nfon

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nfon

Mediant 800 Provides Reliable Connectivity for Cloud-Based Communications Enterprise Customers

Background

Established in 2007, nfon (www.nfon.net) is an ISP and provider of cloud-based enterprise telephony solutions (IP Centrex) to companies of all sizes throughout Germany and Austria. The company currently has over 5,000 customers. The cloud-based service enables users to access their company communications services via an internet connection wherever they are in the world, via fixed or mobile phones, as well as soft phone clients on PC, tablets or smartphones. The company’s servers are housed in high-availability data centers offering full, carrier-grade redundancy. The IP Centrex service offers customers an extremely cost-effective solution, with over 100 features available, no onpremises equipment costs and straightforward pay-per-use pricing plans. Customers can benefit from savings of up to 50% of their communications costs.

Challenges

nfon’s IP Centrex service runs on a platform based on an in-house developed and patented PBX solution. The company does not provide its end user customers with IP endpoints (SIP phones or softphones) but requires them to provide their own devices. With a range of different devices connecting to the system, it was very important that any customer premises equipment (CPE) device provided by nfon to enable access connectivity should be highly reliable and offer very high performance with a variety of quality of service (QoS) mechanisms available.

The chosen platform also needed to be flexible enough to support legacy telephony equipment and additional communications services, if needed in the future.

Naturally, commercial issues were also of great importance to the company. Attractive unit pricing would be an important factor in selecting a solution. In addition, nfon wanted to make savings in operating expenses by ensuring the devices could be supplied pre-configured to the customer and not require technicians to be called out for every installation.

Solution

The solution selected by nfon was the AudioCodes Mediant 800 Multi-Service Business Router (MSBR).

The AudioCodes Mediant 800 MSBR offers service providers a cost-effective converged access device delivering flexible connectivity for Enterprise customers. The Mediant 800 is based on AudioCodes’ VoIPerfectHD best-of-breed Media Gateway technology, integrating a variety of communication functions into a single platform to support fundamental services, such as WAN access, data routing, VoIP mediation, voice and data security, survivability, and third party value-added services applications.

With a unique multi-core architecture, the Mediant 800 MSBR has been specially designed to meet service providers’ stringent demands for providing data and voice services with predictable and consistent performance. By using dedicated CPUs for data, voice and applications, the MSBR ensures that the addition of processor-intensive services, such as firewall, SBC, IP-PBX and voice, has a minimal effect on overall performance.

Beside its many technological benefits, a number of other factors were crucial to nfon selecting the Mediant 800. Among those were the extremely competitive pricing and the expert and highly responsive professional services provided by AudioCodes before, during and after deployment - neither of which could be matched by the competing products (OneAccess and Thomson).

The Mediant 800 MSBR devices supplied to the company were configured with a G.SHDSL.bis WAN interface, providing reliable, high performance connectivity towards the company’s central IP Centrex platform. With advanced quality of service mechanisms built in, the Mediant 800 ensures resilient data connections for the end users’ VoIP endpoints (IP phones and softphones).

The flexibility of the Mediant 800 means that it can also be supplied, when needed, configured with TDM (BRI and analog) interfaces for connecting legacy telephony equipment to the network, as well as Enterprise Session Border Controller (E-SBC) functionality for interworking with other IP-PBXs and VoIP systems.

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Results

nfon began live deployments early in 2012. In order to save on operating costs, the company has adopted a “zero touch” approach to the installation of the devices. This means that the devices are preconfigured before shipping to the customer premises. The customer needs only to connect the Mediant 800 to its G.SHDSL link and power it up. The device then automatically connects to nfon’s provisioning system and downloads the necessary configuration file. This process is carried out entirely automatically, thus dramatically reducing support costs. These cost reductions can then be passed on to the end customers through very attractive usage pricing.

Among the benefits generated by the AudioCodes solution are:

For the company:

  • Dedicated and highly responsive field support from AudioCodes professional services team
  • Simplified and efficient support through the use of a uniform device configuration throughout the network
  • "Zero touch" device installation lowering support costs
  • Future-proof solution providing support for additional services when required

For customers:

  • Cost-effective and reliable access connectivity to the IP Centrex and ISP services
  • Consistently high performance and reliability ensuring high QoS for calls made via the service

Commenting on the AudioCodes solution, Mr Jürgen Städing, SVP Product Management & Business Development at nfon, said, "We were extremely impressed by the responsiveness and professionalism of AudioCodes’ support team who enabled us to develop a technologically advanced solution for our customers that offers high performance and reliable access to our data services. The added advantage of the Mediant 800 MSBR is its ability to support additional services such as TDM or SIP trunking seamlessly when we need them in the future."