Unified Communications – FAQs
Q: Does the Evolve IP Unified Communications offering have the ability to operate as a PBX replacement? If so how?
A: The Evolved Office is marketed and sold as a full PBX replacement. The product is sold in user seat types from basic common area sets to advanced PBX seats with mobility and UC features. Each seat includes a DID (where applicable) and unlimited domestic calling as well as options for rated International and traditional audio conferencing. A handset is included in the seat, completely eliminating the need for the customer to invest in equipment. At the customer’s request, we will unbundle the handset and allow them to use existing handsets or buy their own either through us or another source. This happens with less than 5% of our existing seats. Currently the Polycom VVX line is distributed as the default handset line for each seat type with other options available upon request.
Q: How does Evolve IP’s solution support Audio Conferencing?
A: Audio conferencing is included with each Evolved Office seat. Administrators can define which users have access to create and manage conferences via our OSSmosis Administrator Portal, and end users have complete control over the creation of reservationless or scheduled bridges. This feature is completely integrated into the Evolved Office and is internally delivered.
Q: How does Evolve IP’s solution support Web Conferencing?
A: Web collaboration is an optional usage based product called Evolved Office Meeting. The product is provided by Evolve IP, delivered as a hosted offering.
As a hosted service, web collaboration provides an easy-to-use online interface. The technology behind it enables easy access to sessions and meetings free of firewall and proxy barriers, so that participants can connect easily without wasting time trying to get into the session. Web collaboration includes applications for meetings, webinars, learning and support.
Web Collaboration Features:
- Intuitive interface
- Multi-person video
- Multiple language support
- Full end-to-end encryption
- Integrated audio conferencing (leveraging the Evolved Office native conferencing)
- Media files & live video stream
- Closed captioning
- Third party integrations – web collaboration integrates with apps like Outlook, Salesforce, Facebook, etc. and open SOAP-based web services
- Passcode join – Users can join sessions using the audio conference moderator code and passcode
The Evolved Office natively supports SIP-based video calling with video capable endpoints (such as the Polycom VVX500) or Soft Clients (Polycom Real Presence). Several video capable units are available as upgrades to standard Evolved Office PBX seats.
The Evolved Office also provides for native or client based integrations to Microsoft Lync whether Lync is hosted at the customer premise, within Evolve IP’s Cloud, or is hosted with a service provider (Evolve IP, Office 365, or others). The native desk-to-desk video capabilities of Lync may be used in concert with the enterprise voice quality inherent in the Evolved Office.
Q: Can Evolve IP’s software UCaaS product support single point-to-point video? What about multi-party video? Are these offerings run natively or are MCUs leveraged?
A: Single point-to-point video is a standard feature of the Evolved Office between video-capable end points.
Multiparty video is provided through the use of an MCU and is available on a bridge basis in 8 and 16 concurrent participant bridges.
Q: What interoperability is enabled with 3rd party video systems, e.g. Tandberg (Cisco), Polycom, Lifesize, Vidyo, etc.? How is this integration implemented?
A: Standards based video end points can communicate with Evolved Office end points through the use of the multiparty video offering. Third parties may participate over SIP, H.323, Skype, Google Talk and WebRTC.
Q: What solutions does Evolve IP provide for Unified Messaging and Calendaring? A: Unified Messaging (Voicemail-to-Email) is included with each seat of the Evolved Office. Enterprises, and/or users, have the ability to define their preferred voicemail delivery settings in the OSSmosis Administrator or User portal, or by utilizing an available Outlook plugin. Users may utilize standard voicemail, email or both as well as define parameters for email notification only.
Voicemail transcription services are available for an additional fee and delivered via partnership with a service bureau to enable various levels of automated or manual transcription.
Users who are leveraging Lync enjoy synchronization between their Lync presence (including calendar) and their Evolved Office presence. Users with Google Apps can leverage a third party integration enabling click to call from within all Google apps (including mail and calendar) and presence synchronization with Google Chat.
Q: What solutions does Evolve IP provide for Instant Messaging and Presence?
A: IM is available as a feature of the Evolved Office through use of our Unity client, Microsoft Lync or Google Apps.
Unity provides telephony presence and Instant Messaging in an all-in-one client for businesses that are not leveraging an enterprise messaging and collaboration solution such as Microsoft Lync/Exchange or Google Apps.
Microsoft Lync / Exchange users can integrate their existing solution to the Evolved Office or receive a hosted solution from Evolve IP. There are two forms of Integration available:
RCC (Remote Call Control): The Evolved Office can natively integrate with customers’ dedicated Lync environments, whether on-premise or as a hosted service in Evolve IP’s cloud. This integration provides click-to-dial from Lync Communicator and Office apps, inbound screen pop of Lync and Exchange contacts, rich presence integration between Lync, Exchange Calendar and the Evolved Office and more.
Lync Communicator Plugin: By leveraging a simple plugin to the Lync client, customers can integrate the Evolved Office to their dedicated or hosted Lync environments such as Office365 or Evolve IP’s hosted Lync product. This plugin provides click-to-dial from the Lync client and Office apps, inbound screen pop of Lync and Exchange contacts, rich presence integration between Lync, Exchange Calendar and the Evolved Office and more.
GoogleApps users can integrate their existing Google services to the Evolved Office through the use of a third party service called gUnify. This solution is marketed and sold by Evolve IP. The gUnify service provides call logging with click-to-call, rich presence with Google Chat, reporting, contact synchronization, and Gmail call tagging.
Q: What UC Clients are used with Evolve IP’s solution?
A: Users have a variety of options to utilize to interact with the Evolved Office. Client choice may depend on other applications that they utilize, or a desire to operate in a client-less environment.
Call and Feature Control
The following clients may be used to manage UC features and initiate and control calls, while utilizing a telephony device or client (desk phone, soft client or mobile) for audio.
OSSmosis Personal Portal (Web client): The OSSmosis portal is designed to provide a zero-client, always accessible methodology for invoking and adjusting user features and initiating and controlling phone calls.
Assistant Toolbar (embedded toolbar for Outlook, Firefox and IE): The Assistant Toolbar provides the rich features of the OSSmosis Personal Portal, along with dial from contact and inbound screen pop, in a convenient, embedded plugin.
Call Control Mobile (IOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone): Available in all applicable App stores, Call Control is distributed in partnership with Evolve IP. Users simply download the app, select Evolve IP as the carrier, log in and access the same feature and call control as the Assistant Toolbar and OSSmosis Portal.
Lync Communicator (Windows Thick Client): As described previously, Lync Communicator can be leveraged to provide the same level of call control as the applications listed above, as well as deep integration into Microsoft desktop applications.
Google Apps / gUnify (Web Client): As previously described, Google Apps can be used as a control mechanism for Evolve Office services.
If the customer prefers to utilize PC-based telephony services, any SIP-compatible soft client it technically able to be utilized, however, we recommend and support the following:
Polycom Realpresence: Polycom’s voice and video soft client for Windows, MAC, IOS and Android.
Lync Communicator (Windows Thick Client): Evolve IP’s Lync Communicator plugin can function as a stand-alone soft client as well as Call control for desk and mobile phones. The plugin also allows for seamless transition between modalities.
Q: How does Evolve IP support the above UCaaS functions on mobile platforms.
A: Call Control Mobile (IOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone): Available in all applicable App stores, call control is distributed in partnership with Evolve IP. Users simply download the app, select Evolve IP as the carrier, log in and access the same feature and call control as the Assistant Toolbar and OSSmosis portal. Call control includes Evolve Anywhere which enables the end user to twin their mobile phone and desk phone providing seamless use of a single number for the end user on their personal or company issued mobile device
Polycom Realpresence (IOS and Android): Polycom’s voice and video soft client for Windows, MAC, IOS and Android.
Q: With the Evolve IP solution, can a tablet be used in place of a desktop phone – not as a remote UC client, but rather as a twinned desk phone?
A: All of Evolve IP’s clients share telephony state. Any call control client can control any telephony end point (phone, soft client, mobile), so it is entirely possible and common for end users to utilize a tablet or mobile phone in place of a desk phone.
For instance, a click-to-dial application (OSSmosis portal, Toolbar, Lync) can ring a mobile phone (using Evolve Anywhere – detailed below) or soft client, such as Polycom Realpresence. In each of these cases (soft client and mobile), the call control client maintains full control over the call and can hold, transfer, conference or hang up from the call control application or from the telephony client (mobile or soft client).
Evolve Anywhere provides the customer with fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) services without additional equipment. Evolve Anywhere simplifies communications for on-the-go and remote users by extending the features of a desk phone to any other fixed or mobile device, regardless of network or handset manufacturer.
Only one business number is needed
Callers dial one number and can reach the user on any phone the user chooses: a desk phone, cell phone and/or a soft phone can ring simultaneously.
Calls move between devices
Users enjoy voice-call continuity with the ability to move live calls from one device to another without hanging up.
Universal features access
Users can use all of their business features regardless of which device they use to answer or make calls.
Q: Does Evolve IP provide a web portal to customers?
A: Yes, OSSmosis is Evolve IP’s, award-winning, customer portal enabling unprecedented control over Evolve IP services and interactions including moves, adds, applications and changes, billing and more. Distinct versions with unique functions are available for users, administrators and also for private label. OSSmosis is a core component of the Evolve IP OneCloud™ experience. With OSSmosis, customers gain complete control over the key aspects of their Phone Systems, Call Centers, Dashboards, Virtual Servers, Virtual Desktops, and other critical cloud services. Partners are empowered from the sales process all the way through provisioning and implementation. We designed OSSmosis from the ground up to provide a unified cloud, self-service experience with tools that are easy to use, comprehensive, and reliable. Services include pricing, service ordering, provisioning, support, conferencing control, MACDs, Billing Intelligence, and Help Desk Ticket requests and analysis. OSSmosis for UCaaS customers is in a hierarchical format to empower administrators, group supervisors and individual, personal users within an organization. It is also available to Channel Partners, Private Label Partners and Wholesale Partners.
Q: Can Evolve IP customers perform their own MACs via the OSSmosis portal? Add new employees? Add new services?
A: Yes, yes and yes.
Q: Can profiles be established via the OSSmosis portal where employees subscribe to different profiles of UCaaS capabilities based on their job requirements?
A: Yes. OSSmosis is provided with enterprise capabilities in mind for location autonomy, control and functionality as well as role-based, hierarchical autonomy and functionality. OSSmosis is provided to one or more designated group administrators with complete organizational control of all services on either/both a total enterprise level or company location level and is also available to individual users for control of their own UC experience and functionality. Call center managers and supervisors require complete control over agent productivity. The award-winning, proprietary OSSmosis Call Center Portal allows administrators point-and-click configuration and real-time changes. OSSmosis enables call center managers to be nimble and self-sufficient by providing the ability to make changes to call center routing, hours of operation, greeting messages and more, as needed without having to contact the IT department. No programming language knowledge is needed; changes are made simply with just the click of a mouse.
Q: What applicable interfaces, APIs, web service capabilities, etc. does Evolve IP’s UC solution offer?
A: The Evolved Office is supported by various APIs to enable third party development. A full list of commercially available integrations into the Evolved Office can be found below. These applications may be supported and delivered by Evolve IP or delivered directly by the developer. There are various interfaces available for development:
Xtended Services Interface (Xsi) is a RESTful application programming interface (APIs) that allows subscriber and call resources to be accessed and used via HTTP and simple XML. Other interfaces include Open Client Interface-Provisioning (OCI-P), Client Application Protocol (CAP), VoiceXML and ccXML.
The Evolved Office and Call Center is supported by standards-based, open APIs enabling businesses to easily integrate the solution into internally developed or third party applications. Due to this extensibility, businesses can utilize prebuilt integrations into various messaging and collaboration, CRM, call recording and work force management solutions.
The following integrations available via third party plug-in or direct integration into the Evolved Office. Capabilities and features depend on the application itself. In most cases, integration involved in-app click-to-dial, inbound screen pop and potential automated call logging.
Messaging and Collaboration:
- Microsoft Outlook, Lync, Exchange
- Google Apps
- Lotus Notes
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM / NAV
- Sage CRM
- Sage 50
- Sage Saleslogix
- Leads360 / Velocifi
- Monet WFM
Q: Is Evolve IP’s UCaaS platform multitenant or virtualized?
A: The Evolve IP UCaaS platform is 100% multitenant of all services (session border control, core applications, feature services, media services, etc.) and is active / active diverse in our data centers.
Q: Can Evolve IP’s solution operate where some UC functionality is located in the cloud and other UC functionality is located on premises?
A: Evolve IP architected its UCaaS solution to be location agnostic and we have many customers deploying this solution. A typical example is where the PBX is hosted in our cloud and the UC application, such as Lync, resides at the customer premise. A well-defined API connection allows presence and call control to bridge the locations. The reverse would also work, if the UC application were hosted in our cloud and the PBX were at the customer premise.
Q: Could an Evolve IP customer have some sites use your cloud-based UC, and have other sites using premises-based infrastructure?
A: Evolve IP’s solution allows customers to use a hybrid solution. It is not unusual for a multi-location customer to have different levels of integration, even if only during the on-boarding process. A typical example might be where some locations have fully hosted PBX with UC while other locations use a premise-based phone system connected to Evolve IP over SIP trunks. This allows for applications like extension-dialing and call routing/ transferring between locations while the customer works through a UC deployment.
Q: How is E911 supported?
A: E911 is included with the Evolved Office on a seat by seat (not location by location basis). This means that each phone is registered to a default location for e911, but may be changed on a per phone basis. Because we know that customers will not resist the urge to change phone locations or take phones home, Evolve IP introduced the first e911 mediation app on a handset in 2008. When a handset is first booted up on the Evolve IP network it confirms the network location by hashing the IP used to communicate to Evolve IP’s servers. The end user is prompted to confirm their address is the default address listed in e911 or is prompted for a new address. Each IP address is referenced against the location, making portability a reality and reducing employer liability and 911 issues.
Q: How are emergency calls routed to the public safety answering point (PSAP)?
A: During implementation, office locations are built into a third party provider DB using an API. When phones are authenticated for use, each DID registers to the DB with the address and DID. Two applications are utilized for maintaining accuracy of 911 records. First, the phone has an application that allows users to manually update their address upon boot, which will register new addresses in the 911 DB. Evolve IP web based applications allow for addresses to be updated directly into the 911 DB. Again, any call placed to 911 dips into the DB and routes to the local PSAP or Canadian Call Center.