Unified Communications

Unified Communications
4th February 2015 lantel

Unified communications enable businesses and organisations to communicate quicker, smarter and better

It’s not that long ago when we were happy to have separate elements to our different ways of communicating.  A Telephone to make Voice calls, a Video System to enable Video conferences, Email to send messages and a separate ‘chat’ tool to contact your family and friends easily.

SMEs want simplified Unified Communications that will enable them to be competitive and serve their customers better, but with capabilities implemented in a solution that is flexible and scalable. The growing adoption of flexible working is driving the requirement for SMEs to support ‘bring your own device’(BYOD) strategies. However, to fit in with SME budgets and cost restraints, UC solutions must have minimal administrative and training requirements and be easy to deploy to any user across the network.

UC solutions now encompass all manner of means to speed up and enable these enhanced levels of communication.  ‘Presence’, to see who is available and what is the best contact medium.  ‘Chat’, to contact them even when they are engaged in another task such as already being on the phone.  Once contact is established then which method of communication best suits the situation?  There is the choice of Voice, Video and also Document sharing.  These methods can be expanded to encompass groups of people but ultimately this is all about enabling your people.

Quite simply, Unified Communications fully integrates all your core services reducing the need for complex infrastructures whilst reducing costs.

Unified Communication components include:

  • Instant Messaging and Presence
  • Video and Voice
  • Document Sharing
  • Collaborative Working
  • Bring Your Own Device – BYOD

Voice over IP (VoIP) and network assessments

Lantel sells and supports the Avaya IP Office phone system; it combines aspects of traditional PABX telephony systems and IP data and telephony systems. IP Office supports PSTN, SIP, POTs, digital time division multiplexed telephones and digital IP telephones all on the same system. IP Office allows all the technologies to coexist.

IP Office connects to the PSTN and to IP trunks providing a “hybrid” PABX function – where both legacy and future technologies can be used together to minimize operating costs and optimize business communications through both voice and data. The converged functionality works on multiple levels:

  • Individual phone users can control the operation of their phone through applications running on their PC.
  • Data traffic can be routed from the LAN interface to a telephony trunk interface.
  • Voice traffic can be routed across internal and external data links. This option is referred to as voice over IP (VoIP).

Voice over IP (VoIP) means voice transmitted over a packet data network. VoIP is often referred to as IP telephony because it uses the internet protocols to make possible enhanced voice communications wherever IP connections exist.

  • The VoIP mode of operation can include external SIP trunks, IP trunks between customer systems and/or H.323 or SIP IP telephones for users.
  • A network assessment is a mandatory requirement for all systems using VoIP. For support issues with VoIP, Lantel may request access to the network assessment results and may refuse support if those are not available or satisfactory.

A network assessment would include a determination of the following:

  • A network audit to review existing equipment and evaluate its capabilities, including its ability to meet both current and planned voice and data needs.
  • A determination of network objectives, including the dominant traffic type, choice of technologies, and setting voice quality objectives.
  • The assessment should leave you confident that the implemented network will have the capacity for the foreseen data and voice traffic,

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