Communication & Networks

From analog telephone to all-rounder

ISDN was yesterday. In Hall 12, suppliers such as sipgate and Microsoft offer concrete support for switching to All-IP and UCC.

17 Feb. 2017
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By the end of 2018, the last existing ISDN connections of German telecommunications providers are due to be switched off. Anyone who still uses an analog telephone system – and there are plenty of them among business customers, too – is now forced to switch to IP. Businesses of all sizes and from all sectors are currently considering systems that will take into account the communication habits of their customers and staff, enable conferencing, and incorporate mobile devices. That's why VoIP, SipTrunking, and All-IP are important catchphrases at CeBIT 2017. In particular the Communication & Networks sector in Hall 12 is spotlighting the secure linking of smartphones, tabletop telephones, and computers with PBX systems, databases, and the cloud.

At the stand (D54) of the Düsseldorf-based telephony provider and VoIP pioneer sipgate it's all about the "sipgate team" telephony solution in 2017. By means of complete mobile telephony integration it's possible to enjoy all the advantages of the telephone system while on the move, too. The range of functions includes standard features like forwarding, parallel calls, and IVR, as well as more unusual items such as an intelligent voicemail that sends transcripts by e-mail. "Visitors can look forward to individual recommendations for the themes of telephone systems in the cloud and mobile telephone integration," promises sipgate. In particular small and medium-sized enterprises should recognize the benefits of a virtual telephone system and overcome any fears about switching from ISDN to a cloud-based telephone system.

A Microsoft partner stand in Hall 12 is devoting special attention to the theme of unified communications. The main focus is on Skype for Business (SfB), a universal collaboration platform from Microsoft with various communication channels for speech, chat, and video conferencing. SfB provides the option of dividing up data in the team and making screen presentations. With deep integration in Office 365, it also enables seamless work between Office applications and the communication products of Skype for Business as well as with the productivity apps of Microsoft. "By integrating mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), SfB provides a seamless fit with the communication habits of younger people, who have long been using Skype as a matter of course," says Microsoft.

Up to 250 people can take part in online meetings through Skype for Business – even if individual users don’t employ the application; a telephone and Internet connection are all you need. Documents can be sent from SfB during a chat. Moreover, in November Microsoft presented the chat-based workplace solution Office Teams, which brings together people, conversations, and content from working groups, as well as many applications, at a central location. Office Teams integrates applications such as SharePoint, Skype for Business, Groups, and OneDrive. As a platform application, Teams also provides interfaces for the integration of third-party apps.

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