Posts Tagged ‘voip’

Microsoft (SFB/O365) Dropping Support for PBX Connections leaving Legacy Platforms behind

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Microsoft recently announced that it will no longer provide session border controller (SBC) support for PBX systems accessing Office 365.

Essentially, the news means that starting July 2018, users of Exchange Online Unified Messaging (UM) will have to use an alternative method of connecting voicemail with Outlook. Microsoft won’t support PBX connections using SBCs for that purpose.

In its announcement, Microsoft suggested that only “a small number of customers are affected by this change” and that it was making it to “provide a higher quality of service for voicemail.” Microsoft also offered four alternative options, though they likely won’t be cheap or simple for affected organizations, said Paul Cunningham, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, commenting in a Practical 365 blog post. The move could simplify things for Microsoft, though, he suggested.

“I see this simply as part of Microsoft’s grand strategy to jettison legacy platforms and solutions that are complex and not highly profitable, and focus on services like Cloud PBX that they can deliver more efficiently,” Cunningham added.

Microsoft is discontinuing its SBC support on the Office 365 side so that it won’t have to rely on “a third-party system” that’s difficult to manage, suggested Jeff Guillet, a Microsoft certified solutions master and Microsoft MVP. He explained the technical aspects of Microsoft’s move in this blog post, adding that giving companies just one year to move is “asking a lot,” since the switchover likely will affect large companies.

Some Help for Orgs
Meanwhile, AVST, a Microsoft Gold partner on Skype for Business and Exchange, and a voicemail pioneer, is indicating that it has the means to support organizations faced with Microsoft’s one-year deadline.

The company’s CX-E Unified Communications platform offers a quick solution that can integrate with leading PBX systems, such as systems from Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and others. The platform permits organizations to continue to use Outlook forms to link voicemail with e-mail. Because of the potential pain involved in such moves, it’s currently offering discounts via its Value-Added Reseller partners.

How AVST can address the issue was explained by Tom Minifie, AVST’s chief technology officer, as well as Denny Michael, senior vice president of sales and marketing at AVST, in a phone interview last week.

AVST has been addressing the unified communications space for decades.

“The company goes back over 30 years and we were one of the folks that brought voicemail to the marketplace,” Michael said. “We’ve been around for a long time, and we primarily service the enterprise space. We’re very strong in healthcare, state and local government, regulated industries, higher education and other horizontal industries as well.”

Minifie explained that organizations with third-party (or non-Microsoft) PBX systems using Office 365, or thinking about moving to Office 365, will be affected by Microsoft’s change. Most options, of the four listed by Microsoft, will require moving to Skype for Business and scrapping PBX systems. It’ll be “disruptive,” he said.

“Clearly, from Microsoft’s position, they want that alternative to be ‘Get rid of your PBX and use Skype for Business,'” Minifie said. “So, for customers that have already been planning for that, that’s a good option for them. They move to Skype for Business and continue to use the Exchange [Online] UM component. But for customers that aren’t interested in doing that or aren’t ready to do that, then this is pretty disruptive because it’s not something that they’ve planned for already.”

AVST, with its CX-E Unified Communications platform, specializes in the fourth option presented by Microsoft.

“And what that is, it’s really saying is that instead of directly connecting the Exchange [Online] UM environment to the PBX, I’m going to have a different unified messaging solution that performs that same functionality, and that’s how we approach it,” Minifie said. “Because of our history, we evolved the integrations into the various phone systems, so whatever phone system or PBX the customer is using, we’ll be able to integrate into that, but then we also integrate into the Exchange environment so that we can provide unified messaging through Exchange.”

End users also get the same familiar Outlook look and feel with AVST’s platform.

“In our eyes, we’re providing the best of both worlds,” Minifie said. “We’re solving the problem, which is you can no longer connect Exchange [Online] UM into your PBX. So we take care of that PBX connection. But you get to continue to use the familiar Outlook interface that the end users are used to.”

Minifie affirmed that Microsoft was essentially eliminating the SBC on its end. The change was aimed at improving the quality of service of voicemail, according to Microsoft.

The Time Factor
AVST and its partners validate phone systems and architectures. They perform application discovery to address any functionalities that organization may want. The time it takes to deploy will depend on the solution chosen.

“As far as the amount of time, that kind of depends on the solution,” Minifie said. “Ours is quick because you really aren’t changing anything. Your phone system doesn’t change. Your Exchange doesn’t change. We just get put in the middle of it. And so that can be deployed very quickly.”

Other approaches can get delayed.

“With the other solutions, you’re getting into having to order telecom things,” Minifie said. “You need SIP trunking and have to order from the carrier, and there are whatever delays for that to get delivered.”

AVST’s solution can be installed on premises or it’s provided as a hosted software-as-a-service solution via subscription. More information about AVST’s replacement offerings for Exchange Online UM can be found at this page.

By Kurt Mackie

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

Source: Microsoft Dropping Support for PBX Connections Using SBCs — Redmond Channel Partner

Critical OpenSSL Patch Available. Patch Now!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

[Webcast Correction] Important correction to the webcast. The MITM attack does not just affect DTLS. It does affect TLS (TCP) as well.

Quick Q&A Summary from the webcast:

– The MITM vulnerablity only affects servers that run OpenSSL 1.0.1 but all clients. Both have to be vulnerable to exploit this problem.

– The MITM vulnerability is not just DTLS (sorry, had that wrong during the webcast)

– Common DTLS applications: Video/Voice over IP, LDAP, SNMPv3, WebRTC

​- Web servers (https) can not use DTLS.

– OpenVPN’s "auth-tls" feature will likely mitigate all these vulnerabilities

– Even if you use "commercial software", it may still use OpenSSL.


The OpenSSL team released a critical security update today. The update patches 6 flaws. 1 of the flaws (CVE-2014-0195) may lead to arbitrary code execution. [1]

All versions of OpenSSL are vulnerable to CVE-2014-0195, but this vulnerability only affects DTLS clients or servers (look for SSL VPNs… not so much HTTPS).

I also rated CVE-2014-0224 critical, since it does allow for MiTM attacks, one of the reasons you use SSL. But in order to exploit this issue, both client and server have to be vulnerable, and only openssl 1.0.1 is vulnerable on servers (which is why I stuck with "important" for servers). The discoverer of this vulnerability released details here: .

via InfoSec Handlers Diary Blog – Critical OpenSSL Patch Available. Patch Now!.

List of Features – sipXecs – Avaya SBC

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

All the sipXecs application services are allocated to specific server roles. Using the centralized cluster management system each role can be instantiated on a dedicated server or several (all) roles can be run on a single server. Configuration of all services and participating servers is fully automatic and Web UI based.

SIP Session Router, optionally geo-redundant and load sharing

Media server for unified messaging and IVR (auto-attendant) services

Conferencing server based on FreeSWITCH

XMPP Instant Messaging (IM) and presence server (based on Openfire)

Contact center (ACD) server

Call park / Music on Hold (MoH) server

Presence server (Broadsoft and IETF compliant resource list server for BLF)

New: Shared Appearance Agent server to support shared lines (BLA)

Group paging server

SIP trunking server (media anchoring and B2BUA for SIP trunking & remote worker support)

Call Detail Record (CDR) collection & processing server

Third party call control (3PCC) server using REST interfaces

Management and configuration server

Process management server for centralized cluster management

via List of Features – sipXecs – SIPfoundry Wiki.

Comcast may be teaming up with Verizon for VoIP service – Android Community

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

From The Information, we learn that Comcast may take a VoIP wireless service mainstream. While a WiFi connection works around the home, it won’t be something we can use anywhere, any time. It’s believed Comcast may also try to operate as an MVNO on Verizon’s network to bolster the VoIP service. Republic Wireless has done this “VoIP/MVNO” thing with moderate success, so it’s not unheard of.

via Comcast may be teaming up with Verizon for VoIP service – Android Community.

How to Install Asterisk 11 on a Virtual Machine – Guide

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Asterisk is an open source VoIP PBX that can be used for almost any communication application you can imagine. I recently implemented a small Asterisk server at work but used version 1.6 which is an outdated version and does not have any kind of support any more. The currently supported versions are 1.8 and 11 and so now I’m trying to reimplement that server using the latest version available. But as I don’t have any real hardware to test on I need to go for a virtualized option.

Here is a guide for installing Asterisk 11 on Ubuntu 12.04 running on Oracle VM VirtualBox. To follow this guide all you need is to have an active Internet connection.

via How to Install Asterisk 11 on a Virtual Machine – News – Bubblews. SIP Trunking | ShoreTel

Monday, March 31st, 2014

SIP Trunking combined with an IP-PBX, enables organizations to save money by consolidating their voice and data over a Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) Circuit – maximizing the investment on the IP circuit.’s SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Trunking service is a business-class telecommunications solution that delivers local, toll-free, domestic, and international long distance service through our large National footprint covering more than 80 percent of the U.S. market, with per trunk and per minute rates much lower than that of traditional service. And, with phone numbers from over 5000 rate centers, can provide new or port existing numbers nationwide.

via SIP Trunking | ShoreTel.