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Skype for Business BLOG
The rapid rise of Microsoft’s Skype for Business is a strong incentive for enterprises to consider deploying the popular Unified Communications suite. The Company’s most recent announcements regarding their on-line version and the replacement of on-premises based PBX with Cloud PBX are also compelling in a period in which the trend to the Cloud is almost universal. However, despite the technical and business advantages of Skype for Business UC, there are many reasons why organizations might want to hold on to a legacy voice system on a temporary or permanent basis. Reasons vary and can range from the need to maintain specialized functionality such as contact centers or alarm systems to investment protection for legacy equipment, to the current functionality gap between the on-premises and cloud-based offerings and even objective availability and regulatory requirements which may mean that Skype for Business Online may not be available at various locations around the world for the foreseeable future.
By Mike Erps, Solutions Manager, Unified Communications, AudioCodes
One of the biggest challenges today with the vision of transitioning to Microsoft’s recently released Cloud PBX revolves around matching business needs with available features. Although Cloud PBX is on a rapid pace to parity with Skype for Business Server, some of the advanced features are only available on-premises for the foreseeable future. For example, a user who migrates to Cloud PBX today won’t be able to take advantage of features like response groups or integration with contact center software. In addition, the organization will not be able to use existing analog / fax lines or common area phones.
As appeared on No Jitter, January 11, 2016
By focusing on the network dial plan and number normalization aspects of session management, an enterprise can tame the dial plan beast.
I have been making and answering telephone calls for over 50 years, and yet I still struggle when it comes to remembering the numbers of most of the people I see and work with on a daily basis. Heck, I couldn't even tell you the telephone numbers of my kids' cell phones.
That's not because I have digit phobia.
Are You Stuck in the Fog on Your Way to the Cloud? A practical approach to migrating (the right) users to Cloud PBXDecember 2, 2015
Many organizations are stuck in the fog of complexity as they move towards the promise of communications in the cloud. Recent Microsoft announcements surrounding enterprise voice for Skype for Business in the cloud have caused significant waves – and no small amount of confusion – in the market. Cloud PBX and PSTN calling will undoubtedly have a dramatic impact the way organizations communicate. Since the online offering does not yet have all the features of Skype for Business server, it is important that enterprises evaluate needs carefully and plan their users’ migration to the cloud accordingly.
This is taken from Anthony Caragol's Skype for Business Blog
It’s a new world, it’s a new model, SIP is king and Unified Communications has supplanted standalone telephony. We are always connected, we have endless choice for effective communication, we can start large video conferences from a disposable device in our pockets, we live in the future. So why am I so excited about this new high density analog gateway from AudioCodes?
In a perfect world, analog would be dead, but we live in the real world with legacy processes and systems that need to be brought forward.
This week, Andrew Prokop, Director of Vertical Industries at Arrow Systems Integration, featured a blog entitled, High Availability Session Border Controllers Down and Dirty, on his SIP Adventures blog. The full article appeared in No Jitter.
The subject is important and we at AudioCodes have also blogged on this subject in the past.
Recent Microsoft announcements surrounding enterprise voice for Skype for Business in the cloud caused significant waves in the market. Cloud PBX and PSTN calling will have a dramatic impact on the ecosystem. Yet, real parity between the on-premises Skype for Business Server and the online offering will still take a few years and many companies have concerns about making an immediate full transition to the cloud.
- Availability and regulatory issues requiring local PSTN connectivity
- The current Online enterprise voice feature set is limited
- Quality of Service over the open Internet can be problematic
- Customers may not be in a rush to forgo existing contracts and working network devices
- Customers may prefer a gradual migration of users to the cloud
Microsoft understood this and implemented a strategy to offer a solution for this market reality.
Every once in a while, you run across a jewel of knowledge - small but precious and worth saving. During Microsoft Ignite in Chicago this spring I was fortunate to attend a jewel of a presentation by Anthony Caragol, one of a hand-full of Lync/Skype for Business MVPs when he shared his "Top 10" list with a group of administrators and managers.
Anthony's Top 10 List:
- If you decide to go virtual, do so with great caution
- Got QoS? You had better plan on it from end-to-end of your network.
- Not all back-ups are created equal.
- Plan your E911 strategy (while you still can)
- Session Border Controller - your key to security and future flexibility
- Understand what you are replacing
- Don't overlook User Adoption - a lot of hard work may go to waste
- Management Shell Scripts - the window to hidden features
- Monitor everything - or risk being surprised
- Devices - Qualified or Optimized only, please
What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts with Anthony on Twitter @CanthonyCaragol
By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Marketing at AudioCodes
As a manager of Unified Communications, you have many concerns, from security, to survivability and operational costs. You’ve probably been inundated with materials, whitepapers and reports from the vendors and analysts on the topic of cloud-based UC solutions. They promise greater security, scaling, simplified implementation, better reliability through geographic diversity and the opportunity to “pay-as-you-go”.
by Alan D. Percy, Senior Director of Marketing, AudioCodes
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to talk with Matt Jones, Manager of Infrastructure Services at Quaero, a data management and analytics company with offices in Charlotte and Boston, and a third office Bangalore, India.
During our discussion, Matt explained “…that Quaero had gone through a couple different ownership changes, and as a result, were looking for an affordable way to move from Cisco to Lync 2013”. As part of the project, Quaero executives expected to use Lync to tie together their Charlotte and Boston offices, using a paired pool architecture for improved resilience.