Reliable voice connectivity for a multi-site Lync migration
Founded in 1870, Diario La Nación, is the oldest newspaper in Argentina. It has an average circulation of 160,000 copies during the week, rising to around 300,000 at the weekends. Among its group of companies is also Publirevistas which is responsible for the publication of other popular titles such as Rolling Stone Argentina, Living, Places, Ohlalá, Susana, Maru, Magazine Hello and Brando. In total the company employs around 800 staff.
Founded in 1991, Technology Bureau offers integrated technology solutions in the area of telecommunications. Based in Argentina, it operates in several other countries throughout Latin America.
Its experience is recognized by carriers, telecommunication operators, telephone cooperatives, government bodies, utility companies and other enterprises in a variety of industries, where it provides the latest technologies and integrated connectivity solutions. Technology Bureau is the only AudioCodes Gold Partner in Argentina.
In 2012, La Nación took the decision to move it head offices to new premises in the Vicente López district of Buenos Aires. Although its telephony infrastructure was based on an Avaya solution, La Nación had been using Microsoft OCS 2007 for some time, predominantly for instant messaging and presence. The move to a brand new site presented the company with an opportunity to migrate its entire infrastructure to Microsoft Lync and benefit from its rich offering of unified communications, increased productivity and ease-of-use. In addition to its headquarters, 3 other offices around Buenos Aires were also slated to become part of the migration to Lync.
Naturally, a project of this scale presents numerous challenges which La Nación had to overcome. These included:
- Ensuring a smooth migration of users from the old PBX to Lync
- Providing reliable interconnection with the local PSTN operators
- Integrating legacy analog phones and fax devices
- Enabling survivability for the branch offices
Together with local system integrator Technology Bureau (TB), La Nación selected AudioCodes as the supplier for all its Lync voice connectivity needs. Explaining the reasons behind this decision, Ing. Gustavo Arango, Specialist Business Engineer at TB, said, “With its broad range of Lync-certified media gateways, session border controllers and survivable branch appliances, proven interoperability and strong local support presence, AudioCodes was the automatic choice for La Nación’s Lync voice deployment.”
At the main office, La Nación deployed a fully redundant Mediant 3000 hybrid media gateway/session border controller to provide connectivity between Lync, the PSTN, the existing Avaya PBX and other legacy voice systems. The Mediant 3000 offers a powerful combination of scalability and reliability, supporting up to 1,000 simultaneous voice sessions and up to 63 E1s per chassis with full hardware redundancy. By placing the Mediant 3000 between the Avaya PBX, Lync and the PSTN, La Nación could migrate Avaya users gradually over to Lync voice without causing any disruption to the existing communications service.
At the other sites, La Nación installed Mediant 800 and Mediant 1000 hybrid gateways/SBCs depending on the local capacity requirements. Both the Mediant 800 and Mediant 1000 support a mix of analog and digital TDM interfaces enabling direct connections to the local PSTN providers.
Faxes and analog phones at all 4 sites were connected to the network via AudioCodes field-proven MediaPack 1xx series analog gateways.
A critical element of the solution was the addition of survivability at the 3 branch offices. Since all the main Lync servers were located centrally at the company’s head office, all communications could be lost if the connection between the head office and the branches was interrupted. To prevent this from occurring, the Mediant 1000 and Mediant 800 devices deployed at La Nación’s branch offices were configured as Lync-qualified Survivable Branch Appliances (SBA). In the event of a disconnection with the head office servers, the SBAs offer continued Lync communications within the office and external calls via PSTN breakout.
The deployment of the new Lync-based unified communications solution at La Nación started in 2012 and was completed in 2013. Employees at the newspaper group are now benefitting from all that Lync has to offer, along with reliable, high quality internal and external voice communications thanks to AudioCodes’ flexible and scalable platforms.
Commenting on the successful deployment, Ing. Luis Zurutuza, Data Center Manager at La Nación, said, “We are delighted with our choice of AudioCodes as supplier of voice connectivity solutions for our new company-wide Lync deployment. The ability of the AudioCodes devices to interoperate seamlessly with Lync and the other legacy telephony equipment in use has been a major factor in our achieving an extremely smooth and successful migration.”