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VoIP Routers - Patton Sounds Off: SmartNode Makes Microsoft Lync a Comforting Transition

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November 16, 2012
Patton Sounds Off: SmartNode Makes Microsoft Lync a Comforting Transition

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Nobody wants to be second-best; everyone wants to have the latest, greatest technology to make their business and home lives optimally productive and pleasant, but buying the latest technology is not always the best option. There’s cost, learning curve, compatibility with existing systems and a slew of other reasons not to always take the latest technology. This is something that everyone who bought an iPhone 3GS in 2012 knows well.

Patton (News - Alert) Electronics understands this issue, and furthermore gives small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) a legacy option when it comes to unified communications (UC). SMBs may want unified communications and an all-IP network, but they may not have legacy equipment they are not ready to replace.

“Many small and medium businesses want to install Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync, but are prevented from doing so because of the cost of replacing their incompatible equipment with new Lync-certified and IP equipment,” noted Tyler Delin in a recent podcast interview with Telecom Reseller UC Networks. “They are not ready to leave their old system.”

Microsoft Lync is one of the leading unified communications options on the market today. It gives enterprises contact availability (known as “presence”), instant message capability, audio, video and Web conferencing, telephony and integration with Microsoft Office. It ultimately brings unified communications with a familiar Microsoft interface.

Patton, a family-owned and operated business in the DC suburbs of Gaithersburg, Maryland, helps SMBs enjoy Lync even if they do not have Lync-certified equipment.

“What our SmartNode product offers is we offer small and medium-sized business in these situations a gateway to Microsoft Lync. With our SmartNode gateway, they give you the ability to connect when you otherwise would have incompatible IP equipment,” Delin related in the podcast interview.

SmartNode, which gained official Microsoft Lync compatibility certification in June, is a VoIP gateway with analog FXS and FXO interfaces. The company also offers digital boxes with VRI and PRI interfaces, according to Delin.

“Our SmartNode voice-over-IP gateways allow you to use your existing telephony equipment on-site whether it is telephones, fax machines, etc. We allow you to utilize that equipment rather than replacing every single endpoint with brand new, next-generation, Lync-compatible IP devices all at once,” he elaborated.

It isn’t a question of whether the latest technology is best; it is all about the timing. SMBs will need to upgrade equipment eventually, and Patton hopes to make that a gentle transition the way a first-time smartphone buyer may start with a an iPhone (News - Alert) 3Gs even though the iPhone 5 is on the market.

“We know that is the end game, that’s the goal,” said Delin. “But the reality is that people can’t do that all at once because of the cost. And not just the cost of new equipment, but the fact that you’ve already invested in the older generation of equipment that works just fine and is still good technology.”

So sometimes, it simply makes more sense to stick with older technology, and products such as SmartNode make it possible.

“This just really allows you to migrate to an all-IP environment at your own pace,” added Delin. “You are still going to go there, but you’re just going to do it step by step.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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