There are five major elements that characterize advanced communication architectures:
- Locations share the IP-PBX and no longer access the PSTN solely through local gateways
- Aggregation layer is used for inter-cluster trunking and central gateways or SIP trunking
- Session management is used for central UC&C applications
- Adoption of a company-wide dial plan
- Central service management becomes mandatory
Locations use shared IP-PBX
In the days of traditional circuit switched telephony, companies were required to put a PBX on every site, meaning that a large organization had many hundreds, if not thousands, of PBX switches. Advanced communications architectures now uses shared IP-PBX that are located in regional data centers. Calls are aggregated to the regional hub, rather than having a T1 trunk for every location to access the PSTN, saving considerable annual carrier costs.
Large organizations still need multiple IP-PBX clusters, but the inter-cluster trunking is now controlled by an aggregation layer switch or session boarder controller. This allows the platform to scale more easily, as new PBX clusters can be added without having to update all other PBXs or gateways in the architecture.
Session management centralizes application integration, greatly improves flexibility, and provides the foundation for supporting enterprise-wide UC&C features and applications. It becomes far easier to add new UC&C applications at the session management layer rather than at each IP-PBX cluster.
Adoption of a company-wide dial plan
Advanced communications architectures are able to adopt centrally-managed, enterprise-wide dial plans, to improve flexibility. The dial plan is integrated between three layers: the aggregation layer, the application layer and also the local gateway. This lowers costs and provides more advanced call flows such as least cost routing and SIP trunking, with fail-over back to a local resilient gateway.
Central service management
Last but not least, advanced communications architectures adopt a new management framework that centralizes management functions for provisioning, operations, and service management. Advanced communication architectures have a much lower TCO than traditional architectures. For traditional architectures, dial plans and other configurations were very difficult to keep in sync (and often were not), and overall maintenance and administration was a huge headache and very costly. The larger and more complex the enterprise or service provider, the more suited they will be to adopting the advanced communications architecture; and the greater the benefit from a central management system such as VOSS.