Gaining benefits at a reduced overall cost was definitely a driving factor, Rambus says. Forbes sought a more efficient and less costly telephony approach, but it also sought ROI “beyond just the financial benefit,” says Scott Evon, the company’s director of technology operations. “We put in a platform that’s going to allow us to collaborate more closely.”

For more on Forbes’ unified communications deployment, see “All Business.”

Averting Disaster

It’s difficult to name anything more detrimental to a company than its systems being down. For ET International of Newark, Del., it was the threat of unplanned downtime from two recent power failures that tested the integrity of the company’s disaster recovery strategy. During the outages, UPS systems kept all of the company’s critical equipment up and running, protecting their computers, servers, processors and developer workstations.

“The UPSs provide a real peace of mind,” reveals Mike Hammond, the company’s control systems programmer, noting that the entire office went dark during the blackouts — except for the computer screens. To learn more about what technology tools businesses consider most essential for disaster preparedness, see “Ahead of the Storm.”

Whether you are deploying a unified communications system or preparing your company for disaster, it’s important that you evaluate your needs and search for new ways to better collaborate, share ideas and use IT to protect and grow your business.

Ryan Petersen