Is your business sacrificing productivity because you spend too much time playing the Branch Office Waiting Game?

If you do business overseas, you’re probably familiar with this common headache. You need to access an important sales presentation, an online product catalog, or a mission-critical application. So, you head online and . . . you wait.

For knowledge workers in India, China, Brazil, South Africa, and the Middle East, the application loading dead time over the Internet is a normal – and frustrating – part of their daily routines.

The Internet still fails most global businesses. Is yours one of them? To find out, simply ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your business have more than one location?
  2. Are your offices geographically dispersed, with at least one office located more than 500 miles away from HQ or the nearest sister office?
  3. Do you rely on a single ISP for your business-grade Internet links?

[bctt tweet=”Are you spending too much time playing the branch office waiting game?”]

If you answered “no” to all of the questions above, then the Internet is probably serving your business well enough – for now. With only a single location or with multiple locations within a confined region, being physically close to your colleagues shields you from many Internet congestion problems.

However, if you answered “yes” to any of these, then the Internet is probably already a frustrating bottleneck that holds back your employees’ productivity.

This is no longer a large enterprise problem. Businesses of all sizes are now conducting business overseas, and as applications move out of on-premises locations into the cloud, at one point or another, we’ll all be connecting to distant applications.

How Latency, Packet Loss, and Distance Kill Application Performance

When there is distance between the origin server and the user accessing that server, the user needs a reliable network to connect to the application. This network may be a private network, like a point-to-point link or MPLS. It may also be public, typically over the Internet.

In any case, latency negatively affects application performance. That means the higher the latency, the slower the application performs. Since information packets need to travel farther to reach the destination server, the result is higher transit times. For “chatty” protocols, the problem just gets worse.

However, latency is not the only problem when it comes to delivering acceptable application performance over the Internet. Congestion and packet loss are the real villains, and the public Internet is their breeding ground. Congestion and packet loss aggravate the effects of latency, since they cause packets to be re-transmitted. This slows down applications significantly, especially if packets need to be transmitted again and again through long-haul international links.

Why Enterprises need to stop playing the Branch Office Waiting Game?

In today’s cut-throat economy, if your employees are playing the branch office waiting game, they aren’t being productive. If they aren’t being productive, you risk losing business to the competition. Worse, if your branch employees are constantly frustrated, you also risk losing talent, as well.

Knowledge workers require LAN-like speeds in order to stay productive. And that’s as true for employees in India, Brazil, or China as it is for those in Silicon Valley, Chicago, or Dallas. If your employees can’t rely on the applications they need to do their jobs, your global initiatives will suffer.

Increasing application performance by a mere 10% can save an enterprise over $2,000 per employee in annual productivity cost.

To eliminate obstacles to productivity, global businesses need private, enterprise-grade connectivity and blazing fast application performance for all of their employees, regardless of location.

Anything less is an unacceptable compromise – and one that will eventually hurt your business.

About the author