Results that match "Gigabit"
Every day businesses are using app-centric programs in order to get their work done, be it email, web conferencing, CRMs, or video conferencing. These daily activities and technologies are essential and even crucial to ensuring that business can be conducted across cities, states, and other countries, if necessary. It’s also a part of the ever–growing technologies that set the pace for business sustainability and innovation.
But while running these daily apps is a benefit for business, it also often presents the biggest of hurdles, especially if you don’t have the bandwidth necessary to power each and every one. Today, new apps are appearing on business' networks and while some are required to perform the job, others are not, in turn clogging up and slowing down the network. Some of these apps are downloaded onto employee desktops; others are on their mobile devices. Have you ever wondered why every day at 2 p.m. your browser windows paint the screen slowly or the network feels slow? As your employee base becomes younger and more “web savvy,” they listen to Internet radio and stream videos; the appearance of Web Real-Time Communications and more video conferencing on top of streaming are putting a strain on your network’s performance and may be maxing out the connection.
Take for example a small business based art studio with 12 full time employees; the table below showcases examples of the bandwidth needed to power basic business applications on the network for these 12 users.
Mediacom Businesses helps small businesses identify what their day to day operations require in terms of bandwidth so service isn’t latent. We also have the delivery mechanism whether that be HFC or fiber to handle all your technology needs. Different applications warrant different blends of capacity and Mediacom Business can effectively scale their services to manage those requirements and monetize your network performance.
What are the pressures to improve network performance?
Businesses can adapt to meet the high speed connectivity needs of their network – the choice is there with Mediacom Business. It’s important that businesses have a broadband platform that allows for flexibility to scale their Internet needs – as the business climate is always changing and there are a plethora of technologies being introduced each day that can further fuel your business. Which are right for your business? And more importantly which are the applications that foster business growth and create new opportunities. Mediacom Business can be the broadband highway to power each and every application – efficiently, fast and securely.
Think back to 1993, people were talking about an “information superhighway” that would change the world. The internet. Few grasped what it really was and how we could see our lives wrapped around it. Three years later Google would be born and following suit, all other products and companies joined the bandwagon to commercialize the internet. Now it’s hard to imagine life without the internet and our country has truly become a “connected economy”. It’s the way business is done and how products are moved. The emergence of blockchain technologies seems awfully reminiscent to the birth of the internet. It’s caught the attention of the “big four” audit firms and some believe it may be the way to redefine trust in financial institutions after many consumers have been victims of hacks and ransomware incidents. One reason for that is the entire chain is continually self-updating; hackers would have to breach all computers that contain the ledger in one instance to steal funds or data.
Originally used for the crypto-currency Bitcoin, the technology has far reaching potential for uses in other areas - security being one of those. Its original use was to track transactions in a secure, trustworthy, and transparent way; that ability has obviously attracted other industries, such as finance and healthcare, who have been targets of increasing malicious cyber-attacks. In this article from The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, learn the basics of blockchain and how it could potentially push a new revolution in applications.
Technology is one component of securing information. But a business’ broadband connection is really the first step. Having a secure and reliable data backbone, particularly when using the public internet is a critical concern for any business. Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions provides a private path that is highly reliable and boasts 99.9999%* reliability. Any information-sharing system is only as credible as the connection that fuels it. Speed and efficiency are attractive qualities to any business sector but especially those in the financial industry as ledgers and ledgers of transactions have to be moved in a timely manner. With a strong fiber internet connection, lifecycles of trades and such can go from days to minutes. Now we see a rise in banks starting to formulate their own version of cryptocurrency, similar to bitcoin, designed to run on the banks own private blockchain. This means the replicated ledger of transactions sits behind the closed walls of the bank, centralized and guarded. And the frontline protector is going to be the bandwidth provider. Mediacom Business’ Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions is the latest and greatest delivery mechanism of bandwidth that future proofs financial institutions so they can dive head first into advancements like blockchain technology.
Businesses need technology to be successful, yet often times challenges, constraints, or misunderstanding can keep businesses from getting the latest technology benefits. In this very relevant article by the Columbia Business Times in Missouri, author Matt McDermott looks at 5 big technology mistakes businesses make and how to avoid them.
“Investing in the past.” This one jumps out because it is a reality for a lot of businesses who may not even know it and simply get comfortable in their approach because it’s “just the way we’ve always done things.” Antiquated technology isn’t going to propel a business forward; in fact, it may hinder it. Data transfer lag, bottlenecks on the network, operations timing out all can be because your business doesn’t have enough bandwidth but also because the broadband technology used can’t support your agenda. Mediacom has made deep investments in their network infrastructure to provide the latest and greatest broadband technology. Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions utilizes fiber-optic technology that pushes data at the speed of light but just as important is the capacity it provides. It affords businesses the ability to complete their everyday tasks like email, customer transactions and being online but the “fiber pipe” can support the technologies that allow businesses to innovate. And while the investment may be made upfront, this technology means your business is in it for the long haul. It doesn’t require the maintenance and hardware that businesses might be plagued with today. Turning up additional bandwidth is simple. Reliability and security are the icing on the cake when it comes to Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions. Your data is precious and your business’ ability to safeguard customer’s personal information will make or break your business. Dedicated Internet Access gives your business its own private lane on the broadband highway to the public internet.
The cable industry has made great strides in evolving their exclusive DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) modem-based technology. The latest iteration of 3.1 is capable of reaching 1 Gbps speeds. If your business isn’t a candidate for fiber-optic broadband, there are options to get the bandwidth capacity you need. Our blog “The Story of DOCSIS: Made for Today’s Businesses” unpacks this delivery method’s benefits. The technology you use is only as strong as the broadband behind it.
Technology is disrupting the financial services industry. The increase in online banking, along with financial companies like PayPal, is completely changing the way people approach traditional banking. Technology is upending workflow and processes in the financial services industry. Tasks once handled with paper money, bulky computers, and human interaction are now being completed entirely on digital interfaces. Given how pervasive financial services are across the globe, the disruption opportunity for fintech startups is massive.
Almost every type of financial activity is being re-imagined. Meanwhile, many institutions are left trying to solve the puzzle presented by the fintech revolution: How can they benefit from the rise of digital, and how can they avoid obsolescence?
The Future of Fintech is Here
The concept of fintech has been around for a few years, but it was only in 2015 that it seemed to take off:
Financial institutions are acquiring a new breed of customers, in part to millennials, who are always connected and looking for more mobile experiences. In fact, 92% of millennials today make banking choices based upon what digital services are offered, instead of other perks and offerings. Many believe they will not need a physical bank in the future.
Many banks and financial businesses are stumped on how to approach this new and unfamiliar customer. In its research, Accenture discovered that legacy technology and trying to deploy new technology were just some of the challenges faced when trying to address customer needs. The chart below demonstrates strategies that financial institutions put in place for digital innovation, with 68% admitting they had fragmented strategies for encountering fintech. More importantly, they felt that the time it took to put these technologies in place was hindering their value, or didn’t provide value once implemented.
The foundation for most of these technologies is bandwidth and ensuring that financial offices are able to provide that, both online and in store. Below is an outline of the most used fintech services:
EY’s adoption survey concluded that 43.4% of customers adopt fintech solutions because it is simple and easy to set up, and that the new breed of customer will demand anytime, anyplace, and tailored experiences via mobile and internet access within the next ten years.
Gigabit+ Capacity Laying the Ground for Fintech Platforms
With these new technological innovations, financial institutions are going to need a considerable amount of bandwidth and speed to even operate on these platforms. And in order to give their customers and partners the confidence that they can play in this space, it is critical that the connection is secure and private. This is one of the reasons many financial institutions have moved to Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions – having a strong fiber backbone allows them to complete day to day operations and pass information via cloud based data portals as well as provide customers with the applications to interface with their institutions without lag time and long waits.
Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions from Mediacom Business provides the new future of high speed, with 1 to 10 gigabit per second transfer rates that are able to handle everything your business could throw at it. Gigabit speeds can meet the demands of these new digital first customers as they go from desktop to smartphone to connected kiosk within your financial institution. This ensures both customers and employees are able to access and retrieve information without interruptions; regardless of what’s going on.
Contact us to learn more about Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions and how it can transform your “fintech” business.
Sizing the Fintech Opportunity
The Fintech Industry Explained – The Trends Disrupting the World of Financial Technology
Financial Institutions Need Faster Bandwidth for Security, Business Continuity, Data Transfer
Microsoft Enterprise - Optimizing the Customer Experience
Historically, fiber broadband solutions seemed like a luxury product that businesses couldn’t afford. The latest and greatest broadband delivery method was scarce and in order to wire a property there were exorbitant construction costs businesses didn’t want to take on.
But for providers like Mediacom Business, who make it their business to deep root their fiber network into underserved areas in rural America – using fiber optics for data and voice solutions is more of a reality for businesses than ever before. And this is true for businesses outside of traditional enterprise-level verticals like education, healthcare and governments. More and more, our connected economy demands new technologies on a daily basis to advance business development and productivity. And the trick to power them all is having the most reliable and powerful internet connection without bringing the rest of their business dealings to a lagging halt. Welcome to the power of fiber.
In this blog we will explore Gigabit broadband capacity and the many benefits this level of technology delivers. When IT leaders find their networks bursting at the seams, suffering capacity issues and maxing out their connection, they know it’s time for an overhaul of their network infrastructure. I always say the red flag should be raised when a business brings a new innovative application that will help push the company to the next level of innovation but the broadband capacity can’t handle the usage. Moving to fiber-optic connectivity can seem daunting but my guess is that once an IT director or business owner does the deep dive – the investment is well worth it in the long run.
Before we get into defining Gigabit and its advantages over counterpart delivery methods in the market, let’s talk a little bit about our customers who are using Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions. We serve businesses of all sizes and cater to a number of industries including those that are community anchor institutions. Our customers and their IT leaders come to us seeking scalable bandwidth as they see the increased usage over the years. Questions like “I see us needing X but I know in 5 years we’ll be well over Y.” And the great part about fiber is the scalability it offers. Any business knows what you need today in terms of broadband, is not going to be the bandwidth you need tomorrow so using a delivery method where you can just “turn up” additional bandwidth means not having to drive up equipment and construction costs every time there is a request for increased broadband. Some of the key issues that have plagued our IT leaders tend to fall under the following categories:
Defining Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions
Fiber-optic solutions for data and voice are providing the pathway to push big data, connect multiple locations and enable users to access information simultaneously no matter where they are located. It’s simply the fastest transfer of data technology available to date. Gigabit is the buzz word right now in the technology space – essentially it means the speed by which 1 billion bits of data per seconds are delivered. It’s a superfast connection, transmitting data at the speed of light. That ultra-high speed is maintained both downstream and upstream, something that is hard to come by with other internet service providers. Mediacom Business Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions is distributed using light wave technology through a fiber-optic cable to deliver superior data, voice and video capabilities. It's exceptionally secure and reliable because it runs on a dedicated, private fiber-optic network, not the open public internet. Think of it as your own lane on the “broadband highway”.
Benefits of Gigabit
The most immediate benefit is the astonishing speed. Emails, large files, record transfers, web pages, videos and internet phone services move instantaneously, seamlessly and reliably. There's no more video buffering, no more spinning wheels on your computer screen, no more tapping your fingers anxiously while you wait for your files to send. Large amounts of data can easily move across the network and traffic is much better profiled. For those businesses adopting and investing in the cloud, Gigabit level internet provides immediate access to the platform. Lower latency and more efficient IT management are additional perks. The infographic below touches on some of these aspects:
Mediacom Business has 20 + years and a wealth of in-house expertise managing and monitoring our fiber network. We serve over 1,500 communities throughout the country and have invested billions of dollars to build a nationwide fiber optic infrastructure to deliver a wide array of advanced data and voice solutions. Creating a robust and secure network is part art and part science and we are well versed in both. Building fiber is the easy part but maintaining a network of this stature is a whole other story. This is a common oversight for a lot of cities who look to build their own network.
Through Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions from Mediacom Business, the days of your business being defined by its physical location are gone. Having this type of high capacity broadband access allows businesses to thrive in today’s climate but easily positions them for the scalability needed for future demands. It makes the world a much smaller place to do business in.
Back in 2013, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made waves when she banned the company's popular telecommuting policy in order to boost work productivity. Following her company's decision, Aetna, Bank of America, IBM and others also called back in their remote employees. But not everyone has followed suit with these popular companies, especially businesses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Telecommuting is an important aspect for these businesses - several employees live and work in other counties or states and aren't able or willing to move. As Lynn Manternach, President of MindFire Communications states "What we do is so 'people-based' and we need the best talent. Sometimes the best talent is not in the same city where we have our office. You don't walk away from the talent."
In this article, discover why telecommuting is still alive and well for many businesses, especially for our customers. The one thread that keeps remote employees connected is bandwidth. Whether the team is on a teleconference call or a WebEx of data needs to be shared simultaneously, broadband is fueling those operations so productivity never stops moving.
Does your business have remote employees or the need to connect multiple sites? Make sure your business has enough bandwidth for all locations to access data in real time. Mediacom Business offers that link with internet speeds up to 1 Gig and beyond.
The rise in video popularity isn’t just regulated to mobile channels or devices. Video use within businesses is expected to continue to increase moving into 2019, as the percentages below translate:
The anticipated percentages highlight the ongoing and growing importance of video in the marketplace. Web conferencing, virtual/online curriculum in schools and tele-health services are all built upon video served via broadband. This technology has changed the way we effectively communicate with those around us, especially ones that are remote. Businesses of every sector at one point rely on video in order to collaborate with a perspective client, partner, customer, or colleague.
Video, Video, Everywhere
Video isn’t just useful for conducting meetings with internal and remote employees, 66% of higher education institutions also use video for remote students. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are taking the first steps into telemedicine, where physicians and patients are able to connect visually through video for consultations and even diagnosing symptoms; they are also using video to help educate others in their field.
Video allows the user to convey more emotion than an email, text message, or even a phone call, however assuming the current bandwidth solution is capable of supporting quality video will be a business’ first priority.
Video Needs Bandwidth
With all of the growing use cases for video, broadband networks need to be able to handle the amount of video that’s being utilized – and for these cutting-edge applications, the need is heavy. Businesses, especially ones outside the entertainment or consumer based industries, may have a tendency to underestimate the value or real use for video within their organization, and therefore not plan well enough for bandwidth to support this platform and other emerging technologies. Web conferences and video lectures, for example, at standard definition of viewing would need about 36 Gbps a month, while high definition grows to a usage of 156 Gbps a month on a network.
When you factor in multiple employees accessing and watching these lectures, either for training or education, spikes in bandwidth usage will occur. This coupled with day-to-day activities, such as email, web browsing, VoIP, cloud services and the like – can cause the experience of the dreaded bottle necked, slow network, halting productivity and effectively business itself. But this is not to be confused with the quality of your broadband provider; you simply may not have enough bandwidth to support the functions you are using, therefore causing the lag. The chart below shows the broadband levels needed to support video conferencing or screen sharing which is becoming the preferred method of taking “meetings” with business clients/prospects.
Time is a precious commodity in business. A downloaded replay would take only seconds to retrieve using Gigabit level fiber internet speeds versus the several minutes to hours it would take to access data with antiquated technology. When that's the case, wait time mounts when multiple employees are trying to access video material on a server at the same time and task completion is delayed.
Why Businesses Should Consider Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions
Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions offer businesses the opportunity to venture into new technologies – often ones that are critical to success. Using advanced platforms and applications can take your organization to that next level of innovation. But businesses need broadband capacity in order to do so and the fiber “pipe” delivers that space to utilize many different forms of data retrieval without maxing out the connection. It affords users to be online at the same time, accessing the same data. Gone is the worry of how many people are utilizing video on a daily basis. Streaming, downloads, and uploads won’t impede with cloud backups, regardless of the time of day or how many employees are in the office.
Take for example a school district in the Midwest who is a Mediacom Business customer. One of the district’s elementary school sites loved watching the daily process of a very popular live eagle cam. With all the classrooms wanting to play the content online at YouTube at the same time, the overload of usage completely disabled the data network. Not only did it block each classroom from viewing the eagle cam, but it prohibited other users from downloading online curriculum. The school's IT Director realized the need for more bandwidth to be split between these levels of usage, realizing even YouTube had its place as an important piece of the student’s learning process.
To find out how Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions from Mediacom Business can deliver the scalable broadband capacity your business needs to support video platforms, click here for a free consultation.
Technology helps to connect businesses to customers and partners but now many companies are examining how technology can connect them to employees. Especially in the field of Technology, startups and the like, the talent pool is small. Silicon Valley is very competitive so companies have been forced to reevaluate how they find professional and motivated people. To execute a strategic plan these cutting edge companies realize they need a solid core team that have the skillset to propel the company forward. Companies are now looking beyond the city limits for this talent and realizing, with the help of technology, there are no geographical boundaries to finding the right employees. Tech giants like IBM, Bunchball, and others are looking to hire outside of their state of origin for talent.
Quality of life is more important than ever to employees, and uprooting families is not an option for many. But the advancements in applications like video conferencing and virtual technology, allow for teams to work together simultaneously. Collaboration is fostered with the use of these platforms and it really doesn’t matter in the end where the employee sits. But in order to run these types of programs, there needs to be a very strong broadband backbone to keep these connections running in real time. Without the right of amount of bandwidth to power these practices, communication on all levels will come to a halt. Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions from Mediacom Business is delivering the connectivity businesses need to bring together all company locations. With advanced custom services like Transparent LAN, companies can seamlessly connect point-to-point and multi-point Ethernet networks together no matter where they are. All employees are able to work off the same server, accessing and sharing data in a matter of seconds.
This concept of remote working has paid off, allowing residents and students to work for key tech companies without having to leave family and friends, something many have done in order to achieve their dream job. In this article from USA Today, explore the reasons why telecommuting was the right answer for these businesses and employees.
The Pokémon Go phenomenon utilized Augmented Reality (AR) and brought some of the biggest retail chains to the table to participate - ones that you probably would have never associated with the Pokémon brand. But the element of Augmented Reality and the technology behind it fascinated businesses as yet another touchpoint to market to consumers. AR superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, in most cases via a mobile device, thus providing a composite view.
Within the same spectrum of technology, Virtual Reality (VR) is based on the diametrically opposite concept. It immerses real people into a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly very real or physical way. Historically known in the world of gaming, AR and VR are now being seen as valuable tools for businesses to enhance interaction with customers and their own employees.
Content and engagement is always the goal toward generating revenue or keeping employee morale high. Businesses can use both AR and VR for many applications and programs, including training, conferencing, and remote work. Coupled with Augmented Reality, the Virtual Reality market could hit $150 billion dollars in revenue in 2020, with $30 billion belonging to VR alone. More than 12 million VR headsets will be sold in 2017 and is expected to reach $407.51 million dollars by 2018.
VR Has Come a Long Way
It may surprise some younger businesses, but Virtual Reality has been around for over twenty-five years. Getting its start in 1991, VR looked to be the future of technology, but in those days, the vehicle just wasn’t up to par for the challenge yet. Processing power, screen resolutions, and more all lacked the power, and bandwidth, we’re used to today. So the idea of VR seemed to disappear until a Kickstarter campaign brought about the Oculus Rift, which was soon purchased by Facebook, making VR a viable business topic today.
These new advances open up new worlds, so to speak – VR can bring us closer to visiting places that were once outside of our reach. A good example of this is the use of VR in education. Many schools are looking at VR to help provide students the ability to travel throughout the universe, immersing them in new learning environments to further their education engagement.
Buffalo Elementary in Davenport, Iowa is one such school who has recently become the first school in the country to incorporate VR into the Next Generation Standards Science Curriculum.
But it’s not just schools that benefit from VR. Businesses can also use VR/AR for a variety of reasons that evoke intellectual engagement and emotional connections.
With so many opportunities to use VR & AR, businesses should also take stock of how these technologies work within their own networks and the heavy need for bandwidth to power them.
Why Bandwidth is So Important
In 2016, telecom equipment manufacturing company Arris predicted that more and more consumers and businesses will want and need even more bandwidth to run applications like this. The CTO estimated that a virtual reality video game, running at 720p might require 50 Mbps, with a 4K VR game going up to 500 Mbps.
This might seem like a lot of broadband speed, but considering that even at a low resolution, a 360 degree experience would still need at least 25 Mbps for streaming and HD resolutions going upwards of 80-100 Mbps.
What most experts believe is that as VR and AR continue to grab headlines and interest, the need for faster bandwidth is paramount. Luckily, if your business is considering using VR, then Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions is the next step your business should take. Speed is an incredibly important component for VR and fiber-optic delivery is the latest in broadband technology capable of providing some of the fastest speeds within the industry.
Mediacom Business’ fiber “pipe” is highly secure and scalable – the symmetrical data throughput, both down-stream and up-stream, is there to support innovative technologies like this and allows businesses to integrate this usage within everyday operations.
VR and AR are still growing for both business and consumers; it’s a technology that can and will create a tremendous amount of opportunities in many industries – from education to finance - the capabilities are wide open. Will your business be taking advantage of Virtual or Augmented Reality and do you have the broadband path to get there?
Faster speeds, better reliability, secure connections to the public internet and the ability for a business to do more and go further. These are just some of the benefits of using fiber-optic broadband for your business. Columbia, Missouri is one of the many areas over our 22-state footprint that has access to fiber technology for data, voice and video services. Our customers who utilize Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions are creating transformational experiences for their business and opening up the door to innovation. The fiber "pipe" provides the capacity that allows a business to increase productivity. Bandwidth can be allocated for different uses within the business itself. Think of all of the weight that can sit on a broadband network - email use, video plays, data accessed on a server by many employees. That doesn't take into consideration the advanced platforms that truly propel a business forward: cloud services, virtual reality, teleconferencing, VOIP services, Wi-Fi access for patrons and the like that require a significant amount of bandwidth to operate.
Thanks to providers like Mediacom Business who are expanding their broadband network and fiber coverage and making the coveted delivery method of fiber more affordable, this technology is now readily accessible to businesses in rural America. This technology delivers astonishing speeds of 10 Gig and beyond – so businesses experience the difference right off the bat.
But what may be the biggest benefit of businesses having access to high-capacity broadband is the heavy contribution it lends to the economic development of the city itself. Businesses are able to compete regardless of geographical boundaries and cities have the ability to retain/attract businesses - because broadband, like electricity, is one of the key components to the start of any business. In this article from the Columbia Business Times in Missouri, discover how fiber can be the gateway to a better business.
More and more businesses are turning to managed solutions in the cloud to host and monitor their business data infrastructure. A study from CompTIA shows that managed services were ranked as the leading generator of revenue in the last year. Together with the continued growth of cloud applications, managed services can give businesses the bandwidth they need to handle additional operations that will increase productivity.
What can managed cloud solutions do for your business? And if you’re heading down that path, why should your business consider fiber-optic broadband to power them?
Working in the Clouds
Managed cloud services provide skilled resources to augment the current in-house functionalities and IT infrastructures using the cloud. There are many tasks that businesses can move to managed cloud services, including:
For many businesses, especially those that may not have a large or even dedicated IT staff, having a solution help manage these crucial components allows a business to move full steam ahead as it were. And because these solutions are managed within the cloud, it means that these services have continuous uptime access, along with faster responses when things might go wrong.
A few benefits of managed cloud solutions are:
While the above seems like a simple answer to several business challenges, being able to deliver these capabilities is paramount. Despite being in the cloud, businesses still need to be sure they are able to meet managed cloud services’ data transfer requirements.
Why Managed Cloud Services Need Bandwidth
In our series, Does Your Business Have Enough Bandwidth?, we looked at the many applications and platforms that businesses use on a daily basis that can slow down the entire office, causing bottlenecks at the worst of times. Yes, while your files and documents might be sitting pretty within the cloud, it takes bandwidth in order to reach them; if several employees are trying to access files from your cloud service, while several others are using a VoIP phone system, while another set is in the midst of a web conference, the network might slow down considerably, causing calls to drop or hiccup.
A few years ago, Cisco’s Global Cloud Index report (for 2012-2017) forecasted that 69% of all data center traffic would come from cloud usage in 2017, up from the 46% of traffic in 2012; 17% of that traffic would come from users using it for web surfing, video streaming, collaboration, and connected devices. 2014 was the first year where the majority of business workloads were in the cloud – 51% versus the 49% that were in traditional IT spaces.
That’s a lot of bandwidth usage, not just for managed cloud services to run, but for employees to continue to use their programs without hindrance.
Why Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions is the Key
Fiber solutions are proving to be the mechanism to push big data, power multiple location connections, and drive simultaneous access to information. Fiber-optic broadband, especially Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions from Mediacom Business, delivers a super-fast and reliable connection transferring data at the speed of light. While speed is an obvious reason for using Gigabit level internet, when talking about managed cloud solutions, capacity is another driving force for using this platform of broadband delivery. Having access to symmetrical speeds both for upload and download activity is paramount as a business is retrieving information from the cloud. Speed and capacity work together in this instance so employees won’t experience lag time nor will the managed cloud solutions have any difficulty in maintaining and managing your infrastructure without disrupting the core business.
Fiber-optic broadband can carry more data throughput than any technology before it, and it’s more durable in that it’s laid in the ground so it’s not affected by the elements. Mediacom Business continues to lead the charge in rural America as one of the providers who are set on deep-rooting fiber in their service areas so businesses can have the same broadband access as those in large metropolitan areas. This drives competition outside local geographical boundaries but also allows a business to take advantage of advanced platforms like managed services – the types of technology that are going to take businesses to that next level of innovation.
CRMs, video collaboration and streaming, cloud computing and analytic programs – these are some of the daily applications businesses are using to meet the demands of the connected economy. As technology continues to open new doors to innovation, these programs get more sophisticated and require more bandwidth. And the need to be able to do more and do it faster is a priority for all businesses. Accessing and moving data in a matter of seconds is not a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity. Faster bandwidth determines how a business can consume these applications. Without high-capacity broadband a business can not reap the benefits the technology was intended for.
Your business’ broadband delivery method matters. Antiquated technologies will leave you waiting for files to upload/download and there is a definite cap on the speed you can achieve. Mediacom Business built a broadband infrastructure that delivers 1 Gigabit speeds to businesses of all sizes. With reliable, fast business internet, bandwidth is never a bottleneck to productivity.
Nielsen's “Law of Internet Bandwidth” states that a high-end users' connection speed grows by 50% per year. This "observation" has held true for over 30 years and continues to drive innovation and investment for business. Well-connected companies should begin to assume that this "law" will hold true for them and that HD video conferencing, virtual reality tools, cloud computing and data capabilities will increase their bandwidth needs 50% per year.
With a movement towards remote employees, businesses need to support the infrastructure with fast internet, so collaboration can flourish. Technology can make us feel like we are in the room with each other and build a highly relational experience in the same manner (if not better!) as if we were face-to-face. Connectivity is instrumental in promoting that type of work environment. High-capacity bandwidth promotes workplace collaboration. Colleagues can work for hours a day on the same piece of data while in different states. Many believe working virtually in this manner can increase the amount of work produced by employees in the same building.
The Need for Speed
Bandwidth speed is a crucial part of your network. When your internet speeds are slow, you lose more than just load time:
Reduced productivity – a study by Sandisk from 2013 showed users lost a full working week every year because of slow internet connections. When time is taken out of an employee’s day waiting for files to upload or download, that’s time they are unable to be productive. This reduction can lead to decreased morale and worse, disengagement.
Lost profits – when your employees aren’t productive, your business loses revenue for that period of time. But this can also happen on the customer facing side as well – if your business offers services to customers that rely on your internet connection, your customer’s perception of your ability will not fare well if that connection keeps them from reaching a destination.
Unreachable cloud – many businesses have turned to use cloud services and resources to better optimize their organizations; in fact, 87% of businesses use the cloud. CRMs, backup and recovery services, collaboration sites, POS systems, and more are now accessible via the cloud. However, with a slow connection, trying to connect to these services can be difficult.
Consider your cloud environment – employees view, download, or upload files for collaboration, review, edits, etc. The cloud can be a great avenue to foster innovation within a business, making it easier to retrieve, save, and backup files. But the path to the cloud requires speed to access data, especially when multiple users are working within this method.
We unpack some of the applications and programs that can cause bottlenecks on the network in our Does Your Business Have Enough Bandwidth? blog series.
What can your business do with Gigabit level internet speeds?
We already know slow internet speed is a game stopper for businesses. But what type of boost does your business need? Is 1 Gigabit capacity too much speed? Not at all.
Small businesses benefit from faster and more reliable internet speeds. Instead of long wait times, users can easily retrieve any file or video needed in a matter of seconds. Mediacom Business is helping businesses usher in a new revolution of data speeds, the type of speeds that help businesses in rural America lead the growing digital world. Our new business internet menu of 60, 100, 300 Mbps and 1 Gigabit speeds provides a better direction for your business. As a technology company we know we need to evolve as well because the business world moves fast. When a business has higher levels of broadband, there are less restrictions on the applications or online programs they can venture into.
Found a program that can better push productivity or manage your accounts receivable? Those require bandwidth and when businesses have adequate speed levels it doesn’t stifle your normal every day operations of hosting your website e-commerce or employees accessing their email. No one likes hiccups or buffering – and when these interruptions happen its time to revisit your bandwidth speed.
Businesses are changing to meet the demands of employees and customers; Mediacom Business has made sure we are doing the same and increasing speed levels across the board so that the businesses in our areas can not only meet the demand today but will be well situated for those that tomorrow bring.
I recently was on a business trip for an entire week. My email can pile up into the hundreds on any given day. After spending days offsite, my evenings were planned to catch up on work, so it didn’t pile up upon my return. The internet service in my hotel was so poor, that my inbox stayed in “updating inbox” mode for hours. I had to leave my computer on overnight, so my inbox would refresh from the day before. Not the best way to conduct business while on the road, and no matter how nice my hotel room, the fact I couldn’t get fast and reliable broadband service left me with a poor perception of the hotel brand. We know in business, perception is everything. And this day in age, we all expect to be connected 24/7 – its simply required.
But what’s on the horizon for the hospitality industry goes far beyond Wi-Fi service. Amenities are no longer just a gym, pool or mini-bar in your hotel room. Imagine arriving at a hotel and having the front desk know who you are when you walk in. When you go to your room, it's set up exactly the way you'd like - the temperature is comfortable and there's fresh coffee; when you head down to dinner, the restaurant already knows if you have any allergies. The future of hospitality lies in the guest experience, where personalization will lead to better outcomes for both guests and the hotels. Just like “Smart Homes” hotel guests can enjoy “Smart Rooms” where you can customize your experience. The internet of things (IoT) becomes a priority by translating the Smart Home experience into the hospitality world. An app on your smartphone can help you adjust room lighting, temperature and TV channels. The next iteration will venture into voice activation technology vs. using your phone, as we all know the popularity of devices like Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri.
Connective technology will soon be an industry standard, guests complete the check-in process before they arrive, unlock the room with a mobile key and even text the staff for requests. Local experience will be a top priority as well – offering guests incentives to local attractions or merely an activity map of recommendations. Our current tech-savvy generation may even influence hotel design as the movement toward shared workspace and hubs are flourishing. Instead of being hauled up in your room, hotels can offer shared spaces to do your work.
The plate is very full for the hospitality industry; in addition to the day-to-day operational components, that include crisis management and cyber security, data and analytics are critical to creating customer profiles that lead to loyalty and retention measures. Tracking guest habits, interests and preferences, as well as reason for travel, booking date, date of last stay and much more help to formulate strategies that generate revenue streams. Gigabit+ internet access provides the capacity to fuel all the above. Having the pipe for both internal operations staff and guest expectations is a 2-pronged approach that requires significant broadband. Being able to allocate bandwidth for both is essential vs. trying not to max capacity and holding back one group or the other.
Hotel Management goes on to list 7 hospitality trends, showcasing how this year may be the year where technology blazes a path for hotels.
The internet has transformed the way small businesses operate, communicate with employees and interact with customers. It's an important tool for achieving strategic goals, improving competitiveness and efficiency, reaching customers and interacting with vendors. High-speed broadband is as essential to businesses as other utilities such as water, sewer or electricity. And in turn, broadband reliability becomes paramount for a business. Because as we all know, without it, a business can be brought to a standstill.
Changes in the way companies are working– and the tools they are using – have created the need for high-speed connections to services and individuals off-site. Video conferencing is helping businesses cut travel costs. Mobile devices – with easy links to work related content – are enabling more employees to be more productive, from any location. All these applications have one factor in common: they require bandwidth. And plenty of it. Businesses that don’t have this kind of bandwidth will find themselves unable to fully leverage trends like the cloud and remote access.
And while price will always be a major consideration for a small business, business owners should also become familiar with the broadband technology delivery method - weighing the pros and cons of mechanisms like DSL vs. Cable. Historically, rural areas only had access to an, at best, DSL connection. But because of the investment Mediacom has made in its service areas, we have a built an infrastructure that matches any major metropolitan area, achieving speeds of Gigabit and beyond. That is so crucial for businesses that exist in America’s “Heartland” because it erases geographic boundaries of competition. And while the internet has made the world a much smaller place – small businesses can now have a place at the table in our digital economy.
Gigabit level internet service gives small businesses the room to power all applications that require internet capacity. When a business tries to run too many operations over a low speed connection, delivered by antiquated technology – bottlenecks occur, and the result is latency and waiting. DSL may transmit data, but it is based on a technology developed for voice: traditional twisted pair copper wires. Cable high-speed internet, on the other hand, was developed specifically to transmit data. DOCSIS is a global standard that enables the addition of high-speed data transfer to the existing hybrid fiber-coaxial infrastructure used by Cable providers. For Mediacom, the latest iteration of DOCSIS 3.1 put 1 Gigabit speeds in the hands of all service areas and put Mediacom at the top of the list for providers who could extend those speeds to all customers. It's a driving force to the company’s commitment that no matter where you live, your business deserves best-in-class Business Internet.
Many factors play a part in reliability and the broadband delivery method a business chooses:
Speed ~ in rural America, DSL has limitations on the speed it can achieve. While 100 Mbps isn’t fully deployed, 40 Mbps seems to be the standard offering among this delivery tier. Cable now boasts an astounding 1 Gig speed tier to meet the demand of small businesses – and continues to widen the speed gap.
Distance ~ while voice calls can be carried over small distances, running data over DSL degrades the performance as service moves farther and farther from a phone company’s central office. Since Cable high-speed is designed from the ground up, it is not distance sensitive.
Consistency ~ with so much of a company’s operations depending on fast, reliable internet access, consistency is crucial, particularly during peak usage hours. Explore the Federal Communications Commission “Measuring Broadband America” program which stated in 2016 that DSL fell short in delivering the speeds it advertised while most of the major Cable broadband providers that were tested, actual download speeds were 100% of advertised speeds if not better.
Availability ~ the distance limitations of DSL mean that for a large percentage of a phone company’s footprint, the service will not be available. Since high-speed Cable internet doesn’t degrade over distance and runs over the same infrastructure that brings Cable TV to both densely and sparsely populated areas, it is available to a far wider customer base; in cities and rural areas alike.
What can your business do with Gigabit level internet speeds?
Imagine a day in the office and a Webex conference call gets disconnected or a video presentation continually buffers throughout, with constant stops and starts. Frustrating, right?
And it’s not just video conferences that suffer from slow or unreliable connections. If your team works with cloud applications or web-based programs, disconnections mean even longer wait times to retrieve or send important documents. This can also affect a simple credit card machine transaction – resulting in long lines and frustrated customers. When this occurs, your daily routine is compromised – but it doesn’t have to be. Businesses of all sizes are transforming due to the power of Gigabit level internet. The ability to harness massive amounts of data allows a business to be more agile and adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.
Both from a commercial and residential standpoint, we are inundated with information, and a business needs to be able to handle a growing influx of communication tools and programs. And it’s important to consider the roadmap for the future. Broadband technology should meet a business’ current bandwidth needs, but it should be positioned to meet tomorrow’s needs, as well. With Cable high-speed internet with tiers up to 1 Gigabit, businesses get a network built for the next century – not built around the last one.
Mediacom Business has upped the ante by increasing Business Internet speed levels across the board – 6x faster than our speed tiers prior. Why? Because we know and understand the technology revolution happening around us and we have the tools to fuel the part your business plays.
Municipalities face the same challenges, if not more, than business owners. They have budgets to manage, scrutinized as it includes public tax-payer dollars, critical emergency communications and more. So how do towns and cities become good stewards of their funding while trying to reach the strategic goal of every growing area to drive economic development?
The notion of Smart Cities has erupted to use different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. And what can drive the evolution of this new technology is a synergistic private/public partnership between the city and the broadband provider who already has deep rooted infrastructure that can carry the data stream that is necessary to effectively operate this level of innovation.
There is such a large influx of data circulating our population every day. What if your hometown could use that data to reduce energy consumption and pollution, make transportation more efficient, and lure affluent tenants? These are all key ingredients to attracting and retaining businesses and in turn the employees who work for them. Sensing and monitoring public activity accurately and frequently could be the path to get there.
And while there is always an “app for that” – imagine one for your hometown...a mobile app that can alert you of traffic patterns, where an open parking spot may be or when the snowplow hits your neighborhood during a big storm.
And the goal for most growing cities is sustainability. How will they keep up with lure of large metropolitan areas? How do they attract the digitally driven generations to raise families and work in their city? Quality of life is crucial to reaching these goals.
Steve Case, co-founder of AOL predicts that we’re at the dawn of the next technological revolution unlike anything we’ve seen before—the Third Wave of the internet— that will transform the economy and the way we live our lives.
The first wave saw AOL and other companies lay the foundation for consumers to connect to the internet. The second wave saw companies like Google and Facebook build on top of the internet to create search and social networking capabilities, while apps like Snapchat and Instagram leverage the smartphone revolution. Now, Case argues, we’re entering the Third Wave: a period in which entrepreneurs will vastly transform major “real world” sectors like health, education, transportation, energy, and food—and in the process change the way we live our daily lives. But success in the Third Wave will require a different skill set. And this is dependent upon how cities/towns are going to reinvent themselves to become relevant to the digital economy that we now live in. At the core of that is infrastructure. Infrastructure doesn’t only mean roads and electricity anymore; it includes broadband, the driver to powering this level of innovation and offering the platform for cities to thrive.
The broadband delivery mechanism is just as important as the technology itself being used. The world is going to run on very bandwidth intensive requirements, and cable companies have built a network that can more than handle the workload. 100% fiber-optic solutions are the latest and greatest delivery method for internet services. The fiber pipe is limitless when it comes to capacity, offering multi-site connectivity that cities who utilize the Smart City model will need.
Techrepublic unpacks what a Smart City is and how by 2050 60% of the population will live in cities.
Telepresence and telecommuting have continued to rise in everyday use among employees for even the biggest of corporations. The old logic of face-to-face office communication being important is now made possible through technology. And some studies have even shown that workplace collaboration flourishes even more among employees working collectively from different places. The truth is, technology has afforded us to have a highly relational experience in the workplace without having to be in the same room. We’ll unpack the many benefits for companies to consider when deciding whether remote employees and offices is the right move for their business.
In 2017, FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics partnered together to create The State of Telecommuting in the US Employee Workforce report. The report looked at the state of telecommuting in the US and those findings delivered some interesting statistics:
When looking at remote offices, the benefits have routinely had a major impact on the environment, by reducing travel to and from the office, reducing greenhouse gases, saving time by cutting out the need for travel which helps budgetary expenses, etc. But while many employees and businesses find telecommuting to be a positive option for their workforce, broadband is a crucial component to reaping the full benefits.
Telecommuting On the Rise
In relative terms, telecommuting consists of having employees that work outside of the traditional office setting or location. While most think this notion is a work from home scenario, remote offices can take place in co-office environments, the library, a coffee shop, outdoors and more.
When it comes to talent – both attracting and retaining it– greater opportunities exist when remote work is offered and on the negotiation table. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an estimated 1 million computing jobs that will not be filled by 2020. This reflects findings from the recruiting firm Manpower, which recently completed their 2018 Talent Shortage Survey, showing that the global talent shortage is at a 12-year high and is affecting several industries.
Technology is one such industry that is being challenged by a talent shortage. We discussed how technology companies are looking outside of their city limits in order to attract a more qualified and skilled work force. When you open up the geographical boundaries of hiring it increases the talent pool to choose from. And companies are realizing that finding the right talent is more important to a company’s productivity and growth vs. filling a seat in a cubicle.
The Workplace of the Future
Employees who work remotely actually find themselves to be more productive when working from home versus working at the office. In an infographic by SurePayRoll, employees noted what prohibited their productivity when in a traditional office setting:
This is a big misconception about telecommuting and remote work - that employees aren’t nearly as productive if they are at home and not in an office environment. The Harvard Business Review investigated this notion in 2014, when they conducted a survey on the employees of the Chinese travel website Ctrip.
Not only did the company save money on physical office space and furniture, the very idea they thought would be reflected in the study, but they saw an increase in their daily customer call tasks from those who chose to work from home. Those that worked from home completed 13.5% more calls in a day than their office counterparts. While being in the office can give employers a sense of accountability, it can also be distracting for employees – more break times, long lunches, office 'chit-chat', and 'water cooler’ behavior.
But if remote employees aren’t able to see one another, how will they be able to communicate or collaborate together?
Imagine the workplace of the future where there are actually no physical employees to be found. All work is done remotely, with productive and collaborative employees. Thanks to increasing innovations with technology, that future is already here. With the use of video conferencing apps and programs, remote employees can see each other in real time, while also sharing their work screens for additional help.
Using chat programs, like Slack or Skype, allows for employees to be in contact with each other throughout their workday, so that they don’t feel as though they are separate from the rest of the team. The reverse of that, having a quiet area to work in without interruptions, is equally beneficial. As Ctrip discovered, without the noisy office background, their work at home employees were able to accomplish more tasks during their workday.
With the lack of a daily commute or the need to run errands only during lunch, remote employees are better engaged with both their work and with each other. Telepresence has offered a quality of life component that so many employees are striving to achieve.
Constructing the Remote Office of the Future
Communication is key when it comes to telecommuting. It’s not just about having employees talk to one another, it’s about having an established routine that encourages interaction over the internet. Happyforce, a company that provides a feedback tool for employees to participate, has no physical offices, but utilizes the internet to conduct their business. All of their workforce work from home and to ensure collaboration and communication, they regularly have virtual coffee chats – where they discuss their everyday lives – and even virtual lunches, so people can eat together and further engage to cultivate relationships.
In order to provide both in-house and remote employees with the ability to chat and communicate with one another, organizations need to ensure they are using a fast, reliable and robust broadband delivery mechanism. Video conferencing takes up a large chunk of bandwidth and that doesn’t include any other program that might be running in the background (such as email, browsers, external programs, etc). Accessing files that the group may be working on in real time means that the bandwidth to share data rich files has to support the upload/download needed to review pieces at the same time. Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions from Mediacom Business provides the data pipe that businesses need without restriction, offering capacity up to 10 Gigabit and beyond. Through 100% fiber-optic data and voice solutions, businesses can provide the multi-site / multi-user connectivity needed to be able to power all of these productivity-worthy technologies which are only as good as the broadband backbone behind it.
While some companies are hesitant to offer the ability to work from home, other organizations are discovering the benefits to the practice, especially as more and more millennials enter the workforce and push for the ability to work remote either part time or full time as well as the hesitancy of packing up their lives and moving. Telecommuting opens up new avenues and opportunities, not just for those seeking to work from home, but for businesses to help cut costs and find talent that might not accessible due to their geographic area.