How AudioCodes Professional Services Helped AudioCodes IT Migrate to a Global Microsoft Teams Voice Solution
The sudden and dramatic changes in working practices brought about by the Covid-19 epidemic have been well-documented in the media. Here at AudioCodes, we all found ourselves having to cope with the “new normal” with the majority of the company switching to working from home. And yet this change brought with it a major improvement in our ability to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers, as the company switched to using Microsoft Teams in an amazingly short time.
I decided to speak to Moshe Mizrachi, director of IT infrastructure at AudioCodes, to find out how AudioCodes managed to achieve this remarkable feat.
Moshe’s job is to ensure that all of AudioCodes’ employees have access to the IT services they need – whenever they need them and wherever they are located around the world. That includes all standard productivity tools, like email, Office 365 and storage, as well as telecommunications.
At the beginning of 2020, AudioCodes employees were connected for the most part using Skype for Business, with Teams beginning to be used by some departments, especially for conference calls and collaboration. “However, the growing number of remote users working in SoHo [small office, home office] environments posed a major challenge for telephony services,” Moshe explained, “as we could not provide them with DID direct numbering.” The upshot of this was that many calls to and from all parts of the world were being directed via AudioCodes’ main Skype for Business servers in Israel, opening the door for voice quality degradation and significantly racking up communications costs.
Moshe realized that Teams could offer a simple solution to this problem. The combination of a cloud-based solution and the Teams Direct Routing feature supported by AudioCodes Mediant SBCs meant that the physical location of an employee would not be a barrier to enjoying a full voice service with local DIDs.
Moshe and his team had been planning a gradual company migration to Teams but then in March 2020 Covid-19 struck. Suddenly, the vast majority of AudioCodes’ staff found themselves working from home. Almost overnight, Teams became an essential tool for everyday tasks and it only made sense that it should also become the default platform for voice communications within the company.
Remarkably, Moshe, aided by his global IT team and the AudioCodes professional services organization, managed to plan and implement the migration of AudioCodes’ entire workforce – 900 users – to Teams voice calling within just two weeks!
Using a combination of already deployed SBCs and some new ones (some of which were deployed as virtual devices in the Azure public cloud), all AudioCodes employees now rely entirely on Teams for all their business communications needs.
I can tell you, from my personal experience, the changeover was practically seamless. As I write this blog in June 2020, still working from home, I find it incredibly easy to contact any of my colleagues wherever they are, using Teams. And the quality of the calls is almost always excellent (even when having to contend with other members of the family vying for their share of the broadband connection).
But what about the rest of AudioCodes’ employees? How has the move to Teams affected them? According to Moshe, the whole migration project has been an overwhelming success.
“Although we had plans to migrate our users to Teams, the coronavirus crisis became a catalyst to speed up the process,” he told me. “Despite the short time frame, the results have been extremely positive and all our employees can now enjoy high quality voice and video calls, along with full collaboration with colleagues and external partners around the globe.”
The winning combination of Teams and AudioCodes voice-enabling solutions has proved itself many times for AudioCodes’ customers. When the time came to put our money where our mouth is and employ our field-proven technology to improve our own employees’ work experience, we were not disappointed.