Sonus Networks expands support for Skype for Business

Sonus sees significant opportunities here for partners, who are their sole go-to-market in the enterprise space. They also announced their SBC portfolio has been certified for Skype for Business.

Myk Konrad

Myk Konrad, VP of Product Management and Marketing at Sonus.

TORONTO – Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference here, SIP-based communications vendor Sonus Networks announced the general availability of its SBC 1000 and SBC 2000 Release 6.0. This enhances support of Microsoft Skype for Business deployments both on-premise and in the cloud.

“With our 6.0 software on our session border controller 1000 and 2000, our integration with Nectar UCMP means that this is now integrated natively,” said Myk Konrad, VP of Product Management and Marketing at Sonus. “Instead of having to pay for a separate server, it allows customers to run a Nectar Unified Communications probe. This means our partners only have one box to maintain. Our ability to run different partners’ software – like Nectar, Numonix and Event Zero – allows all these partners to integrate their software into us. This makes things easier.”

The 6.0 software release eases Skype for Business roll-outs in several specific ways. It maintains connectivity with long-loop analog phones and legacy FXS endpoints to reduce expenses stemming from analog closet re-wiring when moving to a UC solution. Support for IOv6m such as IPv6 to IPv4 interworking, supports legacy investment while adding support for new SIP-based gear. Simplified one number fax support for Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging reduces dedicated fax line costs while maintaining support for fax forwarding.

“This will significantly reduce the costs for Skype for Business deployments.” Konrad said.

This is very big news for Sonus’ channel partners, who are their route to market in the enterprise space.

“We sell direct to service providers, but in the enterprise market, we go strictly through the channel,” Konrad said. “Enterprise sellers knock on doors, but those leads are funneled through business partners. The SBC 1000 and SBC 2000 are sold through the channel. About 300 partners worldwide sell them into Microsoft Skype for Business deployments. There, we secure their secure trunking and provide interoperability between service provider SIP trunks and Microsoft Skype for Business.”

Konrad said that their channel has several differentiated benefits.

“While our channel program is only four years old, we have been very consistent on the channel’s role in the enterprise space,” he said. “We believe we also have very good margins for enterprise partners. We also have a good services organization, so the partner can have their own services backed up by us, or they can white label us. Either way, they know their customers will have support.”

Sonus also made a second announcement, although this one’s benefits are more on the marketing side. Their entire portfolio — the Sonus SBC 1000, SBC 2000, SBC 5000 Series, SBC 7000 and SBC SWe –

have now been certified for Skype for Business. That’s a significant validation to impress customers, although Konrad pointed out that it won’t bring about any new functionality.

“Our entire SBC portfolio was Lync 2013 qualified before,” he said. “So there was not a situation where we couldn’t work properly with Skype before. We just now have the official stamp. Microsoft has now formally offered the certification program for partners to go through, and we have taken advantage of that.”