When You’re Haunted by Ancient Communications Systems That Don’t Quite Talk with One Another: Who Ya Gonna Call?
By Bob Kennedy, Chief Engineer
Is this your situation?
Your company has just completed a merger with another company and it’s now fallen on your shoulders to make sense of the jumble of communications systems that somehow need to talk to one another. Work together. Seamlessly with no errors or alarms and downtime.
Or, you’re looking at the high cost of upgrading your Avaya system and think there has to be a better solution.
At the risk of showing my age, I’m reminded of the jingle from the 1984 movie starring Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray: Ghostbusters.
If there’s something strange
In your neighborhood
Who you gonna call?
While there’s little similarity between what we do at Continuant when we “get the call” and the ghost-hunting trio of parapsychologists in the movie, we do hear a lot from customers who were glad they called us to help them get through a whole lot of, well, scary situations in their systems.
As companies around the world continue to migrate their technology at a rapid pace, they need to find a trusted partner to help them with that migration. While it might seem that the end game is simply to flip a switch so that every system is in sync, the truth is that nobody ever just “flips a switch.” Instead, we’re talking about migration. And, at Continuant, migrating technology is one of our core strengths. We help companies get all their communication technologies to work together.
How do we do this? And if you do decide you’re gonna call us, what can you expect?
Step 1: Discovery – Assessing the Customer’s Intent
As the first step in the process, we sit down with you to find out the end solution you have in mind.
It all starts with taking a look at the systems you now have in place and then getting all of those pieces talk to one another. Whether you have TDM (“Legacy”) systems; SIP (the new standard), or RT Audio (Microsoft standard), what we deliver—what we can promise you—is that we can and will make all of these pieces “talk” to one another in a way that works for your situation.
Why is this important? As in any major undertaking, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. But this could end up costing you hundreds of thousands—even millions—of dollars and not get you the solution you seek or need.
No doubt about it, the discovery process—asking the right questions of the customer to lay the groundwork—serves as the foundation for the roadmap that comes next.
Step 2: Construct the Roadmap For Your Systems
This stage is where our experience and expertise come in.
While it may sound easy, in the work we do, creating or constructing a technology roadmap ranks only behind the discovery process in meeting the customer’s overall goals. This roadmap points the way from the beginning to the end. In other words, we offer our customers an end-to-end solution that remains seamless to them.
Simply put, we know what works and what doesn’t. We know what to recommend in a particular situation, and we can do so knowing that we have the customer’s best interest in mind. At this stage, it’s important to maintain our vendor-agnostic position—and we do. What we’re looking for at this roadmap stage is the best solution, the best pathway.
Another point to make is that this kind of knowledge doesn’t come overnight. It may not even be something learned “in school.” But for sure, it’s something we’ve learned in our nearly three decades working in the telecom industry. As companies that come to us often tell us, a so-called slam dunk solution has failed them for various reasons. So let’s just say that this roadmap, this creation of the pathway—our “secret sauce”—is where Continuant’s expertise lies.
Step 3: Be Prepared and Flexible
So at this stage, we’ve listened to the customer.
We’ve drawn up a roadmap.
We think we’ve got the best solution.
But the customer has a different mindset.
As part of this stage, we realize that we need to be able to offer an alternative solution, if required. This not only gives the customer options, but also builds trust and confidence in our ability to present a well thought-out solution that is the right fit at the right time.
It’s important to point out that we do this kind of work in an open and shared environment, and it is not an exaggeration to say that, with 53 engineers that range from Tier I to Tier III, we can work on anything—whether the challenge involves getting Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya RED and Avaya BLUE, or Siemens/Unify to work together. It is our mission to make all of these solutions work—across all OEMs.
So if you’re wondering who you’re gonna call to help get your systems to talk together, you might want to see if what we do is a good fit for you.
About Bob Kennedy
Bob Kennedy is Chief Engineer at Continuant. He is a Tier 3 Engineer who provides mission support to all Continuant OEM Tier 3 Engineers. Bob has worked at Continuant since 2002.