The POLYPLASTIC Group Migrates to Lync with Peace of Mind - with AudioCodes Session Experience Manager (SEM)
The POLYPLASTIC Group (http://en.polyplastic.ru/) was established in 1991 and over the years has become one of Russia’s leading plastic processing companies. The Group comprises of twelve plastics processing enterprises (located in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan), two Research and Development (R&D) centers, and a number of joint ventures and trading houses. The company is staffed by a workforce of more than 5,000 employees, and annually produces thermoplastic composites, polyethylene pipe systems and fittings in excess of 290 kilotons.
The company was assisted in the planning and deployment of this project by Softline (www.softline.ru/contact/msk). Softline has been in the IT market since 1993; today, it is the leading company in IT technologies in the Russian market. The Company is an authorized distributor for over 3,000 software manufacturers, and enjoys the highest partnership status with global industry leaders. Softline has a high-skilled team of project managers and technical specialists possessing a wide-range of practical experience in building reliable and efficient IT infrastructures at minimum expense.
Like many other companies wanting to incorporate the powerful benefits of Unified Communications, the POLYPLASTIC Group decided to make the move to Microsoft Lync. However, converting all the equipment on the network which was spread across the various branches of the company was a costly endeavor and management decided to migrate in a more gradual fashion. AudioCodes Mediant 800 Media Gateways, installed at the local branches with TDM PBXs, connected to an AudioCodes’ Mediant 1000 SBC at the company’s main office to allow for VoIP communications and Lync connectivity. Branches which had IP-PBXs also connected to the Mediant 1000 in a similar fashion. The Mediant 1000 at the POLYPLASTIC Group’s HQ, connected to MTT, the Moscow-based Service Provider, through a SIP trunk.
Given the new complexity of the network, a system was required to “escort and monitor” the major change that had been undertaken and to be able to quickly identify and correct any problems that might occur on the network.
The POLYPLASTIC Group turned again to AudioCodes and deployed the company’s Session Experience Manager (SEM), an integral component in AudioCodes’ recently announced One Voice Operations Center. The system provides IT managers with a comprehensive overview of the network’s status, quality, call control and volume. Subsets of the network can be examined in isolation, and within just a few clicks, the IT manager can not only drill down to individual calls, he can also analyze specific trends within those calls. SBCs and Media Gateways are excellent points to gain this network view as they are positioned at the entry points to the corporate network from the Service Providers and between corporate sites and are aware of all the media flows going over those links. With SEM, the time to detect and resolve a problem is very short, even if the problem occurs in remote locations. The system allows the IT manager to see exactly what is happening at all points on the network without the need to travel to the location to check the system. With SEM, the POLYPLASTIC Group now has the tools to monitor quality, they have sufficient information to troubleshoot any problems detected and they can actively intervene to head off problems before they cause damage to the network.
The company was experiencing a few problems on their network, both on the SIP Trunk connection from the Service provider as well as voice quality issues with one of the branches. The SEM identified these problems in a single view on the screen. In the case of the connection to the Service Provider, the SEM pointed to a problem with the Average Success Rate (ASR) of the calls. With this information, the POLYPLASTIC Group’s IT Manager was able to immediately see that there was an issue of an unassigned number in the failed calls and that this was a problem on the Service Provider’s side. The problem was reported to the Service Provider who was then able to correct it in short order.
A decrease in voice quality was also identified at one of the branches, however, the cause of the problem wasn’t clear because the Service Provider’s network services worked well for data traffic. Through a simple root cause analysis, the SEM was able to identify a large packet loss in the voice stream that was actually on the Service Provider’s side. Once identified, the problem was rectified quickly.
According to Andrey Ignatov, Head of the POLYPLASTIC Group’s Telephony Department, “Without the SEM the process of finding the cause of these problems would have taken much longer and would have been far more complicated. Without SEM, we spent a week of debugging just to find the information relating to the problem. With SEM, the IT Telephony engineer himself was able to provide the root cause analysis to the network manager as well as provide a clear and precise network picture to the Service Provider in order to quickly resolve the issue.” Ignatov added, “The SEM really helps the IT Telephony Manager to see the performance of the existing system and understand how and when to increase the capacity of the VoIP network. There is no question that the SEM helps save operational time and optimizes the quality of the VoIP network.”
- Prior to implementing the SEM, there was no formal alarm-based system to provide alerts if something wasn’t working right. With SEM, the VoIP engineer is able to monitor the entire network and can immediately see where the problem on the network resides. He can drill down as far as the call itself to rapidly and efficiently conduct a Root Cause Analysis.
- Without SEM, the POLYPLASTIC Group faced a situation in which critical business services such as telephony, were introduced to the network without proper real-time tools to manage potential problems. Such a situation could result in extended service downtime in remote locations with no real way to rapidly correct the problem.
- The ability to rapidly identify (in real time) problems on the network allows for quick correction of problems that exist and for prevention of problems before they occur.
- The SEM allows for a cost effective and efficient way to monitor the network as it migrates to a Lync environment.
- The SEM provides information about SBC internal call parameters (such as IP group, number manipulation, etc.). This information helps find mistakes in existing or new configurations in routing or number manipulation.
- The SEM provides many statistics for company calls. After analyzing these statistics, the POLYPLASTIC Group found a lot of calls where they could change the routing in order to reduce costs (least cost routing). Without SEM, the POLYPLASTIC Group would not have been aware of these statistics and would have continued to pay double the costs for some of these calls.