Flexible VoIP connectivity, survivability and quality monitoring for a distributed Lync deployment
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST – www.fst.com) is a global organization that provides customers with high-quality, custom-engineered sealing products and processes. Headquartered in Weinheim, Germany, FST is one of sixteen subsidiaries of the Freudenberg Group, with a presence in over 20 countries worldwide.
FST’s European operations include over 8,000 employees in 9 countries. “As a company specializing in customized solutions, we have to spend quite a lot of time with our customers,” said Steffan Haas, Head of IT Infrastructure. “This means company employees spend a lot of time out of the office resulting in high travel expenses.”
With communications and travel costs rising out of control, Freudenberg’s CFO mandated the company’s IT team to find a solution that would keep employees in touch with their customers, while reducing the number of in-person visits.
FST contracted with the telecommunications consultant Glück & Kanja Consulting AG (www.glueckkanja.com) to find an optimal solution that would include instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, ad-hoc online meetings, presence services, instant messaging, and desktop sharing. The consultants, following a careful analysis of FST’s requirements, proposed a company-wide deployment of the Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Unified Communications platform.
As a software-only platform, Microsoft Lync requires interoperable communications hardware to complete its enterprise offering. FST needed additional hardware components that would provide seamless and reliable connectivity between the new Lync platform, existing PBXs and public telephony networks at its offices across Europe.
Under Glück & Kanja’s guidance, FST selected AudioCodes as the sole provider of Lync voice connectivity hardware. Explaining their decision, Michael Breither, UC Lead at Glück & Kanja said, “Freudenberg’s selection of AudioCodes solutions was critical to its Lync implementation strategy. As part of AudioCodes’ One Voice for Lync program, its Mediant gateways and Survivable Branch Appliances ensured a smooth migration from FST’s legacy systems, seamless interconnectivity between Lync and the PSTN and the potential for scaling up capacity when needed in the future.”
FST deployed a number of AudioCodes components to complete its Lync 2013 voice deployment:
- FST’s offices employ the AudioCodes Mediant 1000 and Mediant 800 Media Gateways to provide connectivity to the PSTN and legacy PBXs. Both the Mediant 1000 and 800 are certified for interoperability with Lync 2013 reducing the time required for commissioning and testing. The Mediant 1000 offers a modular, “pay-as-you-grow” architecture, supporting up to 120 analog and digital voice channels and 150 SIP sessions. The Mediant 800 supports up to 60 analog or digital voice channels and 60 SIP sessions.
- For its branch of fices, FST chose the AudioCodes Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA). The SBA is a Lync-certified media gateway hosting Microsoft’s SBA software, ensuring continued access to Lync services – placing and receiving voice and data calls - during WAN outages. AudioCodes offers the SBA on both the Mediant 800 and Mediant 1000 hardware platforms.
- Freudenberg uses AudioCodes MediaPack Analog Gateways for connecting legacy telephones, fax machines, and PBXs to the Lync servers.
- The AudioCodes Session Experience Manager (SEM) monitors the quality of voice-over-IP calls within the enterprise network and over the trunks connecting it to service providers. With SEM, Freudenberg’s IT managers receive a detailed view of voice traffic quality, allowing them to quickly identify, fix and prevent issues that can affect the VoIP calling experience.
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ Lync 2013 and AudioCodes installation is currently used by over 2,000 employees. The company plans to expand its Lync deployment to cover 5,000 users at 11 offices across Europe.
AudioCodes’ solution has enhanced FST’s Lync deployment by offering:
- Smooth migration of legacy telephony and fax equipment to Lync
- Fully Microsoft-certified voice-enabling solutions
- Reliable and scalable PSTN connectivity
- Survivability for remote branch offices
“AudioCodes’ seamless interoperability with Lync made FST’s deployment easy,” commented Holger Bunkradt, Senior UC Consultant at Glück & Kanja. “The Mediant gateways’ flexibility and scalability are very impressive and were crucial to the success of the project. As a result, we can use the same platforms at all FST’s offices, helping reduce training costs and manage spare parts more efficiently.”