Microsoft Teams calls terminate via a Microsoft Teams certified AudioCodes Session Border Controller (SBC), hosted in the South Africa North Data Centre in Johannesburg South Africa. When Microsoft Azure became available in South Africa, the decision was made to host the Session Border Controller in country to increase performance and decrease latency.
Once the system was proved, the cutover was relatively simple, since users stopped using Skype clients and were shown that call functionality for PSTN services lit up in their already deployed Teams clients. To accelerate end user adoption of the solution, education was facilitated using a “Train the Trainer”. Thus HMH was able to support themselves completely in a short amount of time by leveraging existing processes.
The existing Skype for Business environment was hosted by a third party and did not integrate natively with the on-premises Active Directory. As a result HMH had multiple points of management, as well as paying two Voice licensing fees. The overall cost of running voice solutions within HMH has already dropped by over 20%and is expected to rise as the NBConsult and HMH further increase the adoption of Teams lead voice services globally away from Hosted Skype for Business and competing voice solutions.
By moving to Microsoft Teams and leveraging the capabilities in the E3 licensing bundle, NBConsult demonstrated that the overall voice TCO decreased as E3 licensing was used to license Teams and only users requiring Phone System were enabled for voice. This stacked up against an expensive hosted Skype solution, which had to be rolled out to all users. NBConsult was able to demonstrate that overall call costs could drop dramatically by rolling out Teams Voice services to users on demand, as opposed to provisioning a more expensive voice solution to all users.
HMH sought to drop costs and complexity of voice solutions. NBConsult’s measure of success was the decommissioning of the hosted Skype for Business platform as the primary voice provider, dramatically cutting down on complexity and cost. For users outside of South Africa, in regions which support Microsoft Calling Plans, HMH will use Microsoft as the telephony provider, further lowering the cost of calling as no additional hardware is required to support voice calls.
Hans Merensky was able to consolidate several voice and management platforms to a single Microsoft Teams enabled environment. Calls occur via Microsoft Teams clients on desktops, laptops and mobile phones, extending the reach of the single voice platform to any device capable of hosting a Microsoft Teams client.
Customer satisfaction was measured within HMH using workshops which were focused on both end users as well as the administrators of the solution. NBConsult saw a rise in the use of voice in HMH as the user’s frustrations of using outdated Skype clients was replaced by the increased user experience of the Teams client.
NBConsult is a group of companies, which includes River Broadband (RBB). RBB hosts a Teams integrated voice platform using Teams Certified AudioCodes SBC’s to deliver a Teams extension on demand. In the example of HMH, HMH procured a
single voice trunk from River Broadband to provide DID’s (telephone numbers) with calling minutes for the calls made from the Teams environment. Using a pay as you go approach, Microsoft Teams functionality can be provided to SMC, SMB and Chanel partners. This offer is not only groundbreaking in its simplicity, but it also enables NBConsult to offer a complete cloud adoption offer which includes last mile internet services, licensing as well as an integrated voice solution. NBConsult offers traditional consulting-led implementation services, as well as a complete solution to smaller customers with the advantage of zero hardware acquisition.
NBConsult is aligned to the Microsoft vision for Intelligent Communications as an enabler for integrated calling using Microsoft Teams Direct Routing. Teams Direct Routing empowered by regionally hosted Microsoft Azure hosted certified session border controllers is an offer which NBConsult makes available via both direct marketing via our website https://nbconsult.co/services/microsoft-product-offerings/ptsn-365/ as well as marketing sites, see https://www.itweb.co.za/content/4r1ly7Ro3kaMpmda as well as an offer in the Once Commercial Partner Catalog which has been uploaded in support of this submission.
NBConsult hosts a voice platform in Terraco, using AudioCodes Teams Voice certified SBSs, allowing us to provide a Teams voice extension with customer bringing their own tenants and SIP trunks. Additionally, NBConsult provides an entirely integrated solution, by providing, CSP based Office365 licensing, Teams Voice on demand, Teams adoption and support practices directly to customers or other Microsoft partners.
NBConsult has created a channel model, allowing Microsoft partners to resell a Teams voice extension. Using a “bring your own tenant” model, partners may use hosted voice services provided by NBConsult or their customers’ existing SIP trunks and provide their users a hosted Teams Voice offer, which may be demonstrated and integrated in hours.
Traditional competing hosted voice offers, as well as competing collaboration solutions are defeated quickly due to the integrated value proposition of Teams, which scales beyond voice calling.
Teams voice is a crucial part of the NBConsult pipeline with direct and partner led offers. NBConsult is also driving its voice pipeline by building a similar model for a local telecommunications operator with a presence in multiple countries.
In summary, NBConsult is focused on solving customers business challenges which are enabled using Teams Voice solutions using one of three segmented models:
1) Azure hosted SBCs to terminate customer SIP trunks for enterprise customers
2) Hosted voice services via its subsidiary River Broadband for SMB, SMC and Microsoft partners
3) On-premises SBCs to terminate customer SIP trunks for enterprise customers with significant PABX investments
Teams Voice is a crucial part of the NBConsult Microsoft Teams go to market strategy, with proven execution in South African and overseas markets.
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