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Ribbon’s Enhanced SBC SWe Lite Includes Several New Features for Microsoft Teams Voice Calling from the Azure Cloud

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New enhancements include a Quick Launch Wizard from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, support for SILK high-quality voice services, Azure-based media bypass, and enhanced emergency calling for Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing clients

Ribbon Communications Inc., a global provider of real time communications software and network solutions to service providers, enterprises, and critical infrastructure sectors, announced that it has made several enhancements to its Session Border Controller Software Edition (SBC SWe) Lite version 8.1 to make it easier for enterprises to configure Phone System Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams clients from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace and improve the voice calling experience.

Ribbon’s new offering in the Azure Marketplace, the Ribbon SBC SWe Lite with Azure Quick Launch Wizard, dramatically reduces the time to instantiate and deploy Direct Routing-related voice services for Microsoft Teams clients to a matter of minutes. The SBC SWe Lite version 8.1 also provides SILK media services to support high-quality Teams voice calling over low bandwidth/low quality network connections. SBC SWe Lite offers the availability of high-quality SILK media services at one-third the Azure Virtual Machines costs of competitive solutions, and Ribbon’s price points are uniquely suited to the needs of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). To further improve voice quality, the latest version of SBC SWe Lite offering in Azure now includes media bypass to create a faster, better Teams client experience by keeping the media portion of a call local, versus inefficient media “hairpinning” to the cloud.

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Microsoft Teams is a unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) platform that combines workplace collaboration capabilities, such as chat, video meetings and application integration. Ribbon is among only a select number of vendors whose SBCs are officially certified for Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing, a service that connects Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or legacy networks and endpoints to voice calling in Microsoft Teams to integrate voice services and enhance security.

“As enterprises increasingly migrate to the very popular Microsoft Teams platform, many are shifting from premises-based PBXs managed by telephony professionals to cloud-based PBXs managed by IT staff,” said Tony Scarfo, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cloud and Edge Business Unit at Ribbon. “As they make this transition, Ribbon’s Microsoft-certified SBC SWe Lite provides enterprises with a cost-effective, easy to install, easy to use solution for secure IP-based voice services for Microsoft Teams.”

Scarfo added, “We are delighted to continue to grow our longstanding relationship with Microsoft and are proud that we have the unique ability to deliver one of the most extensive portfolios of Microsoft-certified solutions for Direct Routing on the market to our enterprise customers.”

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“The ability to make high-quality voice calls anywhere in the world is a critical part of the collaboration experience for Microsoft Teams,” Nikolay Muravlyannikov, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft Corp.  “Ribbon’s newly enhanced SBC SWe Lite delivers several new features and functionality that will help our customers access Teams voice calling features faster, connect quicker and have a great overall communications experience.”

Other key SBC SWe 8.1 enhancements for Microsoft Teams include:

  • Local Media Optimization that allows signaling to be passed from a centralized SBC to a local SBC so that media stays local and can be processed faster, creating enhanced voice quality.
  • Validated Enhanced 911 (E911, North America only) and ELIN (Emergency Location Identification Number) capability, which prioritizes emergency calls and passes location information to the correct public safety answering point (PSAP).
  • Multiple digital certificate support to ease migration to and deployment of Direct Routing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ribbon’s enhanced SBC SWe Lite version 8.1 includes new advanced features that are designed to improve the voice calling experience for Microsoft Teams clients, including:
    • Support for SILK media services, providing high-quality voice capabilities for SMBs at a fraction of the public cloud infrastructure costs of competitive solutions.
    • Media bypass in the Azure public cloud to avoid unnecessary media hops.
    • Local Media Optimization in the enterprise premises to avoid unnecessary media hops.
  • Ribbon’s enhanced SBC SWe Lite version 8.1 is available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace with a Quick Launch Wizard that significantly reduces the time to deploy an SBC in support of Direct Routing.
  • Other enhancements include comprehensive Direct Routing emergency calling support and multiple digital certificate support for Direct Routing migration.

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