VoIP Migration for Global Business Success

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1 white paper: voice over IP VoIP Migration for Global Business Success How Convergence à la Carte Can Realise the Benefits of Enterprise-Wide IP Communications By Jo Matthew Perrin Nickols and Huib Coomans 1. Introduction: Global + Business = IP The Evolving Global Corporation Enhancing Collaboration Why IP? The Benefits of IP Transitioning to IP The Verizon Business Approach Network Architecture Migration Scenarios Scenario One: Keeping An Existing TDM PBX Scenario Two: An IP PBX In Place Scenario Three: An End-to-End Managed IP PBX Service Scenario Four: A Fully Hosted Business VoIP Solution Linking Premise-Based Intelligence With Network Intelligence Successful Migration on Your Own Terms Business Resilience A Global Network With Local Presence Verizon VoIP Conclusion Page of 14

2 Global + Business = IP As never before, businesses that wish to be successful in a global environment require a global presence. And as never before, that means global organisations need secure, simple, streamlined communications to enable an increasingly mobile global workforce to collaborate successfully. Convergence, long referenced as the CIO s Holy Grail, is now seen as a realistic strategy for enabling global enterprise communications and IP-based solutions are now broadly accepted as the means that will enable the end. Yet deploying IP solutions across business infrastructure remains a challenge. The idea of converging global voice and data communications on a unified IP network infrastructure seems simple enough but the biggest question for organisations embarking on this path remains When is the right time? Industry commentators counsel varying approaches to the problem, but too often the so-called definitive roadmap for IP convergence is one that is too far removed from an individual business own infrastructure status to be realistic. And if cost or other concerns make a complete infrastructure rebuild unrealistic, where and how could transition begin? How can companies protect their existing technology investments as they move to a converged communications environment? How can they ensure consistent and high quality voice and data delivery in an evolving infrastructure? And, perhaps most importantly, how can they ensure that whatever they do today will indeed support their future business ambitions? This paper outlines the challenges faced by multinational corporations as they operate in the global market today, as well as the benefits offered by transitioning to a converged IP environment which can help to safeguard their future. Most importantly, it outlines potential strategies for multinationals to adopt to ensure a successful transition to IP, at their own pace, and taking into consideration the reality of their existing IT infrastructure. Verizon Business believes that convergence à la carte is the key to success for companies wishing to embrace IP to realise business benefits now and in the future. Companies must adopt a technology agnostic approach to IP transition, one that works in harmony with and complements their existing IT and communications investment. Most importantly, IP transition must support their own business objectives, delivering advanced IP-based technology solutions to answer their daily operational challenges and prepare them for future growth. Today, Global + Business = IP. How can companies successfully make the transition? The Evolving Global Corporation To understand the business case for convergence, it s worth taking a step back to consider what is driving global business infrastructure development today. Today s multinational company has transformed its operations to meet the demands of customers who want just-in-time delivery and 24-hour customer service, anytime, anywhere. Its business is serviced by virtual teams who work together across continents and time zones. Merger and consolidation continues to play a role in globalisation, as does outsourcing and the placing of core business services and supporting infrastructure outside the corporate HQ, that then need to leverage synergies across this entire infrastructure. At the same time, organisations are looking to tap into new revenue opportunities. Page 2 of 14

3 A number of evolving marketplaces are keen to engage in a global environment and develop their economies and infrastructure so that they can compete with established players. Global business operations, technology and communication needs are therefore becoming increasingly complex. In the past, businesses often operated as semi-autonomous silos in each region, linking up to review their operational performance at the end of year. Today, organisations depend on instantaneous communication between geographically dispersed departments to function. If departments can t communicate, business can t get done or not to optimum performance. The net effect is to leave today s multinational corporations more dependent than ever on communications technology. Their business operations are built around distributed, highly complex, mission-critical networks and applications and they need assurance that these networks will provide seamless global support now and in the future. However, they also need to ensure that these networks will facilitate seamless 24/7 global operations in different time zones and diverse localities, and that they will enable the mobile global workforce to communicate successfully. Enhancing Collaboration Why is the ability to enhance employee communication, or their ability to collaborate, so important? Well, the net impact of enhanced collaboration is improved business productivity and customer service. Research commissioned by Verizon Business and Microsoft in 2006 identified a concrete link between effective business collaboration and overall business performance, with the impact of collaboration showing twice as significant as a company s aggressiveness in pursuing new market opportunities (strategic orientation) and five times as significant as the external market environment (market turbulence). The study, Meetings Around the World, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, defined collaboration as an interaction between culture and technology. Two key factors were shown to play into effective collaboration - an organisation s orientation and infrastructure to collaborate; and the nature and extent of collaboration that allows people to work together as well as an organisation s culture and processes that encourage teamwork. By assessing and measuring both, a company s relative collaborativeness can be measured and plotted against organisational performance. The Frost & Sullivan survey 1 developed a Collaboration Index to measure how both the capability to collaborate, and the use of these capabilities for high-quality collaboration impact organisational performance. The survey showed that collaboration significantly impacts profitability (29%), profit growth (26%), and sales growth (27%), and is thus an essential component of an effective growth strategy. However, this is not the only area where collaboration was seen to produce a tangible business benefit. For example, product quality (34%) and product development (30%) and innovation (30%) are also positively influenced by collaboration. Such significant impact on these bottom-line indicators cements the business case for the consideration of collaboration within organisations. If high-quality collaboration requires interaction across an organisation, then by fostering collaboration capabilities, employers are really empowering employees to work effectively as teams within the framework of a global infrastructure. And building collaboration tools on an IP foundation enhances the potential for success. Page 3 of 14

4 Why IP? We now work and play in an economy that is communications centric, and the communications platform of choice is increasingly IP-based. Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data in a packet switched network. The key IP differentiator is that it is essentially a connection free protocol: as a network layer protocol encapsulated in a data link layer protocol (e.g. Ethernet), IP provides the service of communicable unique global addresses, avoiding the need for the data link layer to do this. No circuit set up is therefore needed before a host tries to send packets to hosts with which it has not previously communicated. IP can therefore be used over a heterogeneous network i.e. a network connecting two computers can be any mix of Ethernet, ATM, FDDI, Wi-Fi etc. Public networks, both wireline and wireless, are now increasingly transitioning to IP to leverage the potential of Internet technology. For business, the key potential of IP technology lies in its ability to enable voice traffic to be carried over networks in the same manner as data traffic. By leveraging the potential of Voice over IP (VoIP) businesses are able to bring together their voice and data networks in a single structure. As well as the obvious cost efficiency implications, this also has significant implications in terms of the added value functionality that data networks can provide, as well as overall network control. IP telephony i.e. telephony built on VoIP is therefore the key concern for business users considering the move to IP. When comparing IP-based communications systems to historic systems, it is important to realise what a fundamental shift in approach this demands. The most important factor for consideration is that legacy telephone systems (PBXs) are closed, proprietary systems with limited intelligence. They can only enable one service: voice, and client devices (phones) are hardwired to the infrastructure, making any amendments, additions or other changes to the overall infrastructure (whether that is new phones for new users, or change of numbers) very difficult to achieve. IP PBXs, however, are open systems (computer servers) that process telephony signals in the same way as data. IP PBXs and their client devices (IP phones, PCs or notebook PCs) connect to the LAN, and calls can follow users around the LAN and other IP networks in the same way as does. What s more, the client devices can be wireless as well as wireline the medium could hardly be more flexible. The potential of IP-based communication is therefore essentially about building flexibility into all forms of communication, as well as unifying communications on a single platform. Perhaps most importantly, it s about building flexibility on which to build future business operations, as well as to improve business efficiency today. The Benefits of IP Transitioning voice and data communications to a converged IP platform offers businesses four key benefits: Minimised communication costs Increased operational efficiency Enhanced productivity of individuals and workgroups Superior service delivery As previously outlined, the ability to minimise communication costs is often the primary driver for businesses considering migrating to IP. With VoIP solutions, businesses are able to route intra-office calls on their data network over IP, making them essentially free, as well as utilise the intelligent call control within the network to offer the most cost effective off-net call routing and efficient inbound call delivery. When you consider the average telecommunications costs incurred by enterprise, this is a significant potential operational expenditure saving. Page 4 of 14

5 However, it is the softer benefits of IP implementation including indirect cost savings and functionality that are likely to have the biggest impact on business in the longer term. An IP platform provides the opportunity to unify communications in a common infrastructure; it therefore enables businesses to operate more efficiently by enhancing the potential for collaboration across its dispersed business sites, as well as reducing the management burden associated with managing associated tools. And by building collaboration technologies on an IP foundation, their net impact, and particularly in terms of a company s ability to more effectively service its customers, is significantly increased. Collaborative technologies to facilitate global team-working have evolved dramatically over recent years, and there is now an abundance of solutions available, whether instant messaging, web conferencing, audio conferencing, presence, or video conferencing. By building collaborative tools of this type over a unified IP platform, business users are able to link all forms of communication in real-time; they can instantly see the availability of a colleague via an instant message platform linked to their outlook diary; they can use messenger to chat in real time, or link directly back into their address book to call them over a VoIP phone. They can summon an instant web meeting or audio conference directly from their address book contacts, or even set up a video conference. For example, they can also set up voic management solutions to drive messaging to a mobile device, or a Blackberry, effectively removing mailbox size limitations and all via a single user interface. For the IT manager, a converged platform also enhances overall management capabilities. The process of allocating accounting or authorisation codes is made much simpler, as is that of device inventory and features codes configuration. Moves, adds or other user changes can be managed quickly and simply from a central administration interface, with a standardised solution applied across the enterprise. In essence the business of managing telephony becomes as simple (and as user friendly) as that of managing other network resources. Not all these solutions are available right now but IP makes them possible. IP is therefore about much more than VoIP it s about enabling the future of integrated communication, and delivering added value applications and solutions to users across the network. VoIP is essentially an enabler in the move toward a single, network-hosted IP environment, where IP-based tools such as VoIP, conferencing and instant messaging will all work in harmony to enhance business collaboration and performance. Transitioning to IP The business case for migrating to IP communications is therefore clear. However, the key concern for organisations preparing to make the move to IP is when, and how to do so. The particular challenge for multinational organisations is the diverse and varied nature of their communications requirements. Large global enterprises may have hundreds of sites around the world of varying sizes and infrastructures. Of necessity, migration to IP will normally need to be done on an individual, per-site basis, taking into consideration the specific requirement of that site s infrastructure and business needs. For example, a key concern for businesses wishing to transition to IP is to ensure they protect the inherent value of their legacy investments. PBXs, phones and cabling represent a major facet of most organisations IT spend, and many companies actually went through a complete systems upgrade in recent years to counter concerns regarding the so-called Millennium bug. Many organisations are therefore keen NOT to rip out and replace but rather to look at ways of gradually, and incrementally moving to IP telephony. Page of 14

6 The good news here is that in most cases, not all business users require, or would use, the additional functionality that IP telephony provides in the short term. In fact, there are IP Telephony services that can be implemented without the end user actually being impacted, or even realising that such a solution is in place, whilst still offering benefits and cost savings to the business. It s therefore possible to segment users into groups for phased transition where users that don t require the additional functionality continue to use their regular PBX phone; but knowledge workers and other relevant staff are given an IP phone. There should be no need to employ new extension numbers and, as both systems interoperate, there is no need to change the way that calls (internal, intra-office and external) are made. Most importantly however, IP transition can be approached in a number of different ways, even apart from the user scenario. Users can indeed opt for an instant IP migration of their entire system, or adopt a phased approach. The key consideration is to ensure that how they approach IP transition sits well with their own business objectives. The Verizon Business Approach Verizon Business believes that IP transition does not have to be a big bang event, but rather a strategic business initiative that should happen in line with an individual company s business plans. Verizon Business has a VoIP portfolio that offers customers a range of solutions that enable a simple and efficient way to transition their voice and data services to IP technology at their own pace, irrespective of their stage of IP implementation. At the heart of this approach is the fact that customers should view the migration to VoIP as an opportunity to create new business solutions and not just try to replicate old world telephony. The first such product solution, IP Integrated Access, enables customers to implement VoIP solutions whilst keeping the traditional PABX in place, whereas IP Trunking connects an IP PBX to the Verizon Business enterprise data network and public voice network using a single IP connection. Hosted IP Centrex is a robust, flexible, scalable and feature-rich VoIP service delivered from a fully hosted and managed platform, and Verizon Business also offers a fully Managed IP PBX service, enabling customers to fully outsource the implementation and management of their premises-based IP telephony systems to Verizon Business. The full suite enables customers to benefit from VoIP technology no matter what their stage of IP transition. Network Architecture Before focusing on individual migration scenarios, let s first understand the components that make up Verizon Business VoIP platform. Visualising these components as tiers within a network, as depicted in figure 1, we see that the tiers 2, 3, 4 and 5 represent the core network that links all customer sites to the underlying uniform platform. These remain constant, irrespective of the solution that s deployed at the customer site. However, each tier represents a specific component of the overall VoIP platform. Tier 1 represents an individual site, including its existing hardware and infrastructure. Tier 2 represents the IP access method into an individual site. Simply put, different access line options can be chosen according to the size of the site, its number of users and the volume of data and voice traffic that is expected to originate from and terminate at that site. Larger sites may choose either standard IP leased lines or Ethernet connectivity, whereas smaller sites, with fewer end users may opt for DSL 2 access. Tier 3 represents Verizon Business s Global IP network, to which each individual site is connected. In terms of supporting VoIP solutions, no distinction in terms of quality of service and product features is made between public or private networks. Whether the customer s wide area network is a private IP network based on MPLS technology, or whether sites are connected using public IP. However, it is worth noting that a core strength of any network provider s solution is its geographic reach Verizon Business IP network extends to 150 countries, with over 4500 points of presence globally, the most expansive IP network in the world. 2. Not available in all locations at this time Page 6 of 14

7 Clearly IP coverage is a key enabler to deploying a VoIP solution, but to understand the complete VoIP application we need to look at the next two tiers. LAN IP Access WAN TDM PBX Intelligent Gateway Network Gateway SIP Based VoIP Platform 4 PSTN 5 Figure 1. Tier 4 represents the intelligence of the Verizon Business IP cloud. This virtual IP PBX, built on SIP-based VoIP architecture, is multi-tenanted, fully redundant and carrier grade quality. Every VoIP customer is connected to this intelligence, which handles all call routing and network based features. By tier 4, we therefore have established a firm basis for VoIP communications, whereby customer sites connected to the IP network can make calls between sites, and over IP, and also have access to all the features within the network platform. Customers benefit from a standardised feature set and a uniform private dial plan which can be applied across the enterprise, irrespective of the telephony equipment on site. This is obviously great for all users wanting to make intra or inter-site calls as long as a site is connected to the IP network and enabled on the VoIP platform, this can happen. However, business also needs to connect to the world outside its network and particularly in today s global climate. And the key issue here is that, even if your business has migrated to VoIP, much of the rest of the world remains connected to the traditional PSTN (TDM) network environment. This is where tier 5 comes in. Tier 5 represents the PSTN environment, to which the majority of calls that originate on the IP network will terminate. A VoIP solution clearly must therefore also offer the handoff, or the interconnection to the PSTN network and preferably seamlessly to the end user. The Verizon Business IP network is connected to the Verizon PSTN (TDM) network for this exact reason. Verizon Business enables seamless handoff not just for outbound calling from IP enabled sites to the PSTN, but also for inbound calling from a PSTN to IP enabled sites. This interconnection is critical, and is handled by network based gateways that transform IP (SIP) calls to PSTN (TDM), or vice versa. Page 7 of 14

8 This essentially means that any site connected to the Verizon Business IP network, and enabled on the intelligent VoIP platform, automatically has access to the Verizon PSTN network. Customer sites therefore no longer need local PSTN access, as this is provided from their Verizon Business IP connection a single connection that enables data communications, inter-site IP to IP calls and all calls to and from the PSTN network. It s therefore clear that a successful VoIP solution relies on the combination of extensive IP reach and an extensive TDM voice network, but most crucially requires the network gateways to interlink the two across the globe. Migration Scenarios We will now look in detail at four potential IP migration scenarios, and particularly at how a global IP communications fabric can be used to unify the different local environments into an enterprise-wide network. At the end of the day, it s all about what solution is right for each individual site, both from a technical as well as a commercial standpoint. The first three migration scenarios described all use existing or new IP PBX architecture. As each site is connected to the VoIP platform, it becomes part of the company s VoIP VPN for both on-net (intrasite) calling and off-net calling to the PSTN, and features and functionality inherent within the IP PBX architecture remain in place and are fully utilised. Scenario One: Keeping An Existing TDM PBX The first scenario, shown in figure 1, represents a customer site where there is a TDM PBX in place. In this environment, Tier 1 of the diagram depicts a LAN environment connected to an IP network via a standard router. The TDM PBX is completely standalone and connected directly to a PSTN network via traditional PSTN/ISDN trunks a scenario that will still exist today across most business site environments. As previously outlined, having an existing TDM PBX in place, or perhaps more importantly, keeping the traditional TDM in place, can be an effective and cost-efficient option. To reiterate, this PBX may well deliver all the basic business telephony requirements needed at that site and it makes sense to avoid immediate replacement. There are, however, benefits in making this site an integral part of the global voice VPN. Once connected to the IP core, it can provide access to a host of network based features within the tiers of the VoIP platform described earlier (tier 4). The Verizon IP Integrated Access solution enables this to happen. Replacing the IP router with an intelligent enterprise gateway allows the PBX to be directly connected to the core IP network. Once done, the existing PSTN/ISDN lines can be removed from the PBX, although often a small number of channels are kept as back-up in case the IP connection should fail. In this scenario, all outbound calls made by the PBX are routed directly via the Enterprise Gateway, converting TDM into SIP based IP protocol for the routing of calls, thereby turning a traditional TDM call into a VoIP call. The VoIP platform determines whether a call is destined to remain on IP to be delivered to another site within the company s VoIP VPN, or to the PSTN network gateway for further termination. Clearly, this single IP connection will now be carrying both data traffic from the LAN, as well as VoIP calls from the PBX, all through one enterprise gateway that is doubling as both an IP router for data traffic, and as a voice gateway. Crucially, VoIP calls will demand less bandwidth per call than would be required on a traditional PSTN (TDM) network. A standard VoIP call will require only half the bandwidth of a traditional voice call, thereby doubling the bandwidth efficiency over traditional PSTN and ISDN circuit lines. Page 8 of 14

9 Ensuring voice quality of service is key here and this is the job of the Enterprise Gateway, which prioritises voice over data to guarantee Quality of Service through a robust SLA. The IP Integrated Access solution therefore realises a first stage of network convergence, without actually impacting the LAN environment on that site, or the PBX and associated phones: there is minimal disruption to the enterprise environment, and as a result, no change in behaviour required from the end user. Scenario Two: An IP PBX In Place Verizon IP Trunking delivers the same benefits to IP enabled PBXs as IP Integrated Access does to TDM PBXs. With the recent demand for IP PBXs outstripping that of traditional TDM PBXs, some or many sites within a company s network may have already deployed an IP PBX. With such a site s LAN typically connected to an IP wide area network, thereby potentially connecting one IP PBX with another at another site, companies clearly already have achieved a degree of voice and data convergence although typically only for inter- or intra-site calls. Each IP PBX is still connected to the PSTN for all non site-to-site calls (i.e. calls to any off-net number on the PSTN) and the same applies for inbound calls to that IP PBX, which would be delivered over these same PSTN/ISDN lines. LAN PBX LAN IP PBX Intelligent Gateway Intelligent Gateway IP Access WAN SIP based VoIP platform PSTN Network Gateway Figure 2. IP Trunking, as illustrated in figure 2, is therefore simply an extension of IP Integrated Access. The IP PBX is already connected to the IP network, as it forms part of the LAN environment. Trunks, or channels, are initiated on the VoIP platform and this then enables the IP PBX to send all outbound calls over the IP network. As with IP Integrated Access, the VoIP platform then determines and routes each call based upon its on-net(work) or off-net(work) destination. The main distinction from IP Integrated Access is that the IP router does not need to convert TDM to IP, as the IP PBX will already be providing IP enabled calls. Page 9 of 14

10 Scenario Three: An End-to-End Managed IP PBX Service Once IP PBXs have been introduced into the VoIP network, the potential is there for businesses to outsource IP PBX management to their IP network and VoIP solution provider. Verizon Managed IP PBX enables customers to transfer management of their IP telephony systems to Verizon Business. All aspects of a customer s communications system, including the LAN environment, the WAN network services, security, applications and handsets will then be developed and managed on a bespoke basis, backed up by site audits and bespoke designs to ensure the highest levels of tailored reliability and performance. This includes providing full fault management facilities, performance management for more intricate applications such as call centres, and access to all user and administration features. Furthermore, companies benefit from additional choice in terms of the vendor platforms and versions that are deployed. The service offers continuous IP PBX management and optimisation, as well as aid in the planning, designing, and implementation phases of the service, with integration to the Verizon VoIP platform through its IP Trunking product. Scenario Four: A Fully Hosted Business VoIP Solution The fourth and final scenario takes the hosted application concept to the next level. Verizon Hosted IP Centrex, simply put, replaces the IP PBX completely, enabling sites to benefit totally from the call control, features and functionality found within the hosted VoIP platform. As shown in Tier 1 of figure 3, the IP PBX is simply removed, with the VoIP platform replacing it altogether. This scenario is ideally suited to a site or a network of sites where the business management justification for deploying site based IP PBXs is outweighed by minimising the costs, the design, implementation and management of on site equipment. LAN PBX LAN IP PBX Softclients LAN SIP Phones Intelligent Gateway Intelligent Gateway Intelligent Gateway IP Access WAN SIP based VoIP platform PSTN Network Gateway Figure 3. Hosted IP Centrex offers managed business telephony, utilising the LAN environment fully to originate and deliver all forms of inbound and outbound calling through the VoIP platform. IP Phones (or analogue handsets through converter routers) are simply connected to the LAN switch, and Hosted IP Centrex then relies fully on the features found within the VoIP platform. Verizon Business s service includes features such as an attendant console portal that enables a reception function, or an Auto Attendant that offers automated inbound call routing. Using the web-based dashboard, an Administrator then also has the ability to manage all end-user moves, adds and changes remotely, across all sites and all users. Page 10 of 14

11 Any site can deploy a Hosted IP Centrex service, but smaller to medium size sites within a business s network are most suited business telephony requirements here are generally not as complex as those at large HQ sites. These larger sites may still benefit from the additional functionality that TDM or IP PBXs provide and/or the ability to interface with customised applications, e.g. contact centres, and mainstream business processes, such as Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) applications that interface in-house systems and databases with the telephony platform Linking Premise-Based Intelligence With Network Intelligence There are additional benefits in having IP PBXs connected to the VoIP network. Web based customer interfaces, or dashboards, enable both administrators and end users to access and utilise a range of network based features within the VoIP platform. Individual end user extension numbers on an IP PBX can be mimicked on the platform, and external DDI ranges can be ported from the current PSTN provider to cater for all inbound call routing. Private dial plans, offering short code inter-site dialling can be activated, and, with inbound calls from other sites and from the PSTN routing through the platform, intelligent call routing functions can be engaged. Perhaps most effectively, each end user can adopt a single number concept if users are away from their desk, or out of the office, a few clicks via the web dashboard can activate a call divert to either a hosted voic box or another phone, such as a mobile or a home office number. Although the existing PBX can provide this functionality, having this intelligent routing take place within the core network saves on inbound and outbound trunk utilisation on the access bandwidth. The calls get redirected within the network, and don t tie up the line going into the customer s site. Network routing ensures that important calls find the recipient efficiently and first time. These web dashboards are intuitive and easy to use and as every business user knows, what is easy to use, gets used. All this call control is managed by a Communication Manager within the dashboard and of course, when users are out of the office, access to the dashboard can be achieved through any device that supports an Internet browser. Successful Migration On Your Own Terms Whether adopting a fully hosted network based solution, deploying new, or maintaining existing IP PBX infrastructure, the set of product solutions that have been outlined offer the opportunity for any business to bring individual or multiple sites onto an IP based network platform, in a manner and timeline that suits each individual site. When considering the adoption of these solutions, it s important to understand that it s likely that no single product option will fit all sites. Most VoIP network solutions are based on a hybrid of two or more of these four scenarios, with the appropriate product selected according to the individual dynamics and circumstances within that site. The constant factor in this entire model is the underlying platform that underpins each of the four solution scenarios. Put simply, users should choose whichever solution best suits each site, as once the site is connected to the VoIP platform layer, it simply becomes fully interoperable with each and every other site on the VoIP VPN. The VoIP platform then acts as the unifying fabric, ensuring complete transparency and interoperability between each site, and enabling features and dial plans to be shared whether a site utilises Hosted IP Centrex, Integrated Access, IP Trunking or Managed IP PBX. To return to the question posed at the start of this paper, determining when and how an enterprise should transition to IP remains the key business concern. However, in approaching the question, a number of key steps should be considered: 1. Carry out an audit Understand what technology is in place today Don t forget the peripheral devices Identify users/locations that stand to gain most from convergence by understanding your working practices Identify changes that will be required to support converged services Page 11 of 14

12 2. Identify quick wins Can the legacy environment be enhanced in the short term to realise cost and efficiency benefits? Can the speed and flexibility of IP be applied to new offices or moves, adds and changes? 3. Sweat assets where possible Don t adopt a rip and replace approach Carry out a return on investment analysis 4. Future proof the investment Follow your own strategy, not that of your PBX vendor The table below provides a guide to which Verizon Business product type best fits with each individual site situation: Business Has... Business Wants... Product Option Traditional TDM PBX End of Life PBX New Location IP PBX Traditional Key/ PBX or IP PBX Mixture of site configuration Use existing TDM equipment, sweat the asset Start benefitting from network convergence and retire PSTN/ISDN lines Better utilisation of IP Access Circuits Interoperability/management with sites that have Hosted IP Centrex or IP PBXs Maintain/upgrade existing PBX functionality Improve ROI of upgrading and managing business telephony for small/ medium sites Ease of managing multiple smaller sites Largely outsourced, centrally managed No Investment in PBX Features hosted in network Low total cost of ownership Already invested in own IP PBX; maintain and maximise investment Want to consolidate Voice and Data over same WAN Start benefitting from network convergence and retire PSTN/ISDN lines Better utilisation of IP Access Circuits Interoperability/management with sites that have Hosted IP Centrex or IP PBXs Premise-based Solution Convenience of Managed Service, IP PBX Has complex, tailor made telephony or application integration requirements Outsource management of platform Scalability for all sites, sizes and architecture Feature parity between all sites Full coverage IP Integrated Access Hosted IP Centrex Hosted IP Centrex IP Trunking Managed IP PBX Mix & Match Verizon VoIP solutions Page 12 of 14

13 Business Resilience As we have discussed, a global, fully redundant, carrier-grade platform operates within an intelligent VoIP capability that offers a wealth of inbound and outbound call routing functionality. This enables disaster recovery functionality that doesn t exist in a regular voice network. For example, let s consider a customer site that has suffered some form of site equipment outage (PBX, LAN, router, access line) or a physical site outage (fire, flood, evacuation etc). Using the Administrator Dashboard, accessible via the Verizon Business Customer Center portal from any web browser, an individual or team can instruct the platform, in real-time, to divert all inbound calls destined for that site. The new destination can be another office or a series of back up groups or teams, and such re-routing can take place across individual users, hunt groups or departments across cities, countries or continents. As the call re-routing is done within the core of the Verizon Business VoIP network it is not impacted in any way by the local situation affecting an individual customer site. Individuals, using their own personal dashboard, can also initiate a real time call diversion facility. Each end user can employ their personal Communication Manager to divert their inbound calls, e.g. to their home or mobile number, whereby all their communications services can be sourced via a single application. As the interface to the communications dashboard is web based, in essence all unified communication functions normally available at the office desk are fully accessible from any temporary site or location with Internet/Broadband access. This functionality would apply for any site or any user on any of the four VoIP solutions. A Global Network With Local Presence The importance of capability and pedigree in both IP and Voice networks, and the need for interactions between the two to deliver a successful and reliable VoIP solution has already been outlined. Verizon Business provides voice, data and Internet services on its state-of-the-art fiber-optic network to customers in more than 2,700 cities and 150 countries worldwide, with high capacity connections to over 120,000 buildings around the globe. Verizon Business s customers include tens-of-thousands of businesses and government agencies, including 94% of Fortune 500 companies. Verizon Business has a rich heritage developing the commercial Internet from its inception to the present. Its IP backbone network is one of the most expansive in the world; its data network includes more than 446,000 route miles, including terrestrial and undersea cable, spanning six continents and access to another 187,000 route miles from Verizon Telecom. To give a point of comparison, the Verizon Business network is large enough to circle the world 18 times. With more than 1 Terabit of aggregated backbone capacity in North America, the network carries data traffic at up to 10 Gbps in the United States and 2.5 Gbps in Europe. Since research firm TeleGeography began tracking Internet backbone connectivity in 2001, the Verizon Business global IP network (formerly MCI) has ranked #1 as the most connected backbone each year (based on Autonomous System connections). This enables its business customers and ISPs to reach more destinations directly through its global IP backbone than any other carrier. Most importantly, Verizon Business s network is built around the concept of global reach and local presence. Account management may be centralised to simplify network management and billing; however, each individual customer site is able to talk to local contacts, in their own language, with regards to their own particular concerns and objectives. Local presence means more than having offices around the world and being able to speak the language. Verizon Business has been an established TDM operator for many years. This is important for a number of reasons, e.g. the company already complies with the relevant regulatory issues such as legal intercept and emergency services. In addition, the company owns number ranges and number porting processes are in place. Thus, fast rollout of VoIP services can be achieved since the complexities are known and components such as dial plans are common to both environments. Page 13 of 14

14 Global reach but local touch is often talked about, but few companies are able to truly deliver. Verizon Business combines unsurpassed global network reach with advanced technology and professional services capabilities to deliver innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world today and tomorrow. Verizon VoIP The Verizon Business VoIP platform is deployed and in service in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Africa, UK, US, with additional European and Asia Pacific expansion in progress throughout 2007*. Additional on-net Site to Site calling capabilities are available across the global Private IP network. Local language (French, German, Dutch, British English, in addition to US English) customer web interfaces and local ringtones are available in all countries where Verizon VoIP is deployed, providing a fully localised IP telephony end user experience. Verizon Business has voice licences in 24 countries globally, which means that the company has extensive experience with the complexities of the voice environment within each of these markets. This means that the company: Owns number ranges and has local porting agreements in place Understands the complex legal and regulatory requirements of each market Offers support for emergency calling services Offers support for the legal intercept of calls in several countries ahead of legislation requiring such services Quality of Service monitoring and measurement via Customer Premise Equipment allows Verizon Business to measure quality end to end and provide Service Level Agreements based on real measures such as voice quality rather than just technical measures such as jitter and latency. Visit our website at to learn more about Verizon Business s products suite. Conclusion Global + Business = IP. That much is clear. However, how and when the majority of businesses are going to make the move to an IP environment is as yet still to be determined. The ultimate objective of multinational companies is to ensure they maintain a competitive edge in a global business environment. This has, however, to be coupled with the need for high quality customer service and for public companies, the ability to demonstrate shareholder value. To do this, they need to look at how best to use technology to meet their communications objectives today, and lay a strong foundation for future development. What is evident today is that the foundation will be built on IP. The question for business is how to move to an IP platform in a way that complements their overall business objectives. IP telephony is indeed the first step in IP communications that organisations are taking as they transition to an IP environment, beyond simple Internet access. But IP telephony is really just a taster of an exciting world of added value applications that can truly impact on business performance. VoIP is an enabling technology, not an application and, to truly realise the benefits of IP, businesses must understand the potential of the emerging global business environment, and be prepared to make changes to their own infrastructure and processes that will help them make the most of it. Verizon Business s view is that Convergence à la Carte is the only possible approach one size does not fit all, and only by taking the time to understand each individual organisation s objectives and strategies can a suitable IP migration strategy be developed. This paper has outlined four potential migration scenarios built from Verizon Business s day to day experience of serving customers. There are many more. The key to success for the customer is to work with a partner who understands both the business drivers and the technology enablers that will make this transition succeed as an integral part of their current and future business strategies. IP is the future for global business communications. Verizon Business knows the way. * Product availability is dependant upon location. Please contact your account manager for more information 2007 Verizon. All Rights Reserved. WP_Convergence_INTL_0507 The Verizon and Verizon Business names and logos and all other names, logos, and slogans identifying Verizon s products and services are trademarks and service marks or registered trademarks and service marks of Verizon Trademark Services LLC or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners. Page 14 of 14

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