One Source Networks White Paper VoIP for a Global, Mobile Workforce

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1 VoIP for a Global, Mobile Workforce Mobility is here and the effect it has on the global workforce is profound. Bleeding-edge technology is a key factor in enabling enterprise businesses the opportunity to efficiently and costeffectively deploy a mobile workforce. Moreover, as this technology improves so too does the ability to efficiently manage a mobile or global organization. Meaningful mobility solutions will allow aspiring companies to look beyond their geographic boundaries and hire the best and brightest talent available, effectively opening the door to a world-wide talent pool never before accessible knowing that they can confidently manage a virtual business, across the country or across the globe.

2 2 An Insight Research report suggests that, fifteen years ago, the analysis of a mobile workforce would be limited by employer reluctance to support remote workers, while the technology to support mobile workers outside of the office was also limited. However, over the past 15 years, these limitations have been eliminated. Employers are now actively promoting the expansion of their mobile workforce, and technology is enabling continuous communication with employees outside of the office. Of note are a number of statistics cited in a study by the Telework Coalition: 89 of the top 100 US companies offer telecommuting; 58 percent of companies consider themselves a virtual workplace; only nine percent of employees worked at headquarters; and 67 percent of all workers used mobile and wireless computing. A key driver to this mobile sea change is cloudbased technology advances. Today, cloud technology is revolutionizing the way businesses deploy a mobile and virtual workforce enabling businesses the ability to be more agile, free up time and capital by hosting critical business applications, virtually, or in the cloud. In fact, a recent survey of 500 IT decision-makers by Sand- Hill found that ~ 50% of respondents cited business agility as their primary reason for adopting cloud applications, and Gartner estimates the Cloud market to hit $150B by No single out-of-the-box technology advance will revolutionize how we communicate or will instantly provide efficiencies or cost savings. As such, it is important to partner with a service provider that offers a simple and effective solution. This white paper explores how large businesses can confidently deploy a VoIP solution that leverages cloud-based technologies to enable a global, mobile workforce VoIP, TODAY In spite of the advances of VoIP technology, many lingering, but no longer accurate, perceptions of VoIP persist. Voice over Internet Protocol is a misnomer. VoIP technology can transport many things other than voice. A more accurate term is IP Telephony, since IP networks also deliver video, text and other real-time media. Other terms for VoIP include broadband telephony and voice over broadband. Whichever term you prefer, VoIP is replacing the traditional telephone system. VoIP voice quality and connectivity are poor. Most people know that VoIP converts your voice to a digital signal. Once your voice has been converted, it is transmitted over the Internet. With SIP, voice quality of VoIP is no longer an issue. Reliability is also a non-factor because SIP trunks can be more reliable than the traditional PSTN, since a number of failover solutions can be implemented. VoIP phone service is a computer-to-computer protocol that will relegate our company s present handsets to the dumpster. In truth, VoIP systems can be used on a range of hardware. IP phones, which resemble traditional telephones, can replace them. Or VoIP Gateway devices, which interface between VoIP and traditional PSTN networks, can be deployed in order to allow traditional phones to use VoIP. VoIP is vulnerable to hacking, and other security threats. The perception that because VoIP is a packetbased protocol, a company s data network can be easily penetrated through its telecomm-unication network, in fact, ignores several standard security methodologies. Among these are VoIP-aware firewalls, encryption, and intrusion prevention systems that can spot attacks and respond with preventive action in real-time, with more reliability than traditional data network monitoring.

3 3 Mobility Enablers SIP and VIRTUAL PBX One of the key facets to consider when designing an enterprise infrastructure for mobility is the technology s ability to provide a comprehensive converged solution. But identifying the right solutions to implement is confusing and becoming more so with the prevalence of perplexing nomenclature such as virtualized and cloud-based infrastructure. The right Virtual PBX solution can provide functionality that a traditional (analog) PBX may only provide in a limited capacity or not at all Let s take for instance, SIP Session Initiation Protocol. SIP is one of the primary mechanisms used for communication between VoIP devices and networks. One of the advantages is that SIP Trunking supports many types of communications that can be delivered over a common or converged network. SIP Trunking can enable videoconferencing, HD Voice, data services such as , text messaging and fax, to be delivered all across the same system and network. This provides advantages to enterprises s as it helps companies leverage next-generation business applications, such as the ability to convert voic s into attachments for delivery to mobile devices. on a traditional digital telephone system (TDM), it provides a path for both communication (voice calls) and signaling (the dialing instructions and call supervision and control) between an enterprise s equipment and a carrier s equipment. Contrary to popular belief, upgrading an existing voice network to take advantage of SIP Trunking technology does not require a forklift replacement of existing equipment. In many cases, existing PBX s (Private Branch Exchange) can be reused. In other cases, adapters can be deployed to enable legacy equipment to interface with SIP-based networks. Whereas SIP provides converged solutions, a Virtual PBX allows companies to achieve the functionality of an on-site PBX without having to install the equipment and hardware necessary to use it locally. Virtual PBX systems are hosted and maintained by a vendor partner off premises. An Internet connection and IP phone (or ATA adapters to connect an analog phone) are required. Most importantly, the right Virtual PBX solution can provide functionality, such as call management, Remote Maintenance, Find Me / Follow Me, Unified Communications, and hunt group features that a traditional (analog) PBX may only provide in a limited In its most basic form, a SIP trunk is a connection between a SIP user s equipment and a provider s SIP network. Similar to a PRI (Primary Rate Interface) trunk on an ISDN system, or a T1 trunk

4 4 capacity or not at all - as analog lines do not support many of these functionalities. These features provide unprecedented productivity and efficiency. Coupled with the right SIP solution, a Virtual PBX deployed in an enterprise can transform a network into a full-featured telephony system that encompasses local dial-tone, long distance, toll-free (inbound and outbound) all on a data communications connection that also carries the company s , provides access to the Internet, enables Video Conferencing and HD Voice and more. CLOUD-BASED VoIP SOLUTIONS SAVE TIME AND MONEY Cloud-based voice services allow enterprises to eliminate the cost and headache of maintaining an on-premise PBX infrastructure by running the organization`s voice services and myriad features and functionality over cloud technology - either fully hosted, or through a hybrid blend of on-premises and hosted solutions. Simply put, cloud-based VoIP services provide enhanced features and call functionality, real-time updates, and little or no staff to run, thereby increasing efficiency and decreasing cost all while providing value added services not possible with traditional PBX services. Additional cost specific benefits include: Customers are only paying for what they need based on the number of concurrent calls they may need to make, not by rounding up to 23 channels as is the case with T1 / PRI service. Local and long distance usage is typically included in monthly service fees and becomes a more predictable cost. Customers can eliminate local PRI / T-1 circuits altogether at sites in which a majority of the cost is the local loop monthly recurring charge on the circuit. Reduced cost on toll-free calls per minute charges and on outbound international calls per minute charges. Reduced cost on fees and surcharges that are typically applied with PRI and T-1 services but not SIP Trunking. Beyond bringing the office to the employee, freeing staff members to be productive from anywhere at any time, cloud-based services also provide increased levels of efficiency, security and service levels guarantees, as service outages or other service related issues do not affect the entire employee base or network, and communications can automatically be rerouted to alternate locations. In this way, a Virtual PBX may be used as a cost-effective backup to a traditional PBX, or for companies in transition or that require additional up-time guarantee. Work related efficiencies, productivity and security improvements include: Cloud-based technologies make it possible to conduct business at any time, from anywhere,

5 5 by keeping users seamlessly connected via a Unified Communications platform that allows multiple devices and mediums to interact as one communications that Find or Follow you. With the confidence of knowing that communications avenues are always open regardless of location, comes the freedom to work independently or as a team from anywhere in the world. Today s cloud-based services are as secure and in many cases more secure than their premises-based counterparts. In fact, cloudbased security options often include networkbased firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, a secure Web gateway for Web and content filtering, and secure remote access to corporate networks and more and all with industry standard service level agreements. In most cases, cloud-based security provides industry exceeding security without requiring customers to purchase premise-based equipment. Enhanced traditional Features provide additional levels of functionality and efficiencies not available on analog PBX systems. OSN Enterprise Lite Features Call Forward Simultaneous Ring Forward Not Registered Forward Busy Forward No Answer Accept/Reject Do-Not-Disturb Call Screening Caller ID 911 Caller ID Voic Multiple Greetings Find Me Follow me Feature Voic to Click to Play Link 5MB Data Storage User Management Portal OSN Enterprise Features Enterprise Lite Features plus the following Company Directory On Net Presence Dial Translation Plans 4 Digits Internal Dialing Time Zones Time-of-Day, Day-of-Week Routing Time of Ring Settings Dial Permission Settings Department Codes PIN Codes Import/Export Capabilities Multiple Auto Attendant Greetings 5MB to Unlimited Data Storage

6 6 CONFIGURATIONS THAT MEET VARYING REQUIREMENTS AND BUDGETS With any converged technology solution, there are a variety of ways it can be implemented. What differentiates One Source Networks solutions is that OSN can custom design a Virtual VoIP deployment that can leverage existing infrastructure. This Hybrid capability provides companies the ability to use existing equipment en accounted for but also to marry that to a SIP-based environment that, in conjunction with a Virtual PBX solution, could provide full-feature functionality without the need to replace any legacy equipment. Sample configurations include: TDM PBX with IAD or router For customers with TDM PBX, Key Set or Analog Phones. T1 connection carrying voice and data. Can be used in a burstable configuration, which is controlled by the IAD Data: IAD or router passes IP data to LAN via Ethernet. Voice: IAD passes voice to PBX via T1 CAS or PRI or to key system or analog handsets via FXS. IP PBX For customers with TDM PBX, Key Set or Analog Phones. T1 connection carrying voice and data. Can be used in a burstable configuration, which is controlled by the IAD Data: IAD or router passes IP data to LAN via Ethernet. Voice: IAD passes voice to PBX via T1 CAS or PRI or to key system or analog handsets via FXS.

7 7 SIP and Soft Phones for Mobile Workers Customer connects IP phone or soft phone on PC to on-site route. IP phone originates and terminates calls to the network. Cloud-based VoIP solutions offer a variety of key benefits that directly impact the company s bottom-line. Deployments can be implemented using existing equipment, without the need to replace equipment across the enterprise. By implementing a cloud-based VoIP solution, a company can enable its workforce to be mobile, providing additional opportunities for employees to stay connected. A key element of cloud-based VoIP solutions is the pay-as-you-grow model. Companies no longer need to invest in Capital Expenses, hedging the growth of its organization. With Virtual Hosted PBX solutions, an enterprise can turn-up or down users, remotely, dynamically and at any given time offering flexibility and control that traditional PBX solutions cannot. Most importantly, Virtual PBX solutions help Companies Bridge the gap from a TDM to an IP-world. SOUNDS GOOD, SO NOW WHAT? There are a number of ways enterprise businesses can approach virtualization of its voice and data communications services. First companies should evaluate their needs and identify what equipment they have, where it is and what it does. If a company already has an IP telephony solution deployed, it may be an on-premise solution that may be nearing end of life based on the emerging technologies available today, such as SIP. From a feature and functionality stand-point, the sky s the limit.

8 8 Companies can choose from a wide-variety of plans that provide basic features such as local dial-tone, national and international long distance, direct-inward dial (DIDs) numbers, directory listings and more. But value-added features can help a company transform the way it does business for the better. So companies should examine what their business needs are today, most importantly, not worry too much about tomorrow since the deployment of a Virtual PBX solution allows companies to add or take-away features and users while providing full monitoring of its telephony environment.one Source Networks team of experienced engineers and architects can provide enterprise businesses a variety of options to migrate or upgrade its VoIP environment. Furthermore, with 100 s of global partners, OSN s services are customized and right-sized to meet any company s specific need. For nearly half a dozen years, OSN has designed, implemented and monitored 100 s of enterprise network solutions, including Virtual PBX and SIP environments. CONCLUSION The hurdle to deploy a cloud-based Virtual PBX solution to enable your employees to be mobile, while providing a virtualized environment, is not high. With the right guidance, knowledge and technical team, together you could identify the needs of your business and custom design a solution that could provide flexibility and reliability. OSN s VoIP solutions can be deployed as hosted, off-premise or integrated hybrid solutions that could take advantage of the equipment in which your IT team has already invested. To find out how you can dramatically improve the way you do business and your bottom line through a pay-as-you-grow cloud-based Virtual PBX solution, contact One Source Networks today. Visit or Sources: Cloud Computing Stats To Blow Your Mind The Mobile Workforce and Enterprise Applications

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