March 07, 2013
Session Border Controllers Provide Security, Compatibility in UC Space
By Rich Steeves
TMCnet Web Editor
Anyone paying attention to the unified communications market can see that vendors such as Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft (News - Alert) are actively pushing companies to adopt the technology. Now that SIP technology is approaching maturity, it makes more sense than ever for companies to deploy UC. But those companies must also be aware of the importance of session border controllers in unified communications for security and compatibility.
According to David Tipping, VP & GM of the SBC Business Unit at Sonus Networks (News - Alert), companies see SIP as the foundation not just of voice but other forms of communication as well. Solutions like Microsoft Lync can allow a user to go from voice to data share to video almost instantly, taking workers far beyond the IP telephone and into new ways of communicating.
Many companies are migrating toward Lync because it is integrated into systems that most workers already use, like Office. Many users start off using Lync for chat, then the first time they use it for voice, they notice superior audio quality. Then they realize how easy it is to perform advanced functions like dragging people into the conversation, putting them on hold, sharing data and starting video conferences. It makes communication far easier than it was in the days when we had to go to a conference bridge, e-mail attachments to each other and struggle to stay together.
Businesses that are new to SIP and UC might not be aware of the benefits of a session border controller. Tipping pointed out that the SBC helps secure unified communications. While the interception of voice calls might not be too harmful for businesses, sharing sensitive documents requires higher security. Plus, different UC stacks are not seamlessly compatible, so SBCs allow for smoother compatibility and therefore easy adoption.
An important step for vendors of UC technologies like SBCs is to obtain qualification. Sonus Networks’ SBC 1000 and 2000 session border controllers recently received Microsoft Lync 2013 qualification. According to Tipping, this means that everything will work seamlessly, and that the SBC can handle call flow, transfers, holds, etc. The technology will operate smoothly and is aligned with the services and features of Lync. This makes plug and play possible and will help lead to more rapid adoption of UC technology, which allows us all to communicate and do business easier.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey