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What options are available to connect VoIP systems to branch offices?

There are many ways enterprises can connect their VoIP systems to branch offices. Expert Michael Brandenburg explains what options are available.

What options are available to enterprises to connect their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems to branch offices?

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There are actually a number of different options available to link branch offices to corporate communications platforms based on the size and number of remote sites you are looking to connect. Beyond the size and number of branch offices, it is important to consider branch survivability, the ability for remote sites to continue to make and receive phone calls if the WAN link is unavailable.

For very small branch locations with only a couple of endpoints, many unified communications (UC) vendors would likely recommend connecting endpoints through an E-SBC or VPN connection. For branches with more than a few endpoints, the next step is a branch gateway.

A branch gateway provides a WAN interface between the branch and corporate platforms, as well the option to utilize its own Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking or public switched telephone network (PSTN) connection in the event of a WAN failure.

Recently, a third option has come to the forefront: hybrid cloud services. In a hybrid cloud, remote branches use cloud-based hosted UC services, which also interface with the on-premises corporate platforms. Hybrid services offer many of the benefits of branch gateways, including survivability, without the hardware footprint.

Learn more about connecting VoIP systems and branch offices:

  • How Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) can help connect VoIP systems and branch offices: Learn how MPLS helps connect a parent company to a branch office during a VoIP implementation.
  • Linking VoIP islands with SIP trunking: Learn how SIP trunking opens up opportunities for linking VoIP islands, like branch offices.
  • Integrating cloud-based UC for the branch office: Learn how branch offices benefit from cloud-based UC services.
This was first published in May 2014

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