Controlled migration from legacy telephony to Microsoft Lync Enterprise
EPK (www.epkgroup.ru) is a leading manufacturer of bearings of all types used in a range of industries. The company has offices across the Russian Federation and abroad.
EPK were assisted in this project by Softline, a major international company specializing in software licensing and providing a full range of IT services including technical assistance, IT outsourcing, training, legal support, consulting, and cloud programming solutions. Softline is a long-standing system integration partner of AudioCodes.
With its offices widely spread across Russia, EPK had never developed a uniform communications infrastructure. This meant that the company was running a wide variety of communications platforms at its various offices, some of which had been running since the 1970s! The mixture of legacy PBXs, IP-PBXs and unified communications platforms was resulting in spiraling maintenance and support costs. Furthermore, growing numbers of calls between EPK’s offices and to customers and suppliers both inside Russia and abroad was leaving EPK with very high communications costs.
The company decided that it was time to move ahead and introduce a single communications platform that would serve all its offices and offer employees a state-of-the-art communications experience. The diverse nature of EPK’s existing setup meant that this was not something that could take place overnight. The selected solution would have to be able to support a gradual migration enabling EPK to move its users across to the new system at a manageable pace and in a fully controlled fashion.
EPK had already begun using Microsoft Lync for instant messaging, presence and conferencing. Lync’s ease-of-use and rich unified communications functionality made it a perfect solution for EPK. However, to expand its use throughout the company at all its sites would require a connectivity solution with full interoperability with both Lync and all the existing IP and TDM platforms that EPK was already using.
After testing a number of vendors, the solution chosen by EPK was based on AudioCodes One Voice for Lync offering, a portfolio of Lync-certified products, solutions and services aimed at accelerating and simplifying Lync voice deployments. Nikolai Chuprin, CIO at EPK, explained, “AudioCodes was the only company able to offer a range of voice connectivity solutions that were fully Lync-compatible and able to integrate seamlessly with all of EPK’s existing PBXs, both legacy TDM platforms and IP-PBXs.”
Mediant 1000B Hybrid Enterprise Session Border Controller (E-SBC) and Media Gateway
To provide connectivity with EPK’s existing communications platforms, the company deployed AudioCodes Mediant 1000B, a hybrid enterprise session border controller (E-SBC) and media gateway. A Mediant 1000B was installed at each of EPK’s sites connecting to the legacy platform on-site via IP or TDM depending on local requirements. Mediant 1000B supports both digital E1 and analog TDM interfaces and was able to interoperate smoothly with all of EPK’s existing platforms as well as providing connectivity with the local PSTN where needed.
Another important aspect of the Mediant 1000B was its ability to function as a Lync Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA). When deployed as an SBA, the Mediant 1000B ensures uninterrupted voice communications even when the centralized Lync control servers are unavailable or when a WAN outage occurs.
At its central site in Moscow, EPK deployed two redundant Mediant 4000 SBC platforms to provide the core call routing functionality for its new communications setup. The scalable Mediant 4000 supports up to 5,000 sessions per platform ensuring that EPK’s new infrastructure has the capacity to support its current and future requirements.
One unique aspect of AudioCodes’ offering was the powerful management and monitoring tools that it offered. Through the Element Management System (EMS), EPK was able to manage and configure all the hardware elements of its new voice infrastructure from a single centralized location with the help of a user-friendly, intuitive GUI.
In addition, EPK deployed AudioCodes’ SEM – Session Experience Manager – an intelligent analysis tool that monitors the end-to-end quality of calls made within a VoIP network. Using SEM, EPK can identify and troubleshoot call quality issues at an early stage, enabling its operators to fix any problems before they can become service-affecting. The information generated by
SEM can also be used for statistical analysis and interoffice billing purposes.
EPK’s voice network was extremely diversified in terms of the PBX solutions that were being used in its different offices. Several of the solutions in use were reaching end-of-life and management and operational costs were growing. Together with AudioCodes, EPK was able to plan a gradual migration to a more uniform Lync-based solution that offered high quality and the latest in functionality.
The success of AudioCodes’ solution focused on a number of key benefits:
- Fully Lync-certified platforms
- Seamless interoperability even with obsolete legacy PBXs
- Simplified management made possible from a single central location
- Quality monitoring solution ensuring service levels are maintained
“AudioCodes was the only company that met all of our needs to ensure a smooth migration from our legacy communications platforms to Microsoft Lync,” said Nikolai Chuprin. “The AudioCodes team’s vast experience in deploying VoIP systems ensured that our migration was well-managed, resulting in a high quality, robust solution.”