Suffolk County Council is the local government authority for Suffolk in the eastern part of the United Kingdom. Suffolk County Council works with other local authorities, as well as regional, national and international authorities, to deliver services and represent the best interests of the people in its county.
For more information, visit the Suffolk County Council website.
Suffolk County Council had been enjoying the benefits of Microsoft unified communications based on Skype for Business server for a number of years. The on-premises solution was deployed as a managed offering, hosted by a major UK-based provider. In 2020, with the contract with its provider coming to an end, Simon Mason, head of design and platforms at Suffolk County Council, and his team needed to decide how to move forward.
Suffolk County Council was very much a Microsoft house in terms of its IT infrastructure so the decision to migrate to Microsoft’s latest UC offering, Microsoft Teams, was essentially a no-brainer. This route became even more clear when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the need for advanced UC and collaboration with hundreds of work-from-home employees became the norm.
One question that faced Simon and his team was how to implement PSTN calling for its Teams users. Teams offers two options:
- Microsoft Teams Calling Plans delivered entirely through Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure
- Direct Routing – a “Bring-Your-Own-Carrier” model which requires a certified session border controller to facilitate the connectivity between Teams and the PSTN
Quick and smooth migration to Microsoft Teams
Rapid transition to working from home
"AudioCodes Live for Microsoft Teams wrapped everything we needed into a simple, subscription-based managed service that was not only rapidly and seamlessly deployed, but is also more cost-effective than our previous solution."Simon Mason, Head of Design and Platforms at Suffolk County Council
The team at Suffolk County Council evaluated a number of different vendor solutions that could potentially meet its requirements. Eventually, they selected the AudioCodes Live for Microsoft Teams managed service. With AudioCodes Live, Suffolk County Council benefits from an SBC-as-a-Service offering, consuming Microsoft-certified Teams calling connectivity on a monthly subscription basis.
In addition, by selecting a fully managed service the IT team could eliminate the need for hiring costly in-house experts. AudioCodes’ technical staff monitor Suffolk County Council’s Teams tenant and voice infrastructure 24/7 and are on call to handle any technical support issues that might arise.
"The AudioCodes Live solution was a perfect fit for the operational model we were aiming to achieve,” explained Andy Macnamara, Senior Technical Lead at Suffolk County Council. “It provided us with reliable and scalable Teams calling connectivity while at the same time enabling us to minimize the overall total cost of ownership (TCO)."
Assisted along the way by AudioCodes’ highly experienced professional services team, Suffolk County Council was able to complete the setup of its Teams tenant and migration of its entire voice network for 6,500 users within just three months. AudioCodes Microsoft-certified Mediant Direct Routing SBCs were deployed in a high availability configuration, ensuring full resilience of the service and excellent voice quality.
As part of its future plans, Suffolk County Council is also evaluating the One Voice Operations Center (OVOC) voice network management solution to enable the IT team to manage SBCs and monitor voice quality in real time across the entire network from a central location.
Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams
AudioCodes Direct Routing SBCs offer flexible SIP connectivity for Microsoft Teams customers and service providersDiscover More
One Voice Operations Center
AudioCodes One Voice Operations Center (OVOC) is a web-based voice network management solution that combines management of voice network devices and elements and quality of experience monitoring into a single, intuitive web-based interface.Discover More
The versatility and reliability of AudioCodes SBC devices coupled with AudioCodes’ planning and implementation support have ensured that Suffolk County Council’s migration to Microsoft Teams with Direct Routing voice calling could be achieved smoothly and with minimal disruption to its users.
AudioCodes Live has simplified the procurement and deployment process of Microsoft Teams voice services, resulting in a scalable solution that does not compromise on users’ quality of experience. With the service up and running, Suffolk County Council is now considering opening up its Teams calling connectivity infrastructure to other organizations within the county to help them to get started simply and rapidly.
"When we decided to move to Microsoft Teams for voice and collaboration, speed and ease of migration for our 6,500 users were the key priorities,” said Simon Mason, Head of Design and Platforms at Suffolk County Council. “AudioCodes Live for Microsoft Teams wrapped everything we needed into a simple, subscription-based managed service that was not only rapidly and seamlessly deployed, but is also more cost-effective than our previous solution."