You Have Bought Your Last PBX.
Time was, the business world operated like a Monopoly game. Stay on a predictable path that marches around the board, deal with the cards
as they fall and grow as big as possible. Those old rules have changed. Today’s business world is more like “Survivor,” where success rests
on the ability to constantly adapt to new challenges. And those challenges are significant as you look to provide services to an ever more
demanding customer base.
Your strength is your people, but how do you empower employees who are increasingly mobile and use a variety of different technologies
to communicate? Many businesses are struggling with complex interworking environments that have evolved as they deployed multivendor
PBX technologies. These PBX networks address the critical capability of voice communications, but voice is no longer the only critical
communications capability you need. Trying to evolve these PBX networks as you adapt to new challenges has become an inhibitor to your
What then are the options in evolving communications environments to support all types of communications?
There are four architectural considerations that should be explored:
Cloud-Based Not Premise-Based Systems
Private communications systems such as premise-based PBXs made sense when work was conducted at fixed locations and the worker
was at the desktop. Today, business is conducted both face-to-face and remotely using a wide variety of voice, web and video conferencing
tools as well as mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. For enterprises, it makes financial sense to centralize their communication
applications and distribute these over private, public and hybrid cloud communication infrastructures. An enterprise can save up to 40% by
moving communications to network-based cloud solutions, which allows workers (and customers) to access communication applications from
any location on any device.
Software Application Not Hardware-Centric
There is no question that, while hardware is required to process applications, the application innovation itself comes from software. As the
number of app stores grows, users will be able to download applications that improve their productivity. This model is efficient—it’s fast
and inexpensive—and well suited to communications applications as well. This is especially true for communications applications that work
together in a tightly integrated fashion and leverage shared directories and databases with other business applications. The traditional PBX
is not structured in this way; rather, the PBX has embedded functionality in the hardware itself. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), on the other
hand, is a technology standard that enables communications applications to interwork with business applications. SIP-based applications
can be built using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) frameworks to create a communications infrastructure that is flexible, adaptable and
efficient. As the industry standard for converged IP communications, SIP is an ideal foundation for a broad range of mobility and collaborative
Open Not Closed Systems
PBX networks have traditionally been hardware-centric, proprietary systems, and any differentiation was delivered within this closed
environment. While progress has been made in adopting standards within these systems, PBX networks still rely on proprietary endpoints to
deliver the vast majority of their feature set. PBX vendors may say they adhere to the SIP standard, but most still require that you purchase
their SIP device rather than use SIP devices from other vendors. Thus, any new communication applications are locked into a particular PBX
vendor, creating a dependency that can be costly and inflexible.
Unified Communications (UC) is an industry trend that promises the integration of real-time communications (voice, video, IM, chat) for users
anytime, anywhere over any device. Many PBX vendors are positioning their UC offerings as proprietary extensions to their PBX systems. This
is not in your best interest.
Your business should demand openness in your communications environment in four distinct dimensions:
1. Openness at the desktop or in your user’s hand (wherever they may be), independence of email system (e.g., whether Exchange, Lotus
Notes or cloud-based), and independence of telephony, IM or conferencing supplier;
2. Openness in application support and interoperability, whether for customer service, for employee effectiveness or for business
3. Openness in back-office environments for communications-enabled applications, whether based on Microsoft, IBM or Sun/HP environments;
4. Openness in connectivity over any voice, data or video infrastructure, whether public or private, wired or wireless.
Mobility Not Desktop Centricity
Mobility is not really a choice any more—it’s a fact of business
life. Traditionally, the desktop was king (hence the PBX was
the core element of the service delivery), but today mobility
in its many forms (smartphones and tablets and handheld
devices running on either public, cellular or WiFi networks) has
taken center stage. In fact, a Cohen Research Group survey
found that 44% of enterprises have at least a quarter of their
workforce operating solely using a mobile phone, and that 25%
of IT decision makers believe desk phones will be displaced by
mobile phones within 2 years. The integration of mobility into
business applications is an even greater source of business
value—the same survey found that 82% of enterprises have
employees using mobile applications for communications and
collaboration. As more customers connect with businesses
through mobile devices, integrating mobile connectivity into
customer applications will become an important competitive
advantage as well.
Value to the
In the Past
• Per Site
• Mobility Centric
Business Value Through
• Lower TCO
• Business Agility
• Improved Productivity
• Application Innovation
Figure 1. Strategic Value to the Business of PBXs vs
Cloud Communication Services
2012 and Beyond
What You Need to Do Now
Clearly, using PBX-centric strategies to meet the new challenges of UC and communications mobility is not the right direction for your
business. The PBX is no longer central to enterprise communications. You need to think outside the box (i.e., the PBX) to open, cloud-based
software solutions to get where you need to go. These will give you immediate economic benefi t (e.g., up to 40% cost savings), make your
company much more agile in adapting to market conditions, improve employee productivity through enhanced collaboration and accelerate
business application innovation—transforming your IT team into an innovation engine for your business.
These conclusions lead to the following immediate actions for your business:
1. Cap investments in your legacy PBX systems, while still using the PBX to provide services to legacy, non-SIP endpoints;
2. Target SIP for standards-based interoperability to address your multi-vendor realities;
3. Partner with vendors for software-centric communications solutions that will position you for communications-enabled applications;
4. Consider public/private cloud-based solutions to gain signifi cant economic advantage and position your company to fully leverage the rise
in mobility and social networks.
Following these steps will allow you to convert your challenges into top- and bottom-line opportunities in 2012.
About Sonus Networks
Sonus Networks is a leading provider of VoIP infrastructure, session management and voice security solutions for enterprises and carriers.
Sonus solutions enable large enterprises to reduce their recurring telecom costs, gracefully manage the migration from legacy voice to VoIP
and mitigate business continuity and security issues for critical enterprise voice and contact center infrastructure. To learn more about our
solutions for enterprise communications, visit www.sonusnet.com or contact a Sonus representative today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sonus Networks, Inc. 4 Technology Park Drive Westford, MA 01886 1.978.614.8100
The content in this document is for informational purposes only and is subject to change by Sonus Networks without notice. While reasonable efforts have been made in the preparation of this publication to assure its accuracy, Sonus The
content in this document is for informational purposes only and is subject to change by Sonus Networks without notice. While reasonable efforts have been made in the preparation of this publication to assure its accuracy, Sonus Networks
assumes no liability resulting from technical or editorial errors or omissions, or for any damages resulting from the use of this information. Unless specifically included in a written agreement with Sonus Networks, Sonus Networks has no
obligation to develop or deliver any future release or upgrade or any feature, enhancement or function.
Copyright © 2012 Sonus Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. Sonus is a registered trademark of Sonus Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks or registered service marks may be the property of their
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