The Rise of Unified Communications (UC) in the Cloud

July 26, 2017

Recent years have seen many changes to the digital landscape, and nowhere is that more evident than where voice communications are concerned.

First, VoIP disrupted our way of thinking about the telephone. In a business sense – and especially as it pertains to enterprise – it was most significant, providing massive cost reductions and increased efficiencies on many levels. There were some hurdles to overcome, but as the technology became more ubiquitous, and solutions to latency, echo, and security started evolving, it was virtually unstoppable.

Unified communications, or UC as it is more commonly referred to, was the next logical step, integrating all other forms of digital communications into a single platform. In terms of disruption, this was the pinnacle, allowing companies to do more with so much less, and providing enterprise-level features to any company who adopted the technology, regardless of size and resources.

UC grew in importance right alongside the cloud. The cloud gave UC the power and flexibility it needed to rise to the heights it has attained today. With the ability to scale on a dime, deploy new lines and features with a few clicks, and manage voluminous inventories of handsets, headsets and other UC phone equipment, it would seem that the days of legacy PBX actually happened in medieval times. It just goes to show how far we have come.

As companies continue to push the envelope, there is always going to be a need to maximize productivity, increase employee engagement, and stay lean in the wake of an unpredictable global business climate. UC answers this call with gusto, replacing what once may have been a barrier to growth with a platform from which companies can grow and thrive beyond what was previously thought possible.

Embracing the cloud

While some companies have been slow to fully embrace the cloud, many of the key pain points are being addressed with new security features and cloud-enabled hardware that allows greater control over both call quality and feature sets.

Pain point #1: Security

With the constant threat of cyber-thievery, ransomware, and the like, many companies were hesitant to move forward with full cloud migrations. Though these threats continue to evolve on a daily basis, there are many appliances and software developments that are very effective in preventing malicious threats. Session border controllers (SBCs) are a key element, as they can identify suspicious incoming activity and deflect it before it enters the network.

Pain point #2: Call quality

In the past, VoIP has been plagued with inefficiencies, but companies like AudioCodes have made it their mission to make these issues a thing of the past. Their enterprise-grade IP phones leverage next-gen technologies to eliminate latency, dropped calls, and call echo, three of the primary concerns of many businesses before switching to a VoIP solution.

Pain point #3: Complexity

There is a real and pervasive fear that a major migration will result in downtime for a list of reasons, and because of that, a hybrid solution is much more viable. As UC systems and processes become routine, migration can carry on at a pace that suits the company’s needs.

AudioCodes and Microsoft: an unbeatable combination

With full cloud integration, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. To support this disruption with UC hardware solutions, few companies have risen to superstar status the way AudioCodes has. With several lines of products that support every possible need, AudioCodes sets itself apart as a leader in quality, reliability, and flexibility in the cloud-enabled UC realm. Paired up with Microsoft, the two are virtually unstoppable, supporting Lync environments, integrating with existing CRMs and providing a seamless user experience that allows users to accomplish more than ever before.

For companies who are still hesitant to surrender to the cloud completely, hybrid systems allow for integration of an existing on-premise PSTN phone network, which is connected to a Skype for Business (S4B) cloud server using Microsoft’s Cloud Connector Edition. This scenario allows companies to transition smoothly and slowly over time without any major disruption to their day-to-day communications, but even in this circumstance, the ultimate destination is still the cloud.

AudioCodes Cloudbound 365: Microsoft UC in the cloud

Consider this: Microsoft enterprise telephony grew by an astounding 260% between 2012 and 2014. While this growth spurt is probably not sustainable, as the technology levels the UC playing field, AudioCodes and Microsoft Lync solutions including Skype for Business and Office 365 will become synonymous with enterprise agility – and in fact, they already have.

AudioCodes Cloudbound 365 is an easy enabler of UC penetration that is strengthened by the AudioCodes range of appliances, providing a hybrid solution with everything necessary for a successful implementation of Lync voice.

The range of AudioCodes hardware includes:

Enterprise grade IP phones: 400HD series

AudioCodes business IP phones feature high definition digital voice, echo elimination, full connectivity with S4B and your CRM, multiple line support, large LCD displays, PoE (power over Ethernet), and support for multiple languages. With a range of features and fully cloud-enabled, these are probably the last IP phones you will ever have to purchase.

Mediant 800 CCE Appliance for Microsoft Skype for Business Cloud Connector

For up to 1000 users, the Mediant 800 CCE appliance can run more than 180 concurrent sessions in a hybrid environment, enabling next generation security, flexibility, and support for legacy analog devices.

AudioCodes Mediant Server CCE Appliance

The Mediant Server Appliance bundles the same great SBCs and gateways for larger enterprise operations, supporting up to 2500 users and 500 concurrent sessions.

Say “Hello” to CCG and AudioCodes Cloudbound 365

CCG Telecom powers AudioCodes Cloudbound 365, bundling all the appliances you need for a hybrid or full cloud deployment and simplifying the installation of your Lync UC solution. In partnership with AudioCodes and Microsoft, CCGs expertise and integrity gives you the support you need to make your cloud transition as seamless and downtime-free as can be. Call today to speak to one of our technicians about AudioCodes Cloudbound 365 and find out what it can do for you.