West MediaCloud Transforms Full Enterprise Rollouts of Microsoft Lync Unified Communications Technologies
It’s well accepted fact that Microsoft Lync is the most widely deployed enterprise IM/Presence platform today; deployment of Lync for enterprise voice in another matter. Adoption is lagging, but not for lack of interest. Often large enterprises purchase the Plus CAL for voice along with their EAs. Yet millions of these licenses are either dormant or are underutilized. Some companies enter the proof of concept stage but can’t overcome the complexity that they face in project managing large scale Lync deployments on a wide geographic scale and/or find themselves Capex-constrained from moving forward. In such situations MediaCloud, recently announced, by West IP Communications (West) could provide a way forward.
MediaCloud is an enabling solution rather than a technology solution. It enables enterprises to get to a full-scale Lync deployment by leveraging a cloud-based infrastructure for edge, federation and mediation services. Think of these as pre-provisioned cloud-based landing zones for these Lync server roles, or workloads. West’s solution then publishes from the on-prem Lync front end server’s admin console to those landing zones. In this way West manages the customer’s network and the MediaCloud infrastructure in an Opex model. Customers, on the other hand, maintain control of their Lync voice services within their own IT groups.
Companies interested in this service must have IM/Presence deployed on their own front end servers and the appropriate Lync licenses. West does not sell Microsoft licenses. Pictorially, the MediaCloud architecture is displayed below. As you can see, West is providing both infrastructure as a service – an IaaS solution for the Lync server workloads – and managed network services for which SLAs are available.
MediaCloud is deployed as a virtualized dedicated service for the customer that adheres fully to the Microsoft Lync Reference Architecture. Deployment strictures follow those laid down by Microsoft in the training of its Lync Masters. No customizations or tweaks have been made to the Lync code base. This approach was taken in order to fully leverage the Microsoft Partner Network as a significant indirect sales channel from day-one.
MediaCloud incorporates MediationCloud, FederationCloud and EdgeCloud to facilitate deployment of critical but underutilized functionality.
- Deploys Lync enterprise voice on pre-provisioned and virtualized dedicated customer servers in the MediaCloud
- Utilizes West’s Microsoft-certified MaxxConnect SIP Trunking and Acme Packet SBCs
- Extends RTAudio codec utilization to the service provider network without transcoding.
- Provides global internet connectivity to Lync enterprise clusters via West’s route-optimized network designed for realtime inter-carrier communications
- Secure remote access services corporate users
- Edge servers are hardened against DoS and password brute force attacks.
- Provides customers with Lync federation services
- Enables interoperability between other companies’ Lync systems
- Enables public IM federation.
What this Means to Customers
The target market for this service consists of enterprises with greater than 1,000 seats deployed in HQ and branch locations that: own Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) licenses with the Lync Plus CAL for voice, have deployed IM/Presence and are interested in Lync as a PBX replacement. That being said, it’s important to emphasize that MediaCloud is specifically targeting those enterprises with a complex voice infrastructure that want to move to Lync enterprise voice, but are stalemated by technical complexity of the transition and/or the Capex involved. A pure hosted solution doesn’t work here, because these companies want to maintain the span of control, security and the other aspects of managing their own environments. In addition, they’ve already made an initial on-prem Lync investment.
West differentiates itself from traditional UCaaS offerings in two ways. First, as both an MSP and an SI, it can single-source hybrid Lync deployments beginning each engagement with a discovery consultation – planning the work based on customer requirements and working the plan to the customer’s satisfaction. Secondly, MediaCloud’s services have global distribution capabilities serving widely dispersed organizations with internet and PSTN connectivity offering reduced latency and enterprise-class performance.
Currently, however, there is no communication enabled business process (CEBP) support in the cloud. This is completely left to internal IT.