What VARs Need to Migrate Customers to UC Telephony
We all know that business communications and telephony are changing. Some of the important changes include:
- Migrating from legacy TDM to IP telephony
- More and more workers are using mobile devices to communicate and access information
- Most companies now use SIP Gateways to connect to the PSTN
- Businesses with all-IP environments are employing Session Border Controllers (SBCs) to secure ITSP connections
- The rise of Unified Communications (UC) where telephony systems interoperate with other modes of communications (email, chat, presence, social networking, etc.)
- Communications-Enabled Business Processes (CEBP)
- Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) options
Why are Such Changes Important?
There are many justifications for such changes, including:
- Lower operational costs
- Reduced support requirements from internal IT staff
- Greater flexibility for person-to-person contacts
- Fewer delays in daily communications
- Workers can use mobile devices to interact with business process applications
- Centralized, consolidated application-server architecture
- "Virtualization" of desktop and mobile applications
What remains critical for realizing the benefits mentioned above, is the need for seamless network connectivity with all components of a business process. Internal and external users, and all their various devices, must be able to have access to the system. This will require implementing new SIP-based network connectivity, with wireless connections through carrier services, and interoperability with existing premise-based telephone systems.
Who Will do the Telephony Migration "Heavy Lifting?"
We know that legacy telephony will not disappear overnight. That means we will have to maintain interoperability with existing telephony technologies while implementing the new stuff. There is a lot of complexity involved in achieving a smooth transition from legacy telephony, while maintaining seamless interoperability with legacy telephony systems and networks. Because of such complexity and the still-evolving nature of the new technologies, most business organizations and communication service providers don't have the internal expertise to do the job.
Such resource limitations will be particularly important for the huge SMB market. Many companies must rely on outside resources, with both the experience and the technology tools, to implement their individual solution needs easily and efficiently. In this way, small to medium organizations can benefit from acquiring new business communication capabilities without further taxing their internal technical staff.
Traditional Value Added Resellers (VARs), System Integrators (SIs), and Channel Partners have been the "go to" third-party providers for implementing communication systems. However, they must be properly prepared to implement the specific network connectivity that each customer will uniquely require to meet their communication needs.
As communication technologies continue to evolve and change, SMBs need technology providers who not only specialize in the new UC technologies, but also provide implementation tools as well as ongoing training and support.
VoIP Gateways and Routers Can Make a Difference in Migrating to UC
There are many vendors in the IP Telephony market, both new and old. It will be important to select a technology provider who offers implementors and integrators the right software tools and support to do the job flexibly and efficiently while meeting the differing requirements of their clients.
One company that specializes in providing the networking tools and integration flexibility is Patton Electronics, which designs and manufactures SmartNode VoIP Gateways and Routers. Patton partners extensively with leading IP-PBX providers. While the manufacturer is very well-established throughout Europe (with tens of thousands of installations running worldwide since 1998), Patton is not quite as well known in North America.
Patton's New Branch Office Appliance - SmartNode Branch Exchange (SNBX)
Depending on remote office needs, some customers may need a complete, new on-premise desktop telephone system, that will easily exploit VoIP while providing reliable interoperability with UC-enabled communications. Designed for small-to-medium businesses (20-100 seats), Patton's SNBX incorporates a software-based IP PBX from the partner company, 3CX. The SNBX is ready for plug-and-play use with IP phones and VoIP gateways or SBCs. Patton also offers a complete bundle that provides eveything needed for a remote branch location.
Comprehensive Product Offerings
Product offerings from Patton reflect the following competive benefits:
- Full range of business-class VoIP Gateways, IADs, and SBCs scalable for any size installation
- Maximum flexibility for integration and interoperability with any network topology
- Established recognition for high hardware/software product reliability
- High-quality voice
- More IP Telephony functionality
- Comprehensive training for channel partners
- Free lifetime support and software upgrades for their products
- Extended warranty and premium, customized support services to back up integrators and end-user organizations
- Competitive pricing
- Global support for worldwide business operations
In a recent interiew, Ramon Felder, President/CEO of Patton Electronics European Operations, reported that Patton recently introduced the first business-class, cloud-based redirection service, which allows service providers and integrators to reduce setup and installation time. Ramon also indicated that for maximum, reliable network operation, Patton offers bonding and load-balancing routers capable of dynamically combining and switching multiple VoIP network connections.
The UC Connection - Microsoft Lync
While Patton's SmartNode offerings facilitate all forms of VoIP connectivity for any size business or communication service provider, they have not forgotten the importance of interoperability with UC platforms and services. Patton has aggressively pursued, and achieved, certified interconnectivity with Microsoft's Lync Server 2013, as well as other UC offerings such as IBM Sametime.
Big Opportunity for Channel Partners
With headquarters and manufacuring facilities in the United States, Patton has a long, 30-year history in the telecommunications industry as a Telco equipment equipment manufacturer. The company brings telephony interoperability to a variety of UC platforms. In addition to Lync, Patton is certified for interoperation with Broadsoft, a leading UC "cloud" platform provider.
There is no question that business telephony is rapidly moving toward multi-modal unified communications. Yet the challenge of migrating gracefully from existing TDM telephony installations is where VARs, SIs, and other channel partners can help by providing expertise in connecting the old with the new. Along with its gold-standard free support, Patton offers such channel partners the sort of implementation tools that are flexible enough to easily address each customer's unique telephony migration needs, whether SMBs, large enterprises, or service providers.
On-premise UC for the SME
On a separate note, look out for an up-and-coming company called 3CX in the UC space! This company is moving large volumes of its Windows-based UC platforms and getting a lot of attention in the SME market. It's easy to install and very affordable for savvy SMEs.
This paper is sponsored by Patton.