BroadSoft-AudioCodes

Defining the Future at BroadSoft Connections 2015

 

AudioCodes All-IP TransformationBroadSoft Connections is one of the highlights of the telecom industry year, bringing together service providers from all over the world to learn about new developments and technologies at one of the busiest events for this community. The day before it opened, I had the chance to chat briefly with Michael Tessler, CEO and President of BroadSoft, while he was on his way to the Ballroom. Michael expressed his excitement about the great turnout and scale of BroadSoft Connections this year. As Michael mentioned in his opening session, BroadSoft powers 41% of UCaaS seats globally, so the popularity of the event is no surprise to us. AudioCodes was honored to be a Platinum Plus sponsor this year, allowing us to have a larger presence and to showcase our hot topic of “All-IP Transformation” with perfect timing.

The process of transforming to an all-IP network is at a pivotal stage and was a key discussion point during our meetings with service providers. Service providers are looking for ways to migrate their ISDN infrastructure to pure IP in a simple but reliable way without hefty spending. This was also the main topic of conversation at the Network Transformation breakout session, where together with BroadSoft and Cavell, I had the opportunity to discuss the main message that “there is more to IP Transformation than just SIP Trunking”. In other words, service providers can leverage the process of migrating their existing ISDN network to build the necessary infrastructure and develop plans for expanding their service offering and increasing ARPU.

 

BroadSoft-AudioCodes

Some other highlights of the event included:

  • BroadSoft’s announcement that it has selected AudioCodes’ SBCs for the BroadCloud SIP Trunking service. SBCs are considered an essential element of SIP trunking services – offering interoperability, security and high quality of service as well as enabling the delivery of new, additional services in the future.
  • Our NFV demonstration at the booth was a big hit. By using NFV tools we can deploy a Virtual CPE where local functions such as router, firewall and SBC are instantiated from the cloud, up to the point where on-premises devices will auto-configure themselves with the BroadWorks platform.
  • The debut of AudioCodes’ new, high-scale analog gateway – the MP-1288. The event was the first time our customers could see this new device that addresses mid-market enterprises and verticals such as hospitality, healthcare and education. The MP-1288 enables enterprises to continue using their existing cabling and analog phones when migrating to hosted PBX solutions thus avoiding the costs of a rip-and-replace upgrade.

 

After countless discussions and meetings, we left the event truly inspired by how the BroadSoft community is defining the future of the service provider industry.

 

See you next year!

all you need is cloud

All You Need is Cloud

[Post is better viewed on the blog Website]

all you need is cloudI recently read the post from Software Advice called 3 Ways to Keep Your VoIP Service From Going Down With the Internet by Don Sadler. Overall it, was music to my ears, hence the title of this post.

Many people fall in love with the concept that going cloud with your enterprise telephony system means the end of all of your telephony worries.

The reality is more complicated, however.

Don’t get me wrong, putting your enterprise communications in the cloud is the right way to go. Yet life is a bit more complex than pure cloud vs. pure on-premise. The grey area between them is what complicates things.

The misconception of pure cloud

Starting to use an enterprise communications cloud service would basically require the following steps:

  • Register for the service and pay with your credit card
  • Upload an Excel file with all users and extensions
  • Start talking

This would pretty much be all that is required for a greenfield, a one location business with a few guys that are using an application on their mobile phones for their business telephony operations. But what if you are an enterprise, large or SMB, with multiple locations and an existing telephony system?

In such a case there will be a few requirements that will complicate things. A non-exhaustive list of these requirements include:

  • Gradual migration to the cloud
  • Call flow optimization (e.g. when 2 users are calling in the same premise)
  • Cost optimization when calling to PSTN
  • Resiliency

Gradual migration to the cloud

Typically, IT will not pull the plug on the current on-premise system and plug in the cloud service instead. They would run a test on one site, then expand to a multi-site pilot and only after a few months make the switch. What happens during this pilot phase and how are the 2 systems connected?

Moreover, in some deployments, IT may decide to maintain the old system for a longer period.  This may be due to technical or business reasons. Supporting this requirement will typically be achieved by deploying an on-premise SBC that will connect the 2 networks and make this integration transparent to the end user.

Call flow optimization

In the pure cloud approach, when all you have on-premise are IP Phones or an application on your smartphone, for example a phone call from John to his colleague next door, Alice, would see the signaling going through the cloud.

How about the media?

Would it go directly between John and Alice or would it need to go all the way to the cloud provider and back?

The answer is… it depends.

There are various factors that will determine the media flow in such a case. The key requirement for the cloud provider to technically be able to enable direct media is to know John and Alice are located on the same network. This can be achieved by simply having one “leg” of the cloud SBC in the enterprise network, something that introduces a security vulnerability or through an on-premise “component” that will figure this out. In real world deployments, all of these options exist.

Cost optimization when calling to PSTN

Do you want all calls to the PSTN to go out from the cloud provider’s network or perhaps you have better PSTN termination agreements in some areas where you also have a local branch? Would you want to route calls to the PSTN in that calling area through your local branch?

Achieving this will require some extra routing logic and an on-premise GW in the branch office.

Resiliency

This brings us back to Don Sadler’s post that talks about resiliency requirements for hosted communication services. Resiliency will keep communications alive even if the cloud provider’s service goes down or if there is a problem with the company’s connection to the provider. Having an on-premise cloud appliance will ensure continuity of communications between extensions in the branch, calls to the PSTN and routing of calls through a backup Internet connection (e.g. cellular).

Enterprise Hosted Services Architecture

A typical hosted enterprise communication services architecture

Conclusion

If you are in process of architecting your move to the cloud, it is important to remember that as VoIP cloud deployments move from MPLS to non-dedicated lines over the Internet, the level of control in the hands of your cloud provider is reduced. As such, having an on-premise demarcation point becomes essential. Solutions that enhance cloud communication services are available on the market. Audiocodes, as part of its One Voice for Hosted Services, offers such solutions specifically for Broadsoft deployments as well as for other hosted VoIP and UC deployments.

Featured image credit: Paula Izzo
AudioCodes and Broadsoft One Voice for Hosted Services

One Voice for Hosted Services Coming to Frankfurt

We have 2 major events this week both centered on AudioCodes One Voice solutions. While our team is setting up in Las Vegas for the Lync Conference and the many related activities AudioCodes will have there, I wanted to share with you some insights into our One Voice for Hosted Services event we will be holding later this week in Frankfurt, Germany, together with BroadSoft.AudioCodes and Broadsoft One Voice for Hosted Services

Bringing together service providers from Europe and endorsed by CEOs of both companies, the event will be a great place to learn about how to meet the challenges in launching and managing hosted Unified Communications services and how the combination of BroadSoft and AudioCodes solutions work to accelerate the revenue generation of such a service.

A Gartner analyst pointed out during a call we had before Christmas, that the on-premise equipment (or CPE) is one of the main pain-points for hosted services. The analyst noted two main challenges: (1) the many CPE vendors that the service provider needs to integrate and support, and (2) the high OPEX incurring at the stage of the installation at the customer premise. Not surprisingly, these very same challenges were mentioned by operators we met within the past few months, indicating that massive efforts and resources are invested in recurring on-premise equipment setup and operation.

AudioCodes One Voice for Hosted Services offering addresses exactly these points by helping to reduce the number of vendors and by the Zero-Touch provisioning this program offers to all CPEs. The offering includes a range of products covering all CPEs needs, from IP Phones and ATAs all the way up to routers and SBCs. AudioCodes Zero-Touch provisioning is designed to allow automatic configuration for all on-premise equipment without requiring a highly skilled technician to access and configure each device. The Zero-touch solution fits with the existing management by complementing the missing capabilities to reach end-to-end Zero-Touch provisioning. This mechanism will also fit both carriers and OTT service providers while adjusting to the specific network structure of each.

This week, in front of the major service providers in EMEA and together with BroadSoft, we will be presenting these solutions and demonstrating capabilities. In addition, Mr. Dean Bubley, one of the world’s leading experts on disruptive technology marketing, will examine enterprise opportunities for carriers, considering ways to find value in a rapidly-evolving ecosystem. He will also look at the immediate future and beyond, when customers will demand a better embracing of mobility, BYOD, embedded voice/video and new technologies such as WebRTC. I for one, am very much looking forward to hear what he has to say.