In this Industry Buzz podcast hosted by Jim Burton, the BCStrategies Experts discuss 2019.

In this Executive Insights podcast, BCStrategies' Jim Burton welcomes Jim Machi, Vice President of Marketing of business communications supplier Sa

Microsoft Discontinues Third-Party PBX Integration – What It Could Mean For You

On July 18, 2017, Microsoft announced that it will no longer support the use of Session Border Controllers (SBCs) and SIP integration to connect third-party PBXs/Telephony systems to Exchange Online Unified Messaging (UM). This means that Office 365 customers will no longer be able to directly connect third-party PBX systems with Exchange Online UM and will have to implement an alternative approach in order to provide voicemail or unified messaging to their users.

AVST Answers the Call for Microsoft Exchange UM

Unified messaging (UM) had its heyday in the late 1990s/early 2000s, and many workers still rely on it today. Last week, Microsoft announced that starting in July 2018, they will no longer support the use of Session Border Controllers (SBC) to connect third-party PBX systems to Exchange Online Unified Messaging (UM). This means that many Microsoft customers will be seeking an alternative Unified Messaging solution.

How to Carve a PBX

The vertically-integrated silo of the PBX is obsolete. A like-for-like replacement of any PBX - TDM or IP - should be challenged before making any investments. We saw this happen with mainframe computers several decades ago (See "Only the Paranoid Survive" by Andy Grove, Chairman Emeritus, Intel). Now it has happened with PBXs, the mainframes of voice communications. So, what would you buy instead?

Two Dial Plans... Sometimes Less is (not) More

Some PBX professionals familiar with Cisco or Avaya phone systems are under the impression that if you add Lync voice to the environment, the administrative complexities could outweigh the benefits. "You'd have to create and maintain two dial plans," they often say. Less is more, oftentimes, but before dismissing the notion, consider the benefits of adding Lync to an existing PBX environment.

Lync is connected to existing PBXs for two reasons:

View from the Solution Integrator: House of Lync and Sonus

When I speak with enterprise customers and resellers about unified communications, two of the biggest issues and challenges mentioned are interoperability and security. Most organizations, especially those that have gone through mergers and acquisitions, have multiple PBXs and switches that need to be integrated together, and demand a safe and secure environment for their business communications. One solution to both of these issues is the use of Session Border Controllers (SBCs), which establish trusted connections at both ends of the IP session, as well as authenticated identity.