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Over the past week, I spent some time thinking about what an impact either really effective or ineffective communication can have on businesses or society as a whole (yes, I tend to get philosophical sometimes). I also thought about how my birthday is this week and wondered whether I’d effectively communicated my gift ideas to friends and family – guess I’ll find out soon enough. Anyway, the year I was born Marshall McLuhan became famous with the publication of Understanding Media, in which he states right at the beginning that a medium is "any extension of ourselves”, or most importantly, he defines media as technological extensions of the body. He passed away in 1980, but maybe he imagined us in the 21st century running around with our laptop and phone “technological extensions” texting, IM-ing, emailing, Facebook-ing, Twitter-ing, etc…

So what ARE the IT communication and collaboration “mediums” a medium-sized business depends on and how do we improve them? If you read Jeff Wettlaufer’s blog on this topic from last week, you’ll notice he really hit the nail on the head identifying the shift in communications and collaboration mediums taking place in  larger companies AND midsize businesses today: “Emails are no longer the only way people talk.  VOIP, Instant Messaging, email extensions to hardware like unified communication telephone systems, and social networking have simply become the way offices stay in touch.” Since pretty much every IT admin I talk to who works in a midsize business says that communication (email, VOIP, IM, etc.) is the #1 most critical piece of IT infrastructure keeping the business up and running, we know we have to deliver the right tools to help our customers better manage this part of IT.

In his post, Jeff mentioned a lot of the really powerful technology our System Center solutions offer to help larger companies keep the lines of communication going, but most people don’t realize we have the very same underlying technologies built into our midsize business solution (read SCE 2010 + DPM 2010). SCE 2010, designed with a single unified console to manage your Servers, PCs, hardware and services, also uses Management Packs to analyze performance availability, configuration and security settings, as well as the status of communication application and server resources. Together with the physical and virtual data protection capabilities of DPM 2010, this solution enables:

  • Increased messaging availability with end-to-end management of physical and virtual environments
  • Improved compliance through best practice automation
  • Optimization through specific configuration and performance monitoring capabilities at the application level
  • Continuous data protection of resources like Exchange servers and Sharepoint content databases

So, as you head into 2010, you might want to take stock of the IT “mediums” your company depends on to effectively communicate and collaborate, then see how the benefits of integrated virtualization and management can help you cut costs and improve your company’s bottom line.  And, since the “medium is the message”, outages or performance issues can have a far greater impact on today’s business than ever before – let’s be careful out there.

Trivia: More than ten years after his death Marshall McCluhan was named the "patron saint" of Wired magazine.

Once again, thanks for reading this post!

Harley Trip 030
David Mills
Sr. Product Manager
System Center


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