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An Open Approach to Advanced Messaging

Flexibly deploy best-in-class hardware and software to solve our business problems

Open Architecture – The Norm in the Data World

The evolution of open systems, common operating environments, and reliable standards changed the way enterprises built and deployed business applications. A dramatic change from the times of proprietary mainframes and dedicated application development, we now take for granted the ability to deploy a range of best-of-breed applications across a rack of blade servers running multiple virtual operating systems, and make them appear to end-users as a holistic system. The teams implementing IP PBXs understand data networking and appreciate what it has done for business. These teams have an opportunity to now bring this strength into play on the telephony side.

By deploying open IP telephony applications alongside VoIP, these teams can transform the organisation’s telephony architecture from a world of siloed services to one of open access to shared resources. The result is much higher value to users with lower overhead for IT. This is where VoIP’s real value will become highly visible throughout the entire organisation.

Proprietary Legacy Telephony Architectures

The architecture of past telephony solutions stands in sharp contrast to that of the data world. As you look across your company – if it is like most organisations – you’ll find that the phones on users’ desks are made by the company that manufactured the PBX. With few exceptions, this was the way telephony systems were deployed from the 1970’s through the 1990’s. In many cases, the telephony applications for voicemail, automated attendants, and caller menus were also provided by this same vendor.

However, some organisations, desiring to deploy best-in-class functionality for their telephony applications in a way that gave them flexibility to purchase systems from multiple vendors – and in a way that provided leverage of their internal expertise and infrastructure – separated the applications decision from the phone switch. The success of companies like Octel, Active Voice, and VMX were a clear indication of the value these “switch-independent” applications brought to customers. While an open telephony architecture brings the ability to buy phones and IP PBXs independently, from any vendor, deploying enterprise-level voice applications that function seamlessly across all vendor systems is an even greater benefit when realized.

Open Architecture for Voice

Shared Interfaces and Infrastructure Voice architectures are opening up, and VoIP teams have a chance to lead their organisations into the world of open IP telephony. Deploying VoIP is a great first step, but it is critical to get beyond delivering new phones and a new PBX for your enterprise to harvest the real gains of IP telephony. Telephony architectures are opened when applications share both interfaces and infrastructure.

Your workforce shouldn’t have to use multiple interfaces to retrieve messages simply because those messages are of different “types”. Your IT staff shouldn’t have to enter and maintain the same user information in multiple databases, simply because discrete telephony applications need that information. Users are more productive when they have access to messaging functions from a common UI, instead of being forced to use a dedicated UI for each function. And with applications that leverage a common infrastructure, IT can get beyond the tremendous cumulative burden of routine maintenance. The benefits of shared interfaces and shared infrastructure deliver greater cost savings, but it is the applications that drive the greatest value in any IP telephony rollout.

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