Enterprise Migration to Microsoft Unified Communications using AudioCodes Media Gateways
About Beiersdorf AG
Beiersdorf AG is a cosmetics company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, that employs just under 22,000 people worldwide and that generated sales of €5.97 billion in 2008. The company has been listed in the DAX since December 2008. Its flagship NIVEA brand is the world’s largest skin and beauty care brand.* Other names in its internationally successful brand portfolio include Eucerin, La Prairie, Labello, 8x4, and Hansaplast/Elastoplast. The affiliate tesa SE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of self-adhesive product and system solutions for industry, trade, and consumers. Beiersdorf has more than 125 years’ experience in skin and beauty care and stands for innovative and high-quality products.
* Source: Euromonitor, “Skin and Beauty Care Products excluding Scents and Hair Dyes by Sales, 2008”
About Beiersdorf Shared Services
In April 2003, Beiersdorf Shared Services GmbH (BSS) was founded as an independent company within the Beiersdorf Group.
BSS provides with approximately 360 employees throughout Europe, Accounting and Information System (IS) Services for Beiersdorf Companies in over 70 countries. The product range of BSS covers all services of the categories IT workplaces, server & infrastructure, applications, software license, IT consulting, telecommunications and accounting.
Beiersdorf, with a large presence in Germany, and over 150 affiliates worldwide, has a legacy of different models of PBXs installed in their global locations. Some of these PBXs are aging and the company needed to make a decision about their future IP-PBX solution for the organization.
BSS – Beiersdorf Shared Services GmbH – is “the” service provider for the Beiersdorf Group in the accounting and IS services divisions. Beiersdorf is relying on Microsoft solution for their desktop environment. With the introduction of Microsoft Office Communications Server, BSS has decided to deploy it for Instant Messaging across the organization. About 13,000 users are currently using Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 for Instant Messaging.
Searching for a solution for Beiersdorf’s future telephony network, BSS found Office Communications Server Release 1 to be a promising solution, though it was not mature enough to replace the existing legacy TDM PBX solutions. With the introduction of Microsoft Office Communications Server Release 2, BSS has reached the point of decision.
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 was a natural choice for Beiersdorf. The next step was to decide on the right Media Gateway solution, required to connect the Microsoft environment to the existing PBXs, and to the PSTN in each of the enterprise locations.
“The selection of the right Media Gateway for the Microsoft environment was a strategic decision for us,” stated Jochen Gertler, Global Services of BSS. “After our testing we came to the conclusion that the AudioCodes Mediant 1000 Media Gateway was the right choice. Other gateways were unstable and were offering fixed configuration only. The AudioCodes gateway utilizes a robust and stable embedded software design, and also supports modularity and interface flexibility. We feel very comfortable with the Microsoft and AudioCodes solution. It is standards based and very easy to manage. Microsoft provides us with IT-oriented unified communications solutions, and AudioCodes complements it with everything we want with regards to interfacing with legacy telephony.”
The first phase of Beiersdorf’s migration to software-based unified communications included the installation of an AudioCodes Mediant 1000 Media Gateway in Hamburg. The AudioCodes gateway connects the Microsoft environment, including Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 into the existing Avaya TDM PBX using E1-QSIG trunks, as well as existing fax machines and analog phones, using FXS ports. 100 Users in Hamburg can currently call between the two systems, and more users are migrated every day.
“When BSS approached us for consultation regarding the right Media Gateway for their solution, the AudioCodes Mediant 1000 was the natural choice,” stated Dario Buenger, support engineer at Topas, AudioCodes’ Gold Distributor in Germany. “Beiersdorf required a Media Gateway that would support E1, BRI, FXS, FXO as well as another model from the same vendor that will support higher densities of VoIP channels as well as STM-1 interfaces. AudioCodes was the only vendor supporting these requirements, with the Mediant 1000 and the Mediant 3000 Media Gateways”.
Beiersdorf use a variety of clients with their telephony system. They use a selection of Office Communications Server certified hardware SIP phones from multiple vendors. 13,000 of Beiersdorf’s employees are now connected to the system using the Microsoft Office Communicator. All of Beiersdorf’s employee will eventually migrate to the system and will also be able to place voice calls to the PSTN.
The second phase of the project included the extension of the network to the Beiersdorf remote branch offices and affiliates starting with Belgium as the beta site. An AudioCodes Mediant 1000 Media Gateway was installed at Brussels, providing local PSTN breakout for 100 employees. Unlike in Hamburg, the PBX in Brussels was removed, and the site is now using only the Microsoft and AudioCodes solution for their Unified Communications needs. Each of the Beiersdorf branch offices and affiliates will eventually utilize two Mediant 1000 Media Gateways: one operational, and the other, with the exact same configuration, as standby.
Fax is also supported across Beiersdorf’s network. In the enterprise headquarters, all fax calls are routed to a centralized incoming and outgoing fax server by Avaya. In the branch office, the fax routing is handled by the AudioCodes Media Gateway, routing the fax calls to physical fax machines that are connected to the gateway via FXS ports.
"We are now considering the migration of our headquarters users, as well as convincing our affiliates to remove their existing legacy PBXs and move to the new system by AudioCodes and Microsoft," stated Jörg Meier, BSS Manager of Global Client Server Services. "Some of them, who are using obsolete PBXs that need to be replaced, will probably migrate very soon, and others will take more time to decide. In any case, we recommend the use of the Microsoft and AudioCodes solution for our enterprise. We are extremely pleased with our advanced Unified Communications system. It is very simple to use, maintain, and expand. We recommend enterprises to seriously consider eliminating their TDM PBXs and Key Systems and to make the transition towards the next generation of communications".