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Maintaining Good Form for Critical Communications

Posted 21/04/16

While I was slogging away at the Gym with my Trainer I realised that to get the best out of the training program, I had to think like a robot whilst working out.  To do this means practicing good form every time you perform a resistance-based exercise.  Using good form is about ensuring the movement is applied with the correct cadence and in the right plane every time – you have to think of your body as a smart machine, and move your arms, legs and core in a repeatable way to target the exact areas and deliver the most effective stimulus to your central nervous system for your body.  Focusing this way ensures that you will get the best results to keep in shape.

The same way we use good form to keep our body fit can easily translate to business.  Good form in a complex  communications environment – especially one governed by compliance initiatives –  means making sure all the moving parts are functioning in unison to deliver critical services to users and clients while at the same time meeting the legal, business and regulatory mandates .  There are desktop devices, switches and routers, servers, network facilities and multiple real time applications that need to work harmoniously to deliver a fit for purpose communications environment, in the same manner we have arms and legs.  And, the core communications infrastructure is akin to the central nervous system of our bodies.  In order to maintain good form, consider thinking like a robot to implement smart machines that will ensure you have consistent, repeatable results meeting business and compliance requirements.

According to a recent Gartner report, smart machines provide advanced solutions to complex tasks, by “fully automating tasks and removing human control, and by augmenting the cognitive and physical performance of individuals in a manner that feels like an extension of their own abilities.”   Think of the opportunities for smart machine automation of complex, time consuming tasks to improve critical communications. Validate the technology and the services running across the technology are performing at optimal levels.  Track every transaction to confirm accurate capture and storage.  Test and measure voice quality against every phone.  Be ready to provide evidence in a timely manner when requested.  Sound daunting?  Not if you have smart machines to automate these tasks by emulating multiple engineering routines with the velocity, consistency and degree of accuracy that simply outpaces human performance.

Training to become fit can be based on more resistance to gain more mass or more repetitions to gain more endurance.  The same is true for automated testing of your critical communications infrastructure. Increasing the testing load will provide strength to your compliance program, safeguarding you against regulatory compliance as well as providing evidence required to defend against potential litigation.  Increasing the testing frequency from weekly or daily to near real time or real time will stimulate performance continuity. Blending strength and endurance testing will yield tangible financial benefits and long term positive brand benefits.

Two rules of a successful training program to maintain good form is to rest between your training sessions and stay hydrated during and after each session.  Work some muscles day one, hydrate, rest day two, still hydrate, work another muscle set day three, hydrate some more, and so on.  However critical communications environments don’t have any rest days.  All moving parts are being stressed every day which is all the more reason to incorporate a smart machine testing approach to your current monitoring routine.  Being able to baseline the environment on a daily basis, confirm the accuracy of transactions as they occur and dashboard results to view the health of your services and identify problem areas quickly may not give you a rest day but you can be rest assured your services, technologies and compliance programs are in good form continuously.

And remember to hydrate frequently!

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