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Dialling by email = IP PBX vendors beware

Telephones have evolved continuously since the earliest models, but the principles have always remained the same...until now. From rotary dials to push buttons, from mechanical then digital switching, to IP telephony (where the switching takes place in the LAN or WAN) - how they have fundamentally worked has not altered. And now all that’s changing, completely changing. Changing in the way that paper maps are different to satellite navigation systems.

How so? Well if the rotary dial telephone was the paper map then your mouse is the sat nav (there, that’s confused things).

We’re now in the world of Unified Communications (UC) and, sorry IP PBX vendors, but true UC really is exemplified by Microsoft Skype for Business or Lync as it was previously called. And yes, we’ve had click to dial on our PC’s for years, but now it’s different. Now in the world of Microsoft UC, when you right click on someone’s name (having first noted their presence is glowing green) and select ‘call’ you don’t break out and connect to a PBX. Your call control is now an Active Directory aligned to a Microsoft Exchange email server. Note that: email server. If you’re calling a colleague in your office or anywhere on your network, your ‘call’ will transit the network as an IP packet (just as if it had been set up by the IP PBX) but its control will remain entirely within the Microsoft software stack. Only if the call is to an external party will it then break out via session border controllers and SIP trunks. At the same time your presence status will reflect to all on your network that you are busy on a call. All at once the discreet IP PBX is redundant!

So does this matter? Not if you are Microsoft to whom voice, video, presence, instant messaging, email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc (you get where I’m going) are all now core software applications in their totally integrated, intuitively collaborative desktop anywhere world!

But it does matter to the IP PBX vendors and the conferencing vendors and the carrier networks. When those calls stay within the Microsoft environment, they never make a penny and that’s just what federation will encourage.

For the IPT Systems Integrators of yore, now read Services Integrators. For while Microsoft is effectively offering an alternative to the need for separate IP PBX procurement with its Skype for Business application, it’s far from a complete answer to all your needs. There are myriad services that are key to a successful Skype deployment - from PCI compliant call management and recording services to existing and legacy network and system integration, device supply, security and management along with local and macro fixed and wireless access - and that and lots more is what the Services Integrators like Maintel provide.