There’s a lot of excitement about hosted PBX and UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), and you may be dreaming about all the exciting new revenue you could bring into your business if you start offering this to your business customers.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves we have an important question to answer: does your Metaswitch support hosted PBX?
There are a lot of components that make up a comprehensive business communications offering, and it’s possible that you have only licensed some of the relevant features, so in this article we’ll run through the different components of your deployment to see if there are any gaps.
Required components / features
- CFS (or integrated soft-switch) – I’m going to assume everyone has one of these.
- EAS – the server platform that hosts many of the features listed below. If you have voicemail on the Metaswitch then you have an EAS.
- Session Border Controller – ideally a Perimeta, but at a push an Acme Packet/Oracle SBC would work.
- SIP Provisioning Server – a feature of the EAS that allows you to manage phone configuration centrally. I guess it’s theoretically possible to offer a hosted service without SIP Provisioning Server but it would be a nightmare, so I’m putting it on the required list.
- MetaView Web – the provisioning interface that allows you to seamlessly configure both CFS and EAS features in one place.
- CommPortal – so users can access their phone settings and voicemails online.
Optional components / features
- SAS (service assurance server) – this provides centralized access to diagnostics for all calls traversing your various Metaswitch products. It’s not absolutely required, but it will make your life much harder if you don’t have it.
- Easy / Premium Attendant – so businesses can set up IVRs to handle incoming calls.
- N-series Music on Hold – provides music on hold to business lines. You could manage without this, but most businesses will expect MOH as part of the service.
- Accession Desktop / Mobile – for those who want to be able to take calls using a software client on their computer or on cell phone app.
- Accession Messaging Server – if you want business users to be able to chat and see presence information (away, on the phone, etc) from their Accession clients.
- Accession Meeting – which allows users to seamlessly upgrade a phone call to a multi-person video conference from their Accession client.
How can I tell if I have these features?
Hopefully some of these you will just know from using your system, and from looking at the physical boxes racked up in your CO, but I know it’s not always that simple.
If you’re still not sure if your Metaswitch supports hosted PBX, the best place to check on your licensed features is the “Metaswitch Dashboard” icon on the right of the Metaswitch Communities website. Once on your personal Dashboard there’s a section named Licenses, which will show you what licenses you own. Unfortunately the names of some of these feature license have changed over time, so I can’t tell you exactly what to look for – but if you can’t figure it out just send us a message and we’ll be happy to help you figure it out.
Alternatively, if you want some more in-depth assistance, we have a hosted PBX audit service available where we check over your Metaswitch products to assess your readiness for launching a hosted business voice product. If you’re considering heading down this path, that’s a great way to get the lay of the land before you start. Or, like I say, just contact us for a free consultation if you want a little advice.