Ontario-based enterprise communications provider Aastra has announced that the company has signed an OEM partnership with VMware, whose Canadian headquarters are located in Burlington. Through this new partnership, Aastra is currently enabling businesses to easily reap the benefits of virtualization for voice and unified communications.
VMware is embedded in the Aastra 700, an all-in-one communications manager that easily and rapidly delivers feature-rich Unified Communications to small and medium businesses. With a focus on IP, fully integrated Mobility and Unified Communications (UC) and Solidus eCare for contact centre functionality, the Aastra 700 productivity-enhancing applications come pre-installed on a single virtualized server environment making it easy to deploy and manage thus reducing the overall total cost of ownership (TCO).
“Embedding the VMware vSphere® in the Aastra 700 has reduced costs by consolidating the hardware into a simplified appliance. With all the components and applications pre-installed, when the Aastra 700 is powered up, step-by-step instructions provided with the product will allow an easy and quick setup of this UC platform,” said Yves Laliberté, Executive Vice President, Aastra.
In addition to being embedded on the Aastra 700, VMware vSphere is also fully supported by the Aastra MX-ONE® and 5000, both highly scalable enterprise call managers. In the case of Aastra 5000 and MX-ONE, the call manager software is delivered as a virtual appliance image for an existing customer VMware vSphere environment. Aastra uses VMware vSphere High Availability and Fault Tolerance options to support Software-as-a-Service and ensure continuity of service in a large data centre by providing the ability to shift operations to another data centre without interruption.
The combined virtualized offering has already been deployed by numerous Aastra customers including Edmonton Public Schools, the second largest school district in Alberta, which chose the Aastra MX-ONE to replace its aging telecommunications platform.
“With Aastra’s virtualized offering, Edmonton Public Schools has been able to merge our telephony into the standard IT support organization, as opposed to the traditional separation between telecom and IT teams. This provides added efficiencies and cost savings. Fault tolerance is a key component in our commitment of service excellence to our schools, and the virtualized Aastra MX-ONE solution gives us a confidence that we have high reliability. With the new system in place, the schools have seen no interruption in service or quality,” declared Kirk Davis, Senior Network Analyst, Edmonton Public Schools.
“As we build on our initiatives related to virtualization, VMware was a natural partner of choice and we are very pleased to now formalise our partnership. We are committed to meet CIO’s imperatives for lower OPEX and CAPEX, integration of voice and UC with the wider IT environment, resilient architecture while offering ease of deployment and management, ” added Pierre-Alexandre Fuhrmann, Vice President, Global Technology and Development at Aastra.
“Embedding industry-leading VMware technology empowers companies such as Aastra to increase the value their solutions provide to customers,” said Bernie Mills, senior director, embedded OEM alliances, VMware. “By partnering with VMware, Aastra is helping its customers take advantage of virtualization for voice and unified communications while benefitting from efficient deployments.”
Virtualization fulfills the growing needs of data center configurations to better utilize their computing assets with less hardware and resources required. Beyond the cost benefits, virtualization can contribute to a reduction of energy use, thus helping companies meet their environmental objectives.
On the topic of virtualization, Brian Riggs, Research Director at Current Analysis commented that “businesses deploying communications and contact center applications in virtualized environments have reported tens of thousands of dollars in hardware and cabling costs savings, and tens of thousands of dollars more in reduced power and cooling costs.”
VMware OEM partners are provided a simple way to bundle VMware products into their solutions. Working with VMware, Aastra is also realizing dramatically increased control of virtualized deployments, tailored to its specific go-to-market and ongoing post-sales support preferences.