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It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that modern business depends on a factor of communication. It is evident regarding the fact that the majority of thriving companies manage to establish effective communication with their customers, partners, competitors and suppliers. As a result, a high demand on a fast and quality communication in business caused a problem of integrating all possible infrastructures of organizational communication. The solution had been found in the sphere of information systems, and a technology of unified communications emerged. Such technology presupposes an integrated performance of all types of communications, such as telecommunications, instant messaging, email, videoconferencing, etc. Taking such points into consideration, it is necessary to reveal the essence of unified communications in the business environment. Therefore, the following business proposal focuses on the suggestions of deployment unified communications in a stock brokerage enterprise at the stages of PPD of Cisco lifecycle.
The following business proposal for the brokerage enterprise is based on the suggestions regarding the first three steps of Cisco PPD lifecycle: Prepare, Plan and Design. First of all, a need for unified communications can be explained by a proactive growth of the firm’s customers. It is apparent that stock brokerage is closely related to the use of telecommunications as long as phone lines are the primary path of connection with the company’s customers. The company has grown considerably in recent years so that the number of its customers keeps increasing accordingly. Therefore, the business proposal suggests a model of unified communications with clustering over IP. It presupposes a wider bandwidth for WAN and more remote clusters (Finke & Hartman 2012). It is the most preferable model for the company as it is expected to operate with a large number of customers, especially those, who trade stocks via the company on a regular basis.
It should be admitted that VoIP is a preferable standard for the employment of the entire platform of unified communications. It can be explained by the fact that VoIP implies a larger context of interconnectivity between various pools of communication. However, it means lower speed within the network. Still, the entire platform will place the emphasis on the WAN layer as it is the direct connection with the company’s customers. Taking all the points into consideration, the business plan recommends Microsoft Office Communications Server Enterprise Edition. In fact, such server does not depend on the hardware and can be applied to the entire architecture of distributed network. It is an evident advantage in comparison with traditional Cisco servers. The server is incorporated with Cisco hardware and Microsoft Software (Schurman 2009). As a consequence, the server utilizes IPv6 that presupposes a higher speed at different bandwidths (Loshin 2004). Moreover, the layout of pools and entire clusters is easily amendable and can be assisted with the custom services of Microsoft team.
Regarding the related devices, it is to be said that the business plan offers a standard set of equipment for establishment LAN and WAN connection and corresponding output devices depending on the type of the pool. In such way, wire and wireless connectors should be included. Wireless connection is recommended to be applied to WAN in order to reduce expenses on wiring remote clusters. WAN may also require additional server processors and memory as long as the number of regular customers may increase (Bradley & Shah 2010). In addition, LAN network should be connected on a narrowed bandwidth as a higher signal response speed is preferable for WAN. It is necessary to note that topology and related number of commuters in LAN and WAN can be different as they utilize different devices of connection.
To speak about the interface for unified communications, there are two scenarios of its design. The interface can be incorporated in a standard browser menu. It is the most understandable and simplest communication between users and the system. Conversely, it is not sophisticated sufficiently, especially regarding the terms of the enterprise. The second variant is an installation of Lync starting with 2013 version. It contains a wide range of options and convenient interface so that it will not be an extra complication for the company’s stock brokers. There is no denying that such option is more effective even though it requires more expenses (Valik 2014). The costs, however, are worth efficiency of such interface so that it is pivotal to place the emphasis on the implementation of Lync interface, especially regarding the fact that it can be integrated with Microsoft server. It is the main point regarding stages of PPD, but it is important to note that the company may face some challenges, which should be also discussed.
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Concerning potential challenges at the stages of PPD, it is necessary to say that WAN may be overloaded earlier than the platform’s design will be finished. As long as such challenge can be predicted in accordance with customer flow forecasts, it is suggested to add a temporal speed capacity from LAN bandwidth. Internal network will be extremely limited in speed but enable WAN to cope with customer calls and messages. It will not harm the performance of the company as stock prices are fixed at the moment of their negotiation. Besides that, LAN and WAN are independent but still connected mutually. Thus, a certain balance should be considered. The business proposal assumes that LAN should be incorporated with narrow bandwidths and sophisticated topology as the lack of speed has to be substituted with multidirectional connectivity within the local network. In contrast, WAN is supposed to obtain wider bandwidth, related high speed and primary dial options. WAN signal should be primary in any case. That is why LAN clusters do not have to meet any hierarchical barriers in WAN pools. Eventually, the business proposal suggests standardized means of security and forensic investigation. Needless to say, standardized security is vulnerable because hackers are aware of its weak elements. That is why a choice of security system is referred to the related department of the company that will estimate the budget and the program of design and implementation. Regarding the fact that the majority of systems are Microsoft-based, it is necessary to apply the related firewall and other means of network security.
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As for innovative challenges, the company will have to establish a communication between customers, as well. In fact, it is possible to create a meaningful internal connection within WAN, while the factual problem is based on the fact that regular customers should be stable. Otherwise, the network will become redundant. Moreover, a close connection between LAN and WAN has to be established as long as the customers need to be informed about their stocks on a regular basis, as well (Kodama 2013). It will decrease daily revenues of the company but render more honest services to its customers. It is an important aspect in the brokerage business because the industry suffers from stock manipulations that still occur. On the contrary, Microsoft server of unified communication is capable of arranging two or three days sessions. As a consequence, such advantage can be applied to initiating special public offerings or closed trades for certain number of exact investors.
The company may also meet some challenges concerning quality of service. First of all, the problems with signal sensitivity may occur at any bandwidth. Therefore, it is recommended to develop an emergency clustering, which will classify the signals by their quality and priority in the network. As it has been already discussed, WAN signals should be the primary in any condition of the communication infrastructure. The other challenge is availability of the network as the flow of customers is expected to be high. Thus, the business plan offers to create a preliminary fall-back model for LAN, as long as WAN cannot be interfered with any internal operations (Sequeira 2009). Eventually, LAN, as well as WAN should be protected by the same meaningful means of network security, especially considering the peculiarities of stock brokerage industry.
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To conclude, the business proposal has lingered upon the description of PPD stages for life-cycle and potential challenges of unified communications in the stock brokerage enterprise. The paper has suggested a layout with connection of clustering over IP as long as it responds to the purposes of the firm, which expects an intensive customer flow. For that reason, it should be ready to cope with reacting on all calls, messages and other types of customer communication. The business proposal has also offered Microsoft Office Communications Server Enterprise Edition, which is based on IPv6 protocols for enhancing a higher signal reaction between LAN and WAN. As a consequence, the related software and interface have been proposed. Finally, it should be admitted that suggested set of options, devices, software and hardware is not limited by any financial concern as the enterprise grows so that the deployment of unified communications is affordable.