When Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (OCS 2007 R2) was unveiled in February of this year, it signaled the beginning of the end for the PBX or IP PBX. That is just my opinion I suppose, but it at least signaled proverbial dropping of the gloves as Microsoft moves forward with plans to make the PBX obsolete.
One of the features of OCS 2007 R2 which signal the first step toward killing off the PBX is the ability to do direct SIP trunking- connecting a VoIP provider directly to OCS 2007 R2 without the need for a PBX appliance between them. This is good news, but not great news. The reason it is not great news is that Microsoft only has partnerships with two VoIP providers, severely limiting the potential of the direct SIP trunking feature.
That is where SmartSIP comes in. Evangelyze Communications, a global voice and unified communications products and professional services organization that specializes in Microsoft Unified Communications IP telephony products and services, has developed a suite of custom tools that extend the functionality of Microsoft OCS and open new possibilities for unified communications. One of those tools is SmartSIP.
According to a recent blog post from Mike Stacy, Director of Services for Evangelyze Communications, SmartSIP “will allow you to connect OCS with virtually any SIP system – TCP or UDP. The most common use is to connect a Mediation server to a customer’s existing ITSP, but it can also connect to other IP gateways, SBCs, IP PBXs, etc.”
The product is still in Beta now with the first release scheduled for April. Stacy’s blog post thought talks about the excitement that SmartSIP is generating in the field, and some of the innovative solutions that are possible with SmartSIP like the ability to provide failover redundancy for the VoIP connection, or saving a 350-user company over $90,000 on their unified communications implementation.