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Ethernet, everywhere: why full fibre is the connectivity underpinning digital transformation

Modern businesses are data-reliant and data-hungry. With many using a single converged network for both their data and voice communications, every organisation’s data services need to be up to scratch. Platforms like video conferencing are becoming prevalent across the board, and more and more business applications are moving to the cloud. Which means even carrying out basic day-to-day tasks is dependent on having reliable data services in place.

Large organisations have to stay connected, whether that’s internally or to the outside world. Complicating matters further, they often need to do it across a range of locations or different offices, accounting for remote workers. And all of these requirements are only set to increase, as businesses accelerate their digital transformation strategies.Solving the problem of connection for enterprises

Implementing a solution that can meet these needs is difficult. IT decision makers need to balance budget constraints with other concerns, like discerning future usage needs, developing a good provider relationship, and tackling the problems of legacy infrastructure and ragged-end contracts.

But as composite as these concerns can be, they have to be confronted. Because when it comes to connectivity, the world has become ‘digital or die’. The ability to drive digital endurance is (and will continue to be) a big indicator of success. Whatever this transformation is, and whatever applications end up being used, transformation is sure to be underpinned by fundamental data access services.

As a result, enterprises have to ensure their connectivity can meet their current and future requirements. So, what’s the quickest and most robust connection businesses can go for? For enterprises, the gold standard is Fibre Ethernet.

The growth of Fibre Ethernet

Over the last few decades, ethernet has become the technology of choice for connecting businesses to the internet. Combined copper and fibre solutions like Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) have traditionally been popular options. But increasingly, with copper solutions less able to meet the bandwidth demands of modern businesses, organisations are coming to favour the power of a complete Fibre Ethernet set-up. In short, ethernet everywhere.

It’s not hard to see why – end-to-end fibre optic solutions can connect home and office workers to both the internet and the corporate network, including business critical applications and voice services. Although EFM and FTTC are cheaper options, they’re also slower – so for large enterprises who need a high bandwidth service, Fibre Ethernet is generally going to be the best option.

The falling price of Fibre

Historically, some businesses have been put off by the price of Fibre Ethernet, plumping instead for cheaper options like EFM, FTTC or even business broadband. However, the cost of fibre has plummeted recently, making it a much more accessible option.

Combined with the potential savings to be made from converged telephony, Fibre Ethernet becomes an even more appealing option. For example, when Gamma designed and supplied a Fibre Ethernet solution for Reed Specialist Recruitment, this resulted in estimated yearly savings of £450,000 in telephony spending – all with no increase in recurring costs.

How can your organisation plan for Fibre Ethernet?  

In light of its speed, reliability and ability to deliver converged voice and data, making the move to a Fibre Ethernet network can help your businesses to thrive – but it’s a big decision, which needs to be considered carefully.

  • Where possible, plan the switchover to Fibre Ethernet at least a year in advance, allowing you to account for ragged-end contracts and the lead time of delivering your new service
  • Ensure you have a flexible contract in place, to help you avoid the constraints of ragged-end contracts moving forward
  • Consider factors outside of your control as early as possible, like talking to your office landlord(s)
  • Research vendors thoroughly and do your due diligence, ensuring you build a relationship with a provider you trust
  • Secure a strong SLA, making sure you have 24/7 support and short fix times in place
  • Choose a service that offers monitoring functionality and real-time visibility into the performance and health of your network infrastructure

Looking forward to a full fibre future

Digital transformation is high on the agenda for many businesses. The digital landscape changes quickly, and it can be hard to predict what the next trend will be. But what we do know is that businesses are going to continue to be data-reliant and data-hungry, whatever new applications are developed. Investing in a full fibre, ethernet everywhere connection is the best way to prepare for this, leaving your business in a position where its digital foundations can confidently support whatever the future brings.

Watch this video with our Gamma expert, Alex Ayers, where he discusses the importance of an Ethernet Everywhere connection