Thursday, November 11, 2010

Smoothstone’s Converged IP Cloud Expanding To Europe

Smoothstone IP Communications, an innovator in the new field of cloud-based unified communications, is expanding its service portfolio to include European locations. Could this be the start of a cloud that covers the Earth?

You bet it is. Thanks to international MPLS connectivity, it is now feasible to port any IP service to anywhere on Earth. That’s the beauty of MPLS networks. They take whatever you’ve got and transport it anywhere users can connect to the network.

Well, it’s not quite that simple. There’s a matter of scaling involved. Servers that easily handle the load for a limited universe of users in a regional area can become quickly overloaded when a tsunami of new users joins the network from a global footprint. Likewise, the core network has to have the bandwidth needed to handle the increased traffic without degrading latency, jitter and packet loss characteristics.

Smoothstone has addressed these issues, partially by expanding their cloud-based applications platform into several European data centers. That removes a potential bottleneck that could form if all packets needed to be processed through a single U.S. data center. It also makes call termination to off-net European phones easier and less costly.

One of the advantages that Smoothstone touts for moving enterprise voice services to their IP cloud is that internal phone calls stay on the network even when those calls are transatlantic to the UK, France, Germany or Switzerland. It’s only when calls need to be terminated to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) that connection costs are incurred. The more local the call termination, the cheaper it is. That argues for geographically diverse data centers and central office equipment to support telephony in the cloud.

What is also significant is that Smoothstone is not merely another VoIP service provider. The heart of their competitive portfolio is unified IP communications services. That means converged voice and data services to gain the cost advantages that come from deploying one network among business locations rather that separate telephone and data networks. Convergence can be a tricky proposition for time sensitive applications like network voice. If not done properly, VoIP calls can degrade into clipped and garbled conversations. Calls can even be dropped in extreme cases.

MPLS networking is especially suited to supporting converged voice and data. Not only are multiple protocols supported, but these privately owned and operated networks are carefully managed to ensure Quality of Service (QoS) at all times. For companies that want to unify their communications among multiple locations, it’s hard to argue against a solid MPLS core network. Now smoothstone is taking a leadership position to expand the very same converged services to include European cities. By the end of 2010, they expect to be providing applications and services across Europe.

Is your company still suffering from last century’s networking solutions? Have you been stymied by the process of creating unified communications that delivers the quality of service you require? What you need is the right provider with assets and resources to deliver the right solution for your size of operation and be able to seamlessly scale up as your business level increases. See how Smoothstone and other cloud networking services can provide the connectivity you need at a cost that makes sense.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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