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Enhancing Business Continuity with Hosted VoIP


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July 16, 2008

Enhancing Business Continuity with Hosted VoIP

By TMCnet Special Guest
Heather Whitt, Marketing Communications Manager, Cypress Communications

Scalability and resilience aside, an important issue associated with disaster recovery solutions is their ability to cater to a wide range of applications. To address these issues and firmly make its mark in the hosted VoIP solutions market, Cypress Communications (News - Alert) has come out with a complete end-to-end hosted VoIP and unified communications solution called C4 IP that can help organizations connect, communicate, collaborate and continue even during a disaster or catastrophe, hence the name C4 IP.

Cypress Communications, specializing in hosted VoIP solutions, operates a national private network designed specifically for VoIP. The network, which has been engineered for 99.999 percent availability and local site survivability with no single point of failure, is designed to automatically detect potential faults and self-correct and is supported by redundant devices to ensure maximum availability of voice communications.
The hosted VoIP functionality is offered via distributed, carrier-grade, Nortel (News - Alert) CS2000 switching and Nortel MCS5200 multimedia platforms. The Nortel CS2000 located in Dallas acts as a central-office-grade switching platform. It is comprised of two identical hardware components that mirror each other at all times. Each half of the platform operates using distinct power supplies on separate power feeds and hence, in the event of any disruption or problem in the hardware or software component of the platform, its workload is assumed by its redundant counterpart without interruption to any process or call handling.
The MCS5200 handles the multimedia components of the C4 IP solution, such as collaboration, soft phone functionality, presence, chat, video calling and Web conferencing. The MCS5200 is located in Atlanta and provides a 3rd tier disaster backup to the CS2000, as all calls could be routed to the MCS5200 in the event of an outage or disaster in Dallas.
In order to be resilient, the C4 IP platforms are located in hardened carrier-grade collocation centers that contain dual power feeds, redundant generators and uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) to ensure that the switching platforms can withstand any kind of disaster. It also exhibits commendable scalability with the architecture capable of scaling up to 180,000 lines, 200,000 trunk channels, and 2 million Busy Hour Call Attempts (BHCA). In contrast, solutions that use a server farm approach can require as many as 10 servers for as few as 30,000 users.
Additionally, Cypress Communications offers extended and enhanced IP/legacy Centrex functionality and unified communications with Microsoft (News - Alert) Office integration, unified messaging, presence, chat, file sharing, Web-based collaboration, and video conferencing/calling features.
At the desktop level, C4 IP fully integrates with Microsoft Outlook and allows users to easily connect, communicate, and collaborate. Cypress’ enhanced Microsoft Outlook integration meets the requirements of advanced business users, simplifies training, and provides convenient access to “click-to-call,” instant messaging, unified inbox, and other unified communications applications.
 In contrast, other solutions require proprietary messaging clients to achieve these features. While most solutions only provide email notification of conventional audio voicemail delivery, Cypress’ unified inbox application provides consolidated email, voicemail and fax receipt within Microsoft Outlook. This eliminates the need to engage multiple messaging applications.
With advanced collaboration features, video/audio/Web conferencing, find me/follow me, virtual number and related remote/mobile features providing superior interactive capabilities, Cypress can help businesses collaborate with their employees within a single enterprise or across multiple enterprise locations, enhancing communication between employees, customers, vendors, partners, and remote workers.
Thanks to all the aforementioned features, business continuity is easily enforced. In the event of a disaster, employees can work from home, the entire business can move to another location or even another city, and C4 IP can allow everyone to continue making and receiving calls and conducting business as usual. And since the communications intelligence is located on the network, not at the customer’s site, continuous communication is ensured no matter what happens at the customer's office premises. Full redundancy is also found in Cypress' voicemail systems.
To further ensure disaster recovery, the Cypress network has redundant voicemail servers with failover capability to ensure that even if the primary server stops functioning normally, traffic is re-routed to the secondary server. When customers use the C4 IP Unified Messaging feature, they can also copy all voicemails to their email. By enabling this feature, users can store the message on the Cypress voicemail network and also on a customer-premises email server.
Through strategic alliances with industry behemoths such as Cisco (News - Alert), Microsoft, and Nortel, and with solutions such as C4 IP, Cypress is on course to realizing its mission which, as illustrated by its mission statement, is to “Become the leading provider of managed communication services in the U.S.”
Heather Whitt, Marketing Communications Manager,  Cypress Communications.

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