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Avaya, Microsoft, Polycom, and HP Networking UC&C interoperability at Enterprise Connect

HP Booth at Enterprise ConnectWe had a lot of things to show on the booth at Enterprise Connect (photos of the booth) - and I didn' t get time to capture the full array of solutions and services on offer from HP, but I did grab a few minutes with Mushtaq Ahmed, Global Product Manager, from the HP Networking team to discuss HP's integrated solutions from Microsoft and Avaya, and the integration that will become possible with the next release of HP's VCX platform.


Avaya Aura Session Border Controller


The first solution Mushtaq talks about is the Avaya Aura™ Session Border Controller powered by Acme Packet (J9486A), which integrates a SBC into a services module hosted within the E5400 switch chassis. The SBC provides security and protection for SIP trunks by providing a trusted border between your network and the service provider's network.


This makes a good solution for distributed midsize and large enterprises, branch offices, and small contact centers - allowing the use of a SBC in remote sites, without necessatating the addition of another physical device. Take a look at the Avaya Aura SBC solution brief for more information.


HP Survivable Branch Communications powered by Microsoft® Lync™

Mushtaq then moves on to the HP Survivable Branch Communication zl Module powered by Microsoft® Lync™ (SBM). This module combines the SBA (Survivable Branch Appliance) function from Lync Server 2010 and software from HP — including a public switched telephone network (PSTN) to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway, a graphical user interface (GUI), and management interfaces, all integrated on a module that fits in the chassis of HP E8200 and E5400 switch series products.


The SBM's PSTN interfaces ensures that voice services can continue to operate in the case of an IP network outage between your remote site and main data-center.  For more information on the module, grab the HP Microsoft Lync SBM solution brief, or read this article on the Microsoft TechNet blog about the Lync SBA function.


You can also read what we had to say about Microsoft and HP at VoiceCon 2010, along with an interview about this module at last year's VoiceCon


HP VCX Unified Communications platform


Finally Mushtaq previews the upcomming release of HP VCX system software 9.8 with the demonstration of interoperability between the VCX running on a HP MSR connecting to the Microsoft SBM via a SIP trusted interface. He places a call from a HP 3503 IP phone connected to the VCX, through the SBM to a Polycom desktop phone optimized for Microsoft® Lync™. This is a great way for existing VCX customers to gain the benefits of Microsoft Lync, and to use this as a migration strategy.


Take a look at the video below for more details, and let us know if you have got any questions in the comments below.



Additional resources

Updated: Added a few more links, and corrected terminology for Survivable Branch Appliance vs SBM.

Labels: Events| UC&C
Drudgery | ‎03-08-2011 02:20 PM

I love how Mushtaq refers to the VCX system as 'legacy' and how the trunking configuraton to Lync can be used a migration aid...........I assume, therefore, the HP strategy for VCX is very sort lived and that customers should motor over to Lync as soon as possible..........I guess it is a sensible way to gracefully kill off the VCX.

AndyAtHP | ‎03-09-2011 10:37 AM

@Drudgery - thanks for the comment. Perhaps legacy was too strong a word - but yes - we're no longer developing new features for the VCX platform - as Mark explained in his post 'setting the record straight on the VCX platform'. 


As Mushtaq explains above there will be another software release for VCX 9.8. The ability to integrate with Microsoft Lync through SIP is indeed intended to provide a good migration path, while offering additional new capabilities.


We will continue to deliver additional maintenance or bug-fix releases as needed, and will continue to sell the product until the demand declines to a point where it becomes uneconomic for us to maintain the supply chain.

MushtaqAtHP | ‎03-16-2011 05:06 AM

@Drudgery - I appreciate your feedback.  We often loosely use the term legacy at HP to refer to products that  came over from 3Com, so in no way did I intend to imply that VCX is 'legacy'.  I wanted to re-iterate what Andy has stated and probably expand a bit on VCX9.8.   HP is planning to release a new version of both the IP conferencing application (IPC 9.0 on HP servers) and VCX 9.8 in the coming months and we believe this will complete the feature set for the VCX.


IPC 9.0 will give customers the option to buy an HP ProLiant DL conferencing server platform.  VCX9.8 , as I demonstrated, will provide MS OCS and MS Lync 2010 mediation server interoperability using Direct SIP along with Exchange UM integration and support for HP DL360G7 V7205 servers.  Some interesting features we'll bring to market with VCX 9.8 include Simultaneous Ring, Scheduled VCX Backups, MIB enhancements for IMC VSM and several other features.   The intent of the demo I gave was to show that customers need not do a forklift upgrade or migration to MS Lync, they can augment their existing VCX deployment and have somewhat of a 'hybrid' solution allowing VCX customers to maintain their investments in IP Phone technology and the VCX servers and at the same time take advantage of MS Lync, and also MS Exchange UM (not demo'd).


Furthermore, VCX 9.8 will be a free upgrade for VCX customers running VCX9.0+ and will be supported on most prior VCX IBM server platforms.  VCX continues to be sold and supported, please see Andy's comments on maintenance and bug fixes and product life cycle.


HP is committed to be a top tier player in the the unified communications space.  The overall HP UC strategy is to be the preferred UC infrastructure provider by delivering integrated UC solutions with market leading UC Alliance Partners to maximize HPN insfrastructure revenue.  Having the VCX work with such UC Alliance Partner Products would be ideal.











John Walker | ‎03-16-2011 07:25 PM

Our organization has over 1000 licenses for IPT and IPM in addition to conferencing licenses on the VCX 7000 platform. We have over 800 phone devices deployed over 80 locations. We have invested over $750,000 in the VCX platform.The utter vaccuum of communication by HP is inexcusable. We have worked through 2 VARs trying to get information to no avail. We have now met face to face with five different HP staff within the HP Networking Division on five different occasions -- none of whom have any information on the VCX and at best can only refer us to other staff who similarly are uninformed. We have now been working on getting answers and direction for over 5 months.


Given our investment and the time and energy we've expended literally chasing down HP for information, why has it come to my having to type "VCX" into google to read what is, at the best, very cursory and general information on this blog.


What does it take for HP Networking to reach out to it's customers to give us informed concrete guidance and direction on this product line? Preferably face to face.



AndyAtHP | ‎03-17-2011 09:51 AM

@John - Sorry to hear you've been having trouble getting information on the VCX. Mushtaq (who commented on the post above) is the product manager for the VCX- so IS the guy who can answer your questions.  If you want to email me your details via the email-me button here, I'll put you in touch with him.

grahamc | ‎03-17-2011 11:33 AM

Would it be fair to say that if an enterprise size customer approached HP now with a requirement for an IP telephony solution for 500+ users, you would recommend using Microsoft OCS and Polycom SIP handsets?


AndyAtHP | ‎03-17-2011 01:50 PM

If an enterprise approached us today with this need, and didn’t already have a VCX solution – we’d work with them to understand their business needs, and after that might propose a Microsoft OCS/Lync based solution with Polycom handsets; or perhaps an Aastra, Avaya or Alcatel-Lucent based solution.


HP’s TS group have a number of services that can help determine the best fit, and work with all of the above mentioned telephony vendors. HP’s services team can also offer UC&C as a managed service.

John CAVEN | ‎02-02-2012 07:23 PM

Thank you information

seotv | ‎02-02-2012 07:27 PM

thank you information

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