8 Steps to Unified Communications - Step 1

Alan Percy : The SIP Invite
Alan Percy
| Observations by Alan D. Percy on VoIP enabling technology, industry and our personal reach for success.

8 Steps to Unified Communications - Step 1

UC Migration Slide3.JPGAs I mentioned in my first blog from here at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles, over the next four days, I’ll be walking you through best practices for eight steps to take your customer from a traditional PBX to a full unified communications solution based on Microsoft Lync, highlighting the cost savings and benefits your customers will enjoy as well as your opportunities to make the journey successful and profitable for all involved.

In most cases, you'll be starting with two disconnected networks - one for the legacy PBX with phones and voicemail, the other is the web and email network operating on the corporate LAN. 

Migrating from this point to a full-UC solution may seem like a huge and monolithic process, a complex process that will transform your customer’s business, but will also take some time and expertise to complete. So now what?

As with many things, it’s best to break this uber-project down into component parts, and the first step for many businesses to move to unified messaging is to bring in unified messaging – making voice mail part of the Outlook workflow. This is done by bringing in Exchange Server UM to replace your customer’s legacy voicemail service,

Exchange UM is connected to the PBX by a media gateway like the AudioCodes Mediant 1000, which takes the TDM interfaces on the PBX and converts traffic into Session Initiation Protocol (SIP, a protocol that works with Exchange.)

UC Migration - Slide4.JPGWith all of the attention here at WPC around the cloud in general and Microsoft’s recently-launched Office 365 cloud-based productivity suite in particular, it’s worth pointing out at this point that AudioCodes Media Gateways have your back no matter which way your customer weighs in on the cloud vs. on-prem debate. Whether they’d prefer to keep their new messaging system in their datacenter or outsource it via your preferred hosting partner or Microsoft itself, the media gateways will make it easy to integrate Exchange UM.   Result: your customer’s staff will enjoy the benefit of getting all their messages – voice and e-mail – in the same unified inbox.

A word on the media gateway here: At this point, we’re just getting started using the gateway’s capabilities - we’re going to be leaning on this product more and more as we progress through steps – keep an eye on the big picture of the total migration and provision the media gateway based on the grand plan.

At this point, the traffic still all flows over the PBX, but voicemail is delivered through Outlook by Exchange Server UM. In the next step, we’ll start to really ramp up the value by getting Microsoft Lync up and running, and I’ll share with you the best ways to make sure that Lync deployment goes smoothly and catches on throughout your customer’s organization.

(Note: all of the slide images in this 8-part series can be enlarged - just click on the image)

Continue to Step 2 >>

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