1 White Paper Intel Information Technology Employee Solutions February 2010 Transitioning to Unified Messaging from Legacy Voic Systems Executive Overview By implementing our own UM system, we saved hardware costs and improved productivity, at a lower cost than we could achieve using an external vendor. Robert Johnson Lead Architect, Intel IT To avoid the costs associated with maintaining contracts for numerous disparate legacy voic systems and to improve employee productivity, Intel IT deployed a Unified Messaging (UM) system. The new environment, based on Microsoft Exchange 2007* and Microsoft Outlook*, is more streamlined and efficient, while also adding new features for users such as the ability to access all messages in one place, whether in the office or by cell phone in a mobile hands-free situation. By transitioning to UM and Microsoft Exchange 2007, we achieved a number of cost saving benefits: Avoided USD 1 million in direct costs by choosing to not renew several support contracts for the older systems. Consolidated the number of servers required for Microsoft Exchange 2007 from 140 to 80 by upgrading to 64-bit processing with Intel Xeon processors. Reduced costs by using the auto attendant system that is part of Microsoft Exchange 2007 UM, avoiding costs from renewing those services. Improved productivity for both end users and IT support teams. Reduced support costs and recovery times by creating one centrally managed system. Improved our e-discovery process by creating a simpler way to store and archive voic s. By implementing our own UM system, we saved hardware costs and improved productivity, at a lower cost than we could achieve using an external supplier. We also improved the level of service to our end users and created a more stable environment to manage.
2 White Paper Transitioning to Unified Messaging from Legacy Voic Systems Contents Executive Overview... 1 Business Challenge... 2 Solution... 2 Architecture Setup... 2 UM System Deployment... 4 User Feedback... 5 Challenges During Deployment... 5 Results... 6 Next Steps... 7 Conclusion... 7 Contributors... 8 Acronyms is a resource that enables IT professionals, managers, and executives to engage with peers in the Intel IT organization and with thousands of other industry IT leaders so you can gain insights into the tools, methods, strategies, and best practices that are proving most successful in addressing today s tough IT challenges. Visit us today at or contact your local Intel representative if you d like to learn more. BUSINESS CHALLENGE At Intel, accessing and voic is critical to the success of daily operations. Employees send approximately 4.9 million s per day and increasingly use voic as a tool to conduct business. Over time, Intel s legacy voic systems had grown into a collection of isolated, locally attached systems managed by a variety of suppliers and run on older hardware. When some of the largest contracts for the legacy voic systems were due to expire in early 2009, several groups within Intel IT collaborated to investigate solutions to replace the existing patchwork of distributed systems. We needed to take several key factors into consideration: Multiple suppliers. Services were limited strictly to voic ; systems were costly to implement and maintain, and lacked centralized support. Legacy infrastructure. We required as many as 300 servers to sustain the legacy voic system infrastructure, and many were nearing end of life. We would have to invest in upgrading or refreshing servers for the costly legacy systems, while adding additional servers for new sites. Regulatory compliance. We archive and instant messages for select users to meet Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements, but we needed a system that would also make it easier to capture and store voic messages to enhance e-discovery. Budget constraints necessitated finding a solution that would let us centralize our voic systems to implement more advanced management without large expenditures for more servers. This required us to examine ways to use or refresh existing servers to meet the requirements of growing messaging demands. SOLUTION We looked for a solution that would solve the challenges associated with using multiple voic systems and identified Unified Messaging (UM) as a possibility. Intel employees are highly mobile and use a growing number of ways to communicate. UM allows them to access all of their messages in one convenient place, while also enhancing the user experience. Intel IT initially investigated several outsourced UM systems and eventually joined the Microsoft Exchange* Technical Adoption Plan (TAP) to focus on upgrading to Microsoft Exchange 2007*, which provides a UM backend and uses Microsoft Outlook* as the client. Using Microsoft Exchange 2007 and Microsoft Outlook together meant that we could provide employees with access to many types of data in one central location: Voic Calendar appointments Tasks Contacts Architecture Setup During our investigation, we were under tight budget constraints and had to minimize expenditures on server and storage hardware to support the UM solution. After investigating the cost of new servers, we chose to re-use existing servers based on older Intel architecture that were hosting Microsoft Exchange 2003*. Modern private branch exchange (PBX) systems are IP based and can therefore communicate directly with the UM server. 2
3 Transitioning to Unified Messaging from Legacy Voic Systems White Paper However, for legacy PBX systems, we had to purchase Voice over IP (VoIP) media gateways, which enable communications between the UM server and the legacy PBX using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP is a signaling protocol that closely resembles HTML structure, with similar message headers and addresses. It handles communication sessions between users, such as starting and ending connections. In most cases, we established telephony connections using a PBX that supports SIP/ Real-time Transfer Protocol (RTP) to handle voice and SIP/T.38 protocols for fax. As Figure 1 shows, in some cases we had a split environment, with some voic on legacy non-ip PBX systems and some using SIP. The UM server provides the interface between the telephony and messaging environments. It also provides the text-to-speech and voicerecognition capabilities that allow users to navigate and use the system by voice, known as an auto attendant. External Internal Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) TDM Time-division Multiplexing VoIP Voice over IP LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol MAPI RPC Messaging Application Programming Interface Remote Procedure Call SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Single PBX Private Branch Exchange VoIP Gateway WAN VoIP Gateway WAN VoIP Gateway TDM-PBX IP-PBX IP-PBX Directory Services Directory Services WAN Hub Transport Role Unified Messaging Hub Hub Hub Transport Transport Transport Role Role Role Unified Unified Messaging Unified Messaging Messaging Mailbox Client Access Role Mailbox Mailbox Mailbox Client Access Client Access Role Client Role Access Role Site Site Site Site Directory Services Forest Figure 1. Architecture for Unified Messaging call routing, failover, and redundancy. 3
4 White Paper Transitioning to Unified Messaging from Legacy Voic Systems The architecture shown in Figure 1 provides the following: Data integration. Voic , fax, and messaging data are integrated into a common messaging information store. Manageability. Uses standard IT server management tools and processes. Security. Password and personal identification number (PIN) policies are enforced by the corporate directory. High availability. Highly fault-tolerant system takes advantage of the redundancy and availability of the major components and integration points. Strong administration. Security model enables delegation and segmentation of administrative functions and provides granularity in terms of defining administrative roles. UPGRADING SERVERS We planned to move voic capability from legacy voic servers onto our existing servers, integrating voic and onto a single infrastructure. As Figure 2 shows, based on a forecast of 3 to 4 percent annual increases in volume as well as the addition of voic , we needed to increase performance and storage capacity in our existing machines. We upgraded existing hardware for UM and used newer hardware to run Microsoft Exchange. Improvements included adding additional memory and direct storage, which significantly improved performance and extended server usefulness an additional two years. We also upgraded to Microsoft Exchange 2007, which let us move from 32-bit to 64-bit processing. The combination of these factors enabled us to consolidate servers, from 140 Microsoft Exchange servers to approximately 80. Each server was now capable of handling twice as many users per server, helping us to reduce costs. We anticipate further performance gains with future server improvements. s based on the next-generation of Intel Xeon processor will let us implement and improve high-availability and recovery features. Past systems required clustering and SAN-based storage, but with the newer and faster Volume per Day processor speeds we could implement these features at a lower cost and with a less complex setup. In addition, we expect to reduce the required number of servers by 50 percent while simultaneously increasing server capabilities to handle 8,000 to 11,000 users per server. UM System Deployment We deployed the new UM system in four phases. MICROSOFT EXCHANGE* TECHNICAL ADOPTION PROGRAM (TAP) We joined Microsoft Exchange TAP, which provided resources for collaborating with Microsoft as we implemented our system. Members of Microsoft Exchange TAP receive direct support and mature beta builds of Microsoft Exchange for testing in a production environment. PROOF OF CONCEPT We conducted a proof of concept (PoC) using release-to-market (RTM) code, which precedes software general availability. We set up an early iteration of the system within our organization and then invited approximately 2,400 users to participate in testing it. Respondents participated in a month-long program. 5.0 PILOT STUDIES Volume per Day in Millions We followed the PoC with pilot studies at several new Intel sites. Because the sites were new, there was no existing voic system. Participation in the pilot study was mandatory, and we rolled out the system using traditional deployment best practices. We provided UM in place of a new proprietary voic system at a site in Japan, which provided our first instance of cost avoidance. We continued to pilot the UM system at new sites and in new buildings at existing sites. Figure 2. volume increases by approximately 3 to 4 percent each year. 4
5 Transitioning to Unified Messaging from Legacy Voic Systems White Paper FULL PRODUCTION DEPLOYMENT Based on cost savings and the success of pilot studies, the deployment moved forward, and we began implementing the system company-wide. Currently 80 percent of our workforce uses UM, and we expect that percentage to increase over the next year. Some sites, however, may have specific issues that prevent us from fully implementing UM, such as sites with native call management software, rather than our tested and approved software. In some cases, we had to retain legacy systems that provided out calling and paging services for businesscritical communications, such as repeating notifications of drive and server outages or team shortages on the factory floor. User Feedback As we continue to deploy the new UM system throughout the company, we solicit user feedback to help measure our success. Users were initially afraid of losing the message indicator light to which they were accustomed on their phones. Once we educated users on how to set up a visual alert in Microsoft Outlook, this concern was alleviated. We had planned to create custom functionality to provide a message waiting light, but realized that this effort was no longer required. Most users responded that they liked to receive voic s in their inboxes. Challenges During Deployment We encountered four significant challenges while implementing UM. MERGING TWO TECHNOLOGIES Groups that support several systems needed to work together, including IT telephony and IT messaging operations. By working together to solve the challenges in deploying UM, our teams were able to overcome technological and methodical differences. USER RELUCTANCE Some employees were reluctant to use the new system because they were comfortable with the old voic system and had used it for years. In particular, the loss of the message waiting light on the telephone was an early concern. Moving to UM required some employee education on how to use new tools in the system. We trained users to create a Microsoft Outlook alert that provides a visual cue that they ve received a voice message. This concern diminished over time, so we decided not to pursue a solution that would add the message light capability to our implementation of UM. BUDGET CONSTRAINTS Tight constraints meant that we had to find innovative ways to reduce costs and sometimes change our approach. Instead of purchasing new equipment for this project, we found ways to extend and improve our existing hardware. Our eventual positive outcome was a cost savings and a performance improvement. VOIC OUTCALLING One critical feature not present in Microsoft Exchange is the ability to trigger notification systems to perform repeatable outcalls to a pager or cell phone. For example, if a server or hard drive fails, a message is typically sent to front-line technical support voic . The system creates an outcall through a pager or cell phone to alert the technical support staff that a voic message is waiting. The notifications continue at a defined interval until the message is retrieved, helping to ensure a timely response to the problem. Performance Considerations on PCs Unified Messaging (UM) works best for Intel in Microsoft Outlook 2007* because users have access to a full set of capabilities, including voice-enabled features. However, when deploying UM, we found that using Microsoft Outlook 2007 requires a certain minimum performance from PCs. Microsoft Office 2007* widely uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) throughout its suite of applications, which requires significant processing power. We discovered that when we upgraded PCs as part of our regular upgrade cycle, we improved the user experience, and helped more users take advantage of Microsoft Office 2007 features that older machines could not run. 5
6 White Paper Transitioning to Unified Messaging from Legacy Voic Systems Designing an outcall system We researched-third party products to find a system that interoperates with Microsoft Exchange UM and could perform the required repeatable outcall paging, and we found that no such system existed. To solve this problem, we designed the automated UM Outcall Notification (UMON) system to work around the missing functionality in Exchange. Without this key functionality, business units might be forced to purchase and self-manage a third-party paging solution or continue to maintain some form of legacy voic system to support this business requirement. Our solution runs as a Microsoft Windows* service. The application scans inboxes for waiting messages, and if the message meets the appropriate criteria, it notifies the user by sending an outcall to the user s , pager, or mobile phone. Figure 3 shows how the UMON system integrates into the overall UM architecture. The UMON solution is currently in pilot phase, with several critical business numbers leveraging the new system. We are gathering feedback and continuing development until it is ready for roll out on a larger scale. Results Our new environment is more streamlined and efficient, while also adding new features for users. Moving to UM for combined voic , , calendaring, and other data provided many benefits to Intel, including cost avoidance for outsourcing contracts, future hardware purchases, and licenses; improved user productivity; reduced support costs; and enhanced e-discovery. External Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) 5 TDM Time-division Multiplexing VoIP Voice over IP LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol MAPI RPC Messaging Application Programming Interface Remote Procedure Call SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol HTTPs Single PBX Private Branch Exchange Internal 2 UMON Microsoft Windows* Service 4b Internet Mail Gateways 3 Hub Transport Role Mailbox 1 Directory Services Microsoft Exchange* Infrastructure Internal Telephone Network 3 4a Unified Messaging Client Access Role Voic is received in the user s mailbox (Inbox). Unified Messaging (UM) Outcall Notification (UMON) service will detect the unread voic message. Based on the Notify Option, UMON will either: 1. Request the UM server to make an outbound call (4a). 2. Send a Short Message Service (SMS)/ message through the Mail Gateway to the device (4b). 3. Do both (4a and 4b). 4a The UM server will attempt to make an outbound call by sending the device s phone number to Intel s telephony infrastructure (PBX). 4b The Internet Mail Gateways will send the SMS/ notification to the active user. 5 The call is routed to PSTN and a connection to the device is established. Figure 3. Intel IT is developing an outcall notification system that integrates with Microsoft Exchange 2007* to supply missing functionality. 6
7 Transitioning to Unified Messaging from Legacy Voic Systems White Paper COST AVOIDANCE Implementing a UM solution allowed us to avoid expenditures, including: Outsourcing contracts. We previously worked with multiple suppliers to provide voic services, and when these contracts expired, we were able to avoid new ones. hardware. We achieved approximately USD 1 million in cost avoidance from upgrading and consolidating existing servers as well as eliminating planned hardware purchases to support legacy systems and new buildings. Licenses. Microsoft Exchange 2007 provides UM capabilities under our enterprise license, so we could eliminate legacy voic equipment and contracts. Auto attendant. We previously used a variety of third-party solutions to provide automated operator assistance for both internal and external callers. By moving to UM, we were able to reduce costs by using the auto attendant system that is part of Exchange UM, avoiding costs from renewing third-party solutions. IMPROVED EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY Since UM works on the backend, the voic experience is no different for a person calling into our system they leave messages the same way they have in the past. Single-source access. Employees can access all messaging data, calendars, tasks, and contacts from a single software application on their computers. Hands-free communication. When employees are traveling or out of the office, they can use any phone to dial an access number, enter a PIN, and navigate to all mailbox data, including voic . The system uses text-to-speech technology to read messages, calendars, s, and tasks. This lets employees work hands-free during on-the-road communication. Flexibility. Users can communicate in the way that best suits their circumstances to accept or decline appointments and update their calendars. Users can navigate , calendar, and contact information using voice commands. REDUCED SUPPORT COSTS The centralized management of various types of messaging and office data creates a much more streamlined environment for IT to support than multiple systems of dissimilar hardware and software. We were able to provide important new features to employees at less cost than outsourcing the service to an external supplier while also increasing productivity. This demonstrates the value of keeping some IT services in-house and using smart solutions to address challenges. We found the following factors improved IT productivity: Previously, if a voic outage occurred, fixing the problem was much more difficult and may have required supplier support. By bringing the system in-house, we can use mature messaging and data management processes and best practices, thus improving company total cost of ownership (TCO). If an outage occurs, we can use automated alerts and get service back online more quickly, because it is centralized in one system. ENHANCED E-DISCOVERY To enhance our e-discovery capabilities, we currently store and instant messages for select users. UM makes it easier to capture and archive voic messages to further augment our e-discovery. Next Steps We continue to implement UM throughout the enterprise and anticipate additional cost savings when we upgrade servers to the next generation of Intel Xeon processors, which will result in further consolidation. We estimate that each server will be able to handle 8,000 to 11,000 mailboxes per server, almost twice the current number. Membership in Microsoft Exchange TAP allows us to receive continuous support from Microsoft in the form of beta builds and direct access to product support. The mature platform continues to add UM features, and we plan on investigating further releases as they become available. Over the next two years, we will continue to refresh PCs across the enterprise, and our users will be able to realize the full range of capabilities from the latest software. CONCLUSION Currently, about 80 percent of Intel employees use UM, which provides significant benefits to users and to IT. We determined that transitioning from legacy voic systems to UM provided sufficient cost savings to justify keeping management in-house. We were also able to provide better support at a lower cost than any outsourced solution. By refreshing desktop PCs so they could run the most current software, users benefit from the full set of UM features, such as text-to-speech reading of messages in a mobile environment. By creating a single access point for all messaging, we improve ease-of-use and user productivity. We implemented a new cost-saving server upgrade instead of purchasing new hardware, which provided cost savings and extended 7
8 the useful life of the servers for an additional two years, improving company TCO. Implementing UM ultimately demonstrated the value of using technology that already existed in our environment and relying on in-house staff rather than on specialized suppliers. Moving forward, we now have a centrally managed system that makes updates and maintenance much more cost effective, and also lets us more easily provide new features to users when software updates are released. For more straight talk on current topics from Intel s IT leaders, visit CONTRIBUTORS David Chu Unified Messaging Design Engineer, Intel IT Steve Brewer Messaging Product Manager, Intel IT Mike Wacker Messaging Engineering Manager, Intel IT ACRONYMS LDAP MAPI PBX PIN PoC PSTN RPC RTM RTP SIP SMS SMTP TAP TCO TDM UM UMON VoIP XML Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Messaging Application Programming Interface private branch exchange personal identification number proof of concept public switched telephone network remote procedure call release-to-market Real-time Transfer Protocol Session Initiation Protocol Short Message Service Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Microsoft Exchange* Technical Adoption Plan total cost of ownership time-division multiplexing Unified Messaging UM Outcall Notification Voice over IP Extensible Markup Language This paper is for informational purposes only. THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED AS IS WITH NO WARRANTIES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, NONINFRINGEMENT, FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR ANY WARRANTY OTHERWISE ARISING OUT OF ANY PROPOSAL, SPECIFICATION OR SAMPLE. Intel disclaims all liability, including liability for infringement of any proprietary rights, relating to use of information in this specification. No license, express or implied, by estoppel or otherwise, to any intellectual property rights is granted herein. Intel, the Intel logo, and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. * Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Copyright 2010 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Printed in USA 0210/JLG/KC/PDF Please Recycle US