Since 2003 ITN has recommended to our clients that they install, or consider installing, an all Cat 5eor Cat 6 infrastructure.Most folks call this style of structured cabling and it allows any and every cable in the facility to be used for voice, data, video, scanner, network printer, fax, postage, IP camera, etc.. by simply moving a patch cord! And it doesn’t matter if you have a state of the art AVAYA VOIP Telephone system or a 15 year old key/PBX telephone system, with a couple of 25 pairs and an extra patch panel or two, your new structured cabling solution can accommodate any system. Having a Universal cabling system also allows a very simple transition to an AVAYA VOIP phone system (AVAYA IP Office) in the future.The alternative to this would be to continue to have your voice cables terminate to wall mounted 66 blocks or 110 blocks and your data cables terminate to patch panel.The way to look at this is that they are only data cables because they go to the patch panel and only voice cause they go to the wall field. If they were all AMP Netconnect Category 6 cables and they all ran to patch panel, you could utilize any cable for any type of connectivity now and in the future.

We have already had a chance to chat about how MERU wireless allows you to transition from a cell call to VOIP call on the WLAN using a Dual Mode cellular phone. This technology brings up another future opportunity worth discussing. Imagine a future where your dual mode cellular phone is your ONLY phone!No more desk phone, no more checking voicemail at the office. Software applications downloaded to your dual mode phone will tie to the AVAYA IP Office allowing your mobile phone to take on much of the same features and functionality that you are used to in a desk phone. Wouldn’t it be great to have the mobility found of your mobile phone but with the functionality of your desk phone? Conference calling, call routing, hunt groups, tiered voicemail options, call center integration, etc.. are all things that could be combined with the mobility of your dual mode phone. The power of your only phone being your mobile phone is possible now using AVAYA IP Office and MERU Wireless Networks.

802.11 N and modern security advances from MERU have eliminated the top two reasons for hesitation to migrate to wireless, speed and security.  A third reason can now be considered, especially in the Seattle/Bellevue area where so many are concerned about the environment.  Picture a typical facility with 250 workstations, each with their own phone and computer.  Historically each workstation would be supplied with a voice cable and a data cable totaling 500 Category 5e cables (or 750 in the case of 3 cables per location) running through the ceiling back to the server room.  This cabling represents hundreds of pounds of mined copper, cable sheathing produced from petroleum products, plastic and metal patch panels, and the energy consumed in mining and manufacturing all this equipment.  Every time the company moves to a new space, they have to re-cable the new facility at a significant cost to their budget and environment since they can’t take the cabling with them.  For nearly the same price as a cabling infrastructure, the same staff could be served 802.11 N data speeds and QOS rated voice via MERU wireless without all the copper, steel, petroleum, mining energies, installed each time in the ceiling AND after the initial MERU investment, the company would save significant money on each facility move by relocating their MERU WLAN with the rest of their stuff.  Although AMP NetConnect cabling products satisfy RoHS standards and have one of the only lead free cable plants, there is nothing more environmentally friendly than no cable at all.

The iPad, another WLAN device on ITN’s MERU wireless network!

A week or two ago, the iPad was launched. Most folks saw the size, performance, and well thought out features of the iPad as the immediate draws. At ITN, the iPad suggests to us another serious movement towards mobility.The iPad has the ability to connect to all four recognized WiFi standards. HP and other major manufacturers working on their tablet sized computers suggest clearly that our future is about mobility and that these mobile devices will need to connect at greater and greater speeds and performance. That is where the enterprise level wireless LAN from MERU Networks and ITN comes in! Imagine an educational environment or office environment where collaborative work can be done without being constrained to your desk.This new mobile environment will require the strongest and best in wireless connectivity including slice of time fairness, QOS rated voice, virtual cell technology, and air traffic control functionality of controller based traffic.

Around the office, we like to poke fun at the car commercial phrase that goes something like if you don’t call me today, I can’t save you any money but there is some truth in this statement.Our cabling design team has been referred into lots of projects after a vast majority of the space layout/architectural decisions have been made or in some cases, the construction project is already under way and beginning our portion is only a week away.In most cases, these late starts works out fine as the standard facility has a 100% drop tile ceiling, adequate floor access/power poles for feeding modular furniture, and server rooms/termination closets that are usually sized just large enough.

ITN wants to learn about our clients projects as early as possible though because not every project or structure is the same.For the projects that we are brought in on late that are different than the standard office, occasionally brand new sheet rock will need to be removed, conduits re-sized, or other extensive and expensive repairs will be required.Please involve our team early so that we can put our AMP NetConnect design training to work early for you!

Thanks for joining us. More blogging coming soon!