Tadiran UC&C on AWS, Opportunities All Aroundby Sandra Gustavsen in Telecom
Tadiran Telecom is broadening the deployment options for its Aeonix software-based Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) platform, announcing that Aeonix is available as a multi-instance cloud-based solution running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Tadiran Telecom customers can now opt to access their telephony and UC as a convenient subscription-based service, eliminating the expense and hassle of purchasing, deploying and maintaining a telephone system on-site. Multi-site organizations can also take advantage of a hybrid cloud-premises arrangement by deploying Aeonix servers at some sites and utilizing hosted/cloud services at other locations.
Aeonix (a variation of the word aeonic which means “everlasting” and reflects the system’s open, flexible architecture) is Linux-based software that runs on industry standard servers and virtualized platforms. It is particularly well suited to large, distributed organizations since the solution is highly scalable and highly resilient due to a clustered, fault-tolerant, active-active architecture. However, Aeonix can also serve smaller businesses since the capacity range actually starts at 25 users, then scales to support up to 25,000 users with as many as eight servers or instances connected as one unified cluster.
UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS) solutions like the new Aeonix UC&C cloud service are appealing to businesses of all sizes that are looking to bypass the typical business phone system purchase. There are obvious budgetary advantages to selecting a subscription-based service (a recurring, operational expenditure or OPEX model) such as reduced capital expenses, fewer IT personnel and predictable per-user monthly fees, to name a few. And, there are strategic advantages in terms of scale, consistency across a network of locations and the ease of adding innovations and technologies that emerge in the future.
Bring Your Own Cloud SP
Tadiran’s partnership with Amazon is not completely new. In 2014, Tadiran Telecom began offering a hybrid cloud approach by which customers with a distributed network could utilize Aeonix hosted on AWS as a disaster recovery option for locally-deployed Aeonix servers. This latest announcement extends the relationship to make Aeonix available as a full UCaaS solution available on the Amazon Marketplace.
Tadiran refers to the Amazon partnership as a ‘Bring Your Own Cloud’ approach since partners will eventually be able to select the public Cloud Service Provider (CSP) they prefer to host the Aeonix solution, unlike competing cloud solutions that are restricted to the provider’s own cloud infrastructure. Since Aeonix software can be virtualized to run in any VMware, Hyper-V or KVM environment, the software can be easily ported to AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud or another public cloud platform that supports virtualization technology.
AWS is the first CSP to host Aeonix, but other CSPs are set to follow. In fact, Tadiran is now testing Microsoft Azure within its own corporate network, an Aeonix cluster that includes on-site servers in the U.S. and Israel and Aeonix UCaaS running on AWS at locations in Ireland, China and India. Aeonix licensing is propagated and shared across all five servers/services, and all five nodes provide back-up in real-time for each of the other nodes – an active-active hot standby configuration and a good example of a working hybrid network arrangement.
Recent market studies validate the shift toward subscription-based services for telephony and UC, but also for hybrid cloud-premises models like that possible with the Aeonix UC&C software. A 2015 IDG Enterprise survey finds the number of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) and enterprises planning to implement a hybrid UC&C model is rising, citing 54% of enterprises and 42% of SMBs in their survey are preparing to do so in the next two years (compared to 30% and 27% using a hybrid approach today).
The new Aeonix cloud-based UC&C option opens up multiple opportunities: (1) for Tadiran Telecom in terms of new markets and new sales channels, (2) for Tadiran’s channel partners that can now offer flexible cloud, premises and hybrid arrangements and (3) for end customers that can choose from several deployment options depending on their particular business needs. The new cloud model also enables a migration path forward for Tadiran customers with legacy systems.
- Aeonix UCaaS enables Tadiran Telecom to enter the hosted/cloud-based telephony and UC market which is rapidly gaining in popularity as businesses of all sizes realize the benefits of a hosted solution. Tadiran channel partners can now compete for business against other hosted UCaaS providers, with the added advantage of using the Amazon infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and thereby avoiding the cost and resources involved in maintaining their own data center operations. Partners and end customers will also benefit from ‘economies of scale’ (i.e. lower pricing) due to the hundreds of thousands of customers aggregated on the Amazon cloud.
- Additionally, while the Aeonix solution is particularly suitable for larger, distributed organizations due to its scalability and high level of fault tolerance and failover (typical sweet spot for optimal cost-effectiveness for on-premises installations is above 50 users), the UCaaS offer on AWS makes Aeonix more cost-effective for the very small business since they can eliminate the upfront capital expense of purchasing telephone system equipment and pay only a monthly subscription fee to access their telephony and UC functionality via the cloud. Furthermore, partners can offer these smaller businesses a full application suite, including Aeonix UC client applications, Web and video conferencing and contact center with analytics and reporting among other more advanced applications.
New Sales Channel
- Tadiran is opening up a new channel opportunity as the company looks to bring Amazon System Integrators into the Tadiran partner program (Tadiran Telecom typically sells exclusively through partners, except for government business and some direct sales in Israel). AWS System Integrators that complete the Aeonix certifications will be able to offer UC&C along with other Amazon services they are already selling. Many of the Amazon System Integrators work with large enterprise organizations which will help Tadiran Telecom in its quest to move further upmarket with the Aeonix platform.
- Aeonix UCaaS on AWS is a new deployment option. Tadiran channel partners can now offer the telephony and UC deployment (hosted/cloud or on-site) that best meets their customer’s particular business challenges. This includes hybrid arrangements for multi-site customers, with on-site systems deployed at some locations and utilization of hosted/cloud services at others. Hybrid cloud-premises solutions are rapidly entering the market as the traditional telecom vendors like Tadiran Telecom recognize the value in offering customers (1) the flexibility in subscribing to hosted/cloud services for some applications and using on-site solutions for others (i.e. Aeonix hosted on AWS as a disaster recovery option for locally-deployed Aeonix servers) and/or (2) the ability to network the two solution types (cloud and on-premises) for feature parity across all locations regardless of the deployment.
- Tadiran Telecom has a large, existing customer base with earlier digital PBXs that are looking to upgrade to the newer technology that Aeonix UC&C can provide. Tadiran has been offering various promotional incentives to encourage migration. For example, legacy Tadiran Coral and IPx customers may qualify for free licensing for the first 70% of the user licensing, while existing customers with Tadiran’s Coral Sea softswitch can replace the software and all software licenses at no cost with Tadiran’s one-year Annual Support Agreement.
- Additionally, Coral and IPx systems can be converted to gateways to interface the legacy phone system with Aeonix in order to connect and reuse existing investments in analog and digital phones and trunking. Longtime Tadiran Telecom partner, Adept Communications and Data Company (ACDC), is a case in point. ACDC transitioned from a legacy Tadiran IPx system to the Aeonix UC&C cloud solution for its own in-house communications, moving from a combination of IP phones and digital phones to a complete IP solution via the Aeonix cloud. Since the transition was easily accomplished from within the Amazon services, they had a working system ready within hours. ACDC is also reusing its IPx as a gateway for some of the analog phones still required at their office.
The latest release of Aeonix (V2.4) added a new suite of hospitality features and integration with Microsoft Skype for Business (Lync). Aeonix V3.0, due out in January 2016, will continue to evolve hospitality features, as well as introduce a new management platform based on HTML5 to replace the current proprietary solution. In the future, Tadiran will also announce Microsoft Azure and other CSPs as certified hosting platforms for Aeonix UCaaS.