ROI Networks at a Glance

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What Are Your Technology Resolutions?

The telecom, IT, and cloud industries evolve quickly, and it can be difficult to keep up with the rapid pace of change. Evaluate your business’s technology needs now to start 2017 off on the right foot.
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Unified Communications Upgrade Success Strategies: Managing the Old System

shutterstock_116426476Many companies are eager to embrace the technological advantages of a unified communications-friendly infrastructure, but are challenged by the need to maintain some legacy telecom system functionality throughout that migration.

The reality of unified communications (UC) adoption is that a lot of organizations are not in a position to just “rip and replace” the old system with the new tools. Most migrations are gradual and occur in a phased and well-planned manner.

 

There are several reasons that an organization may want to undertake a phased migration:

  • They’ve made significant investments in legacy PBX equipment that they aren’t ready to completely abandon.
  • The IT staff lacks adequate manpower to perform a quick migration without any loss of service.
  • There is not enough funding to simultaneously replace all handsets.
  • Employees have concerns about maintaining legacy functionality such as fax and E911.

While relevant stakeholders sort through the complications of this migration, IT departments need a way to easily manage both the old and the new systems. It’s also important to ensure that the coexistence of these two systems does not have a negative impact on enterprise telecom functionality.

One of the best ways to manage the pain points of having two systems is through a tool called a session border controller (SBC). Among other functions, an SBC acts as an intermediary between the old and new systems. SBCs serve the following purposes:

  • Transcode protocols between legacy equipment and new technologies.

    • For example, SBCs ensure that newer UC-based technologies, such as enterprise chat and presence servers, can communicate with legacy fax and telecom systems.
  • Distribute calls: SBCs recognize calls destined for both the new UC servers and the legacy system and perform the appropriate work on the backend to make sure the call goes through.
  • Support business continuity and redundancy through automatic call rerouting in the case of a failure. This requires the use of SIP trunks in addition to the SBC.

The migration to UC, while worth it, comes with several pain points. The co-maintenance of legacy systems with newer systems is one of those barriers, and fortunately, it is a challenge easily overcome with the right tools. Organizations can leverage SBCs and other solutions to help ensure a seamless migration process to a more sophisticated and feature-rich UC system.