US Department of Defense leverages Ribbon Communications application server to complete 50,000-plus Seat UC deployment

Jerry James of Visioneering

Ribbon Communications Inc. (formerly GENBAND and Sonus), a global provider in secure and intelligent cloud communications, announced that the US Department of Defense has completed one of the largest Voice Over IP (VoIP) deployments in DoD’s history leveraging Ribbon’s Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC)-certified Application Server.

“We have been working closely with the Department of Defense and our solutions partners for several years to meet the demanding requirements of DoD deployments,” said Steven Bruny, executive vice President of Global Operations for Ribbon Communications.

“It is very rewarding for our team and our partners to have successfully completed a migration of this magnitude. We believe it is a reflection of our commitment to standards and innovation and are pleased that we could provide DoD a path forward without having to start over.” Bruny added, “We are thankful to Verizon, Black Box, and Visioneering for helping make this deployment a success.”

The deployment allows the command and control organisation to significantly upgrade its communications capabilities with the latest in secure real-time unified communications (UC) technology, including the ability to seamlessly integrate voice, video, instant messaging, presence and conferencing into the end-user experience.

In addition to the significant operational cost savings offered by upgrading to Ribbon’s application server, the rich enterprise features it enabled played a major role in the DoD’s selection of Ribbon. Another key factor was Ribbon’s long history of providing tier one service providers with carrier-grade reliability and the company’s ability to improve DoD’s network reliability and uptime.

The deployment provided DoD with the ability to replace the core of its communications infrastructure while leveraging its existing endpoints and using standards-based technology going forward. In addition, existing endpoints and gateways were leveraged from multiple voice systems, further protecting the Department of Defense’s current investments.

The cost and time required were significantly less than implementing an entirely new solution. Eliminating the need to retrain end-users or disrupt DoD office operations was also a key factor in the DoD’s decision to deploy the Ribbon solution.

Already supporting more than 40 million SIP endpoints globally, the Ribbon Application Server’s carrier-grade heritage provides a unique capability to offer a highly scalable, private cloud-based upgrade option for legacy communications systems deployed by the US Department of Defense.

The advanced Ribbon solution is deployed with standards-based SIP and ASSIP endpoints, so there is no proprietary endpoint lock-in. It easily scales to millions of endpoints per node, making it ideally suited for geographically redundant, organisation-wide, private cloud environments. The Ribbon Application Server shares it heritage with the Nortel AS 5300, so it is uniquely capable of migrating legacy Nortel deployments.

The migration process and deployment, led by Verizon, was designed for rapid execution with little operational disruption to enable members of every component to leverage secure real-time UC technology. “This deployment represents a significant step towards modernisation for the US Department of Defense agency involved,” said Sonya Cork, vice president of Sales for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

“We are pleased to know that with this deployment and the broader Verizon-led migration to Unified Communications (UC), users are now using a communications system that addresses their IT needs now and is also scalable for the future.”

“We have worked closely with Ribbon on a number of very large civilian and DoD government engagements, but none with the scale and vital importance of this one,” said Black Box spokesperson. “Our close working relationship with the Ribbon team helped us move tens of thousands of end-users in a single weekend – most of whom arrived at work on Monday morning without knowing that this major upgrade had occurred.”

Steven Bruney

“With extensive experience in designing and deploying UC systems, the Visioneering team is honored to have played a key role in delivering the DoD an enhanced communications system that was scalable with best-in-class security and high-availability,” said Jerry James president, Visioneering.

“We worked closely with the Ribbon team and other partners on a strategic approach to address the complex architectural design and ensure a seamless implementation and cutover of this project with minimal disruption.”

Key takeaways:

  • The US Department of Defense has completed one of its largest VoIP deployments ever, leveraging Ribbon’s JITC-certified Application Server.
  • The deployment, which migrated more than 50,000 users to Ribbon technology, allows the Department of Defense to significantly enhance its unified communications and collaboration capabilities. Ribbon’s ability to deliver significant operational savings to DoD along with key enterprise features such as Shared Line Appearance (SLA) played a major role in the Department of Defense’s selection of Ribbon for this project. Another significant factor was Ribbon’s ability to improve system reliability and uptime as well as its long history of providing carrier-grade reliability for tier one service providers.
  • The deployment enables the Department of Defense to extend the value of significant investments in communication systems by allowing end-users the ability to leverage existing phones and equipment and seamlessly migrate to upgraded technology.
  • Going forward, Polycom’s portfolio of JITC certified endpoints will provide a cost-effective option to enable DoD to further enhance the user experience with upgraded voice and video capabilities.
  • The Ribbon Application Server is uniquely designed to enable customers to maximise the investments in their existing legacy Nortel communications systems, by offering an easy migration path to a state of the art Unified Communication platform.

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