A Hosted VoIP Solution Case Study: Natural Convergence
Powered by AudioCodes IPmedia 2000 Media Servers and Mediant 2000 Media Gateways
Natural Convergence, a leading provider of Voice over Internet Protocol hosted software for telecom carriers and Service Providers, has adopted AudioCodes’ Media Gateways and Media Servers as a preferred solution for their VoIP IP Hosted Key System solutions specifically designed for Service Providers addressing the inadequately served small business market.
By utilizing AudioCodes’ MediantT 2000 media gateways and AudioCodes’ IPmedia 2000 media servers, Natural Convergence allows Service Providers to use its silhouette platform to provide network announcements and conferencing services, while seamlessly connecting SMB customers to the PSTN.
“AudioCodes has been successfully deployed by Natural Convergence as an OEM hardware solution vendor for many Service Providers,” said David Cork, CEO of Natural Convergence. “AudioCodes is the only vendor in the marketplace today that can provide Media Servers, Media Gateways and combined solutions that perfectly fit the market that our silhouette platform is targeting.”
About Natural Convergence
Natural Convergence develops and markets Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software, silhouette, to telecom carriers and Service Providers. Natural Convergence’s solution delivers a compelling new value proposition that leverages the significant investments made in existing broadband data networks. Through experience, innovation and a solid product offering, Natural
Convergence is empowering Service Providers, Value Added Resellers, Partners and Small Businesses. Natural Convergence’s carrier-grade hosted VoIP software
application has been specifically designed to allow Service Providers to address the underserved small businesses market. Eliminating the frustration experienced with today’s phone systems, silhouette enables small businesses to easily manage their phone services using a web browser.
Natural Convergence Hosted VoIP Solution
Built as a replacement for key systems, silhouette provides small businesses with key system features as well as carrier based productivity features without the “box in the basement.” Hosted in the Service Providers network and delivered to the small business via broadband access, silhouette allows end users to access the web interface to set up their own individual features. Other advanced features includes: Fixed Mobile Convergence, flexible call coverage, unified messaging, auto-attendant, and directory services. This unique solution delivers on the promise of simplicity and ease of use – the two primary requirements for small business to rapidly adopt this solution. The architecture is open and extendible, thereby enabling the Service Provider the ability to deliver a steady stream of enhanced features and services.
“We were looking for a media server platform to be placed in Service Provider networks in order to provide announcements and conferencing services”, said Larry Strickland, Director of Product Management at Natural Convergence “We chose to work with AudioCodes as they have been very supportive with our feature requirements, and also provided the IPmedia 2000 - a platform that can perform the Media Server and the PSTN Media Gateway functions simultaneously, which is a cost effective way for smaller service providers to get into the market. Once Service
Providers are established, AudioCodes also provides the higher capacity Mediant 2000 PSTN gateway that can scale up to 16 E1/T1 ports. In addition AudioCodes has a range of much higher density Mediant 5000 and Mediant 8000 PSTN gateways, which are very attractive to a much larger Service Provider.”
Selecting the Right Vendor for the Media Server & Trunking Gateways
One of the key elements in every hosted VoIP network is the media server, providing network based media services such as DTMF, prompts and announcement playback, audio recording, conferencing, transcoding and speech recognition. As a solution provider to SMBs via Service Providers, Natural Convergence provides these services, when required, using the AudioCodes’
IPmedia 2000 platform.
Another key element in all hosted VoIP network is the trunking media gateway, interconnecting the VoIP service providers with PSTN & PLMN providers. As a solution provider, Natural Convergence provides this connectivity using the AudioCodes’ Mediant 2000 platform.
As key components in the Natural Convergence Solution, AudioCodes’ IPmedia 2000 media servers and Mediant 2000 media gateways are providing the following benefits:
- Flexibility – AudioCodes’ IPmediaTM 2000 allows the Service Provider to use it as a media server and media gateway simultaneously, providing small installations with all the required hardware for cost effective configurations.
- Interoperability – AudioCodes’ commitment to interoperability allows Service Providers the freedom of choice when selecting their preferred IP Phones, voicemail systems, media gateways and third party applications
- Support – AudioCodes allowed Natural Convergence direct access to the product management and R&D teams, providing the requested features and product enhancements for successful customer installations.
- VoIP Quality – AudioCodes uses its own DSP technology to supply the best VoIP quality in the marketplace today, as proven by the ETSI 3rd Speech Quality Event.
- Scalability – One of the unique features of the AudioCodes media gateways and media servers is the pay-as-you-grow approach. A built-in feature key allows the customer to buy the media server hardware scalable from 1 up to 16 E1/T1 ports, and pay according to usage. This flexibility allows the Service Provider the ability to reduce their initial investment, and only pay for revenue generating equipment, followed by a remote upgrade to the system in order to support more connections in the future. Much higher density gateways are also available for much larger deployments.
- Reliability – After extensive testing of the Mediant 2000 gateway compared with other vendor solutions, it was proven to be one of the most reliable products on the market today.
- PSTN Homologation – AudioCodes’ media gateways have been extensively tested for PSTN homologation in more than 100 countries worldwide, allowing Natural Convergence to market their solution in those countries comfortably.
“We are very pleased about our cooperation with Natural Convergence,” said Lior Aldema, Vice President of Marketing at AudioCodes. “OEM customers such as Natural Convergence have always been valuable partners of AudioCodes. We expect this project to encourage further deployments in major broadband networks as demonstrated by this successful venture.”