Optimizing Basic Telephony on Your UC Platform - Part 1
Tags: Call Flow Optimization
Keith Bareham, Director Solutions Engineering, VOSS
At VOSS, we recognise that our customers are constantly trying to balance the need to deploy the latest and increasingly diverse collaboration capabilities with the investment and associated costs this requires. Hence, VOSS is committed to continually improve our management capabilities to both support these new technologies, but also to creatively find ways to help our customers reduce costs and achieve greater efficiencies.
We know that there is a continuum of advanced and complex services that some users require and in contrast, there is a continued demand for relatively simple, basic telephony services.
In cases where advanced collaboration is required, mixed with some limited volume basic telephony such as lobby phones, the Cisco UC platform (and the Cisco HCS platform for those customers who operate this) is very effective in providing these services. More advanced call management is also well-catered for.
However, in cases where only basic telephony is required, these platforms compete against a variety of other vendors whose platforms are both optimised for this type of service and are available at a very different price point. This typical mix of functionality within most enterprise customers where there is a need for advanced collaboration requires a sophisticated platform (such as HCS), but this deployment model is challenged by the need to provide high volume basic telephony in an economic way.
An example is in the retail sector where collaboration requirements of staff running the business from main offices can be very different to those of staff working in the local stores. The business challenge is the high volume of telephony in the local stores requiring a practical and economic solution for basic telephony, delivered alongside the advanced collaboration needs in the main office. Of course, there are many other examples of this mix across other market segments.
Other factors sometimes come into play when dealing with these telephony requirements. There may be existing phone inventory which the customer would like to re-use in order to reduce deployment cost. These phones may be from a variety of vendors, and therefore may not be ideally suited to re-use in the deployed UC platform (such as an HCS environment). Existing phone inventory could be from a variety of vendors, especially following a consolidation of locally procured services onto a common UC platform. There may be other soft clients and SIP devices included, such as door access control endpoints and other devices beyond the simple phone.
To optimise the delivery of collaboration services alongside telephony services, one option may be to split the delivery across two platforms. This however raises issues with platform integration, service management, operations and staff training. It is likely that any cost reduction gained by optimising basic telephony will be outweighed by the cost associated with this integration, duplicate hardware deployments, the need for skills to maintain two separate technologies and split management within a single customer.
In an ideal world, the customer would retain a common management platform, using common operational practices across all users and devices and a single hardware stack. Existing integrations such as service billing feeds and LDAP flow-through provisioning would be maintained. In addition to retaining these services and practices, the deployment of a mixed solution would not be complicated by the introduction of highly functional and complex new products or technologies. Platform changes would be minimised to ease adoption of any new functionality.
At VOSS, we have created a solution for this. VOSS Call Flow Optimization addresses these issues, allowing a single UC platform to be used to deliver both the advanced services some users require, and to deliver more cost effective services to those users who only need basic telephony.
Look out for Part 2 of this blog post coming soon, which will look more deeply at VOSS Call Flow Optimization. For more information, please contact us.