Founded in 2016, blinQ is a system integrator, cloud service provider and reseller with a strong presence in cloud communication and collaboration solutions.
Delivering on the promise of making companies more efficient in their use of communication tools while reducing both CAPEX and OPEX, requires a broad range of skillsets, from user adoption, infrastructure-as-code and development skills. blinQ currently enjoys the trust of more than 250 companies and passed the 100 MNOK mark already in its third full year of operation. Both large enterprises and small organizations turn to blinQ for its staff’s high level of expertise and broad range of offerings. Close partnerships with selected partners, such as Tendfor, has been a key ingredient in the successful portfolio of services in the communication space.
For more information about blinQ, visit www.blinq.no.
Always looking to deliver cutting-edge solutions that offer added value to its customers, blinQ saw an opportunity to offer voice connectivity as a managed service. In particular, with the growing popularity of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s cloud-based unified communications and collaboration solution, the blinQ team identified the need for an end-to-end service for customers of any size delivered entirely from the cloud.
The service would be offered on a “Bring Your Own Carrier” model enabling customers to choose whichever SIP trunk provider they preferred. Furthermore, to enhance the service’s value, blinQ was interested in adding additional enterprise voice and contact center features to complement the native telephony functionality offered by Teams.
The whole solution was to be hosted in Azure cloud to ensure the solution remained agile, simple to manage and operate, and highly scalable.
Seamless voice connectivity with Microsoft Teams
Interoperability with any customer PBX
Solution to be deployed in Azure cloud
“Along with Tendfor’s Teams contact center solution, AudioCodes Mediant CE SBC enabled us to build a cloud-native voice solution, leveraging the elasticity and scalability of Azure along with full Teams Direct Routing support.”Pål Gran, CEO of blinQ
blinQ’s Teams voice connectivity solution was built around the AudioCodes Mediant Cloud Edition session border controller (CE SBC). The Mediant CE SBC is a cloud-native SBC solution built on a micro-services architecture that offers dynamic elasticity and virtually unlimited scalability. Along with the other members of AudioCodes Mediant SBC family, the Mediant CE has been certified by Microsoft for Teams Direct Routing. It also supports multi-tenancy, enabling blinQ to service multiple Teams customers cost-effectively using the same SBC instance in Azure.
Using Stack Manager and Azure deployment in West Europe Zones 1 and 2, the AudioCodes Direct Routing SBC solution was delivered with a high availability design employing two media servers and redundancy between the dual cloud SBCs. If one zone goes down, the system remains up and running with no loss of connection or calls, offering unparalleled uptime.
Thanks to AudioCodes’ vast interoperability capabilities, the Mediant CE SBC can communicate seamlessly with virtually any service provider or SIP trunk network. This means the blinQ’s customers can interconnect with their telco of choice and switch operators when they choose to, while remaining with the blinQ Direct Routing service.
blinQ used Tendfor’s multi-tenant, Azure platform to enhance its telephony service with call routing, auto-attendant and contact center functionality, all running natively in Teams.
Tendfor AB (www.tendfor.com/en) offers fully featured contact center and attendant console systems for Microsoft-based enterprise telephony. Progressive government agencies, municipalities and public and private enterprises rely on Tendfor for state of the art Microsoft-based communication and customer service.
Tendfor Teams is the first-to-market all-Microsoft cloud platform for true Teams telephony. Tendfor Teams exclusively utilizes the new Microsoft Graph Cloud Communications APIs for call handling – essentially turning any Teams environment into a unified communications and collaboration integrated state-of-the-art PBX replacement.
The Tendfor Teams solution offers features like Exchange calendar synchronization, advanced queue scheduling and agent handling, professional graphical IVRs, CRM integration, Teams and mobile apps, widget-based wallboards, a powerful statistics portal, intuitive administration and much more, all available within the Office 365/Azure topology.
By the beginning of 2020, the innovative solution architected by blinQ had already generated a great deal of interest with several POC trials and its first live customer – the Norwegian Agriculture Agency. The Agency wanted to migrate from its existing communications solution, based on Skype for Business, to Microsoft Teams with carrier-independent call routing. Thanks to blinQ’s multi-tenant Direct Routing offering based on AudioCodes CE SBC, and its Teams contact center solution powered by Tendfor, the Agency was successfully up and running in a very short time.
The multi-tenancy built into the solution means that blinQ can add new customers to their multi-tenant offering in minutes using CLI scripting, dynamically and without any system down-time.
“Our hosted Teams service is the first of its kind in the market and is already garnering a great deal of interest in the market,” commented Pål Gran, CEO of blinQ. “Along with Tendfor’s Teams contact center solution, AudioCodes Mediant CE SBC enabled us to build a cloud-native voice solution, leveraging the elasticity and scalability of Azure along with full Teams Direct Routing support.”