Converge ICT & Telephony - The key to the future
A little over a year ago, Telindus and Tango entered a strategic alliance under their common shareholder, the Proximus Group. Proximus Luxembourg was thus born with the ambition of building a new digital ecosystem by intelligently combining its telephony and ICT solutions and the will to make it a value generator for its customers.
"I joined Telindus in 2005 to join the technical team dedicated to VoIP, a new activity at that time. Subsequently, I participated in the development of the first cloud telephony solutions. I am therefore particularly excited about the idea of a merger with a telephone operator", says Sébastien Laurenti who is now head of the Unified Communications & Mobility, Video Surveillance Sales Unit at Telindus, a team dedicated to the development and pre-sale of products. "Tango provides us the missing elements to complete our offering and provide our customers with an end-to-end telephony service. We are now clearly aiming to rise to the leading position of a market so far dominated by the historical operator", he says.
The merger between Telindus - ICT and telecommunications services provider for businesses – and Tango – mobile telephony, landline, TV and Internet operator for the residential market essentially – has given the two companies the opportunity to combine their know-how within one Enterprise Business Unit (EBU) operating under the brand name Telindus, alongside a Consumer division (CBU) embodied by Tango, allowing the activities of Luxembourg entities to be included in the group’s model and to facilitate the assimilation of the common strategy at the local level.
A foundation for future solutions
Operating such a transformation does not go without challenges. To draw synergies from this convergence strategy, the two companies had to reorganise their activities. It is in this context that Telindus and Tango have undertaken to jointly develop convergence solutions, such as the SIP trunking, initially certified on the Telindus Collaboration-as-a-Service U-touch platform.
On this basis, the Connectivity team of the new EBU unit has developed a commercial offer of SIP trunking. "When POST Luxembourg announced the shutdown of the ISDN installations, the technology used for the last twenty years to access the public telephone network, we immediately reacted by positioning ourselves with SIP, the new generation technology", explains Sébastien Laurenti. "Not only does SIP trunking generate cost reduction, operational simplification and flexibility for companies that adopt it, but it also allows them to set up a standard base ready to support future uses and solutions in videoconferencing, teamwork, security, or cloud services, for example".
When fixed and mobile converge
Once the fixed telephony is integrated in a cloud solution, what could one possibly offer users in terms of mobility? "To meet this latent need", explains Sébastien Laurenti, "we have, together with Tango, developed a service called FMU – for 'Fixed Mobile Unification' – which integrates fixed and mobile calls. Users can be reached at any time on any device, fixed or mobile, at the business number chosen by the company. If a customer calls both devices ring. Thus, no call is lost and the customer is immediately taken care of. It is also possible to display the fixed phone number when calling from the mobile. The notion of a single number is then really complete and true value for the user who can also benefit from a single mail box or overflow rules, which are business telephony and not mobile telephony features."
Fluidify internal communication
Since mobile devices are integrated into the company’s communication platform, the user’s presence status is also updated when using the mobile phone: colleagues – or the company’s reception department - will thus know when he/she is reachable again. Furthermore, calls between colleagues will not incur additional charges. Finally, the FMU service facilitates the compliance with the rules of use and tracking of mobile telephony costs considerably.
Available since the month of January, the FMU service is currently reserved for the Tango network. "But given the large number of cross-border users active on the Luxembourg market, it will soon be extended to roaming calls ", says Sébastien Laurenti.
Addressing regulatory challenges
"We are also working to create other services to help our customers cope with the regulatory upheavals that will take effect next year, such as the GDPR which oversees the protection of personal data, but especially the European MiFID II directive which requires, among other, professionals in the finance sector to ensure the traceability of all communications related to a transaction between them and their customers. This registration obligation – and easy extraction if the customer requests it –applies to all means of communication: physical meeting, email, call from a fixed or mobile line, SMS, chat, or video", emphasizes the Telindus UC & Mobility manager.
To deal with the mobile telephony component of the directive, the Telindus UC & Mobility team is currently working on the development of a solution called MVR - Mobile Voice Recording – to record mobile calls and text messages. Unlike the choice made by other operators, Telindus has opted for a solution that meets both the obligations arising from the directive and the data location restrictions imposed by Luxembourg law.
"We chose to rely on our FMU service to intercept the call on the Tango network, route it to our cloud and record it on a 'Compliance Recording' platform. This platform is the same as the one used by our U-Touch customers who want to record their landline calls, video conversations and other communication applications ", explains Sébastien Laurenti. "Our approach is to offer the recording of communications, as required by the MiFID II directive, but also the possibility to recreate the transaction easily, while meeting the Luxembourgish regulatory requirements, and this on the basis of a single integrated tool."
Developing tomorrow’s digital ecosystems
"Today we face regulatory challenges that translate into as many technological challenges. This requires us to take a stand quickly on innovative choices that will be needed over the long term and represent significant investments. But these commitments are the key to the future. By promoting convergence between information technologies and telephony, fixed and mobile, we offer organisations the means to develop their digital ecosystem. Through the democratisation of the use of digital technology in the learning, creation, research and development process, it is the sectors of education, health, and industry that will be transformed. The gradual unification of the digital will facilitate access to work means, reduce estate costs for companies, but also adopt innovative transport policies and take environmental issues better into account", concludes Sébastien Laurenti.
Interview by Michaël Renotte
SIP trunking is a service provided by a VoIP operator enabling companies equipped with standard IP (IP-PBX) to use Internet telephony (VoIP) to transit their incoming or outgoing calls from a connection to the broadband Internet network via the SIP protocol, an open multimedia standard used for voice, but also video, instant messaging, video games, virtual reality, etc.). Source : http://siptrunking.fr/)