Renodis Insider Newsletter Sept 2020

All things communications tech to drive better experiences, connectivity, and efficiency…

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Microsoft Azure On-Ramp now in Minneapolis!

We are pleased to share that Cologix, a network-neutral interconnection, ecosystem and hyperscale edge data center company, recently announced that business customers now have access to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute with a new onramp at its interconnection hub in Minneapolis!

Why is this notable? What does this mean for you?

Having the on-ramp in Minneapolis means better response time for local clients and less risk because there is no need to traverse to Chicago.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is a top Tier 2 data center market, offering state tax incentives, low utility costs, favorable infrastructure climate and a high-tech infrastructure. Cologix Minneapolis offers direct connectivity to Azure ExpressRoute from Cologix’s three data centers located at the premier interconnection and peering spot in the Midwest outside of Chicago with access to long haul and local fiber routes. With this new onramp, businesses can access dedicated connections to Azure, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Azure ExpressRoute also provides key benefits to enterprises looking to build hybrid cloud environments, including:

  • Private connections that bypass the public Internet
  • Predictability and optimized speed when using Azure ExpressRoute
  • Scalable, densely connected and customizable colocation opportunities

Direct, dedicated connectivity to hyperscale providers like Microsoft is not only important to support digital transformations, it is critical to support significant growth in cloud services during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. With private access to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute and Microsoft services, customers will enjoy faster, more reliable, and more secure access to build and provision services, and support disaster recovery along with lower network costs. Cologix customers can also use their virtual, on-demand solution to access Azure ExpressRoute, Cologix Access Marketplace, with dynamic provisioning through a single connection and an easy-to-use portal.

The Minneapolis location for Cologix provides network neutral access to 75+ unique fiber networks in the Meet-Me-Room (MMR), access to Cologix’s robust ecosystem, the Midwest Internet Cooperative Exchange (MICE), and major cloud provider like Microsoft and AWS.

With redundant utility feeds, N+1 chilled water, with redundant well backup on-site, the Cologix Minneapolis facility offers resiliency, redundancy and security compliance including SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA and PCI compliance.

Contact us to discuss how leveraging the new Minneapolis on-ramp to Azure (along with other cloud providers) can be a part of enabling and maximizing the success of your organization’s cloud strategy.


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Voice Integration with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides a single application for collaboration within the Office 365 suite, allowing an organization to chat, group chat, call and meet via video to collaborate within the platform, all integrated with Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the rest. It’s customizable, extensible to outside groups and complies with enterprise-level security and manageability.

It is possible to voice-enable Microsoft Teams to enable calling outside of the organization, and many businesses are considering this option. But, not all voice options with Teams are created equal.

Microsoft offers Calling Plans for Microsoft 365 to enable both domestic and International calling, each with an additional monthly cost over and above the user license (up to $24.00 per month if both are added). One major downside to this is that Microsoft becomes the support organization for voice services, which isn’t a strong suit for them. Additionally, if Microsoft has an outage with Teams (as happened twice early in 2020) then users will be unable to communicate with colleagues or the outside world using Teams.

Another option that is gaining a lot of traction in the market is working with a voice provider with Direct Route integration into Teams. This allows the an organization to leverage the Teams platform to make and receive calls with the outside world, with the voice trunking residing on a carrier’s platform. Direct Route into Teams enables users to make calls natively from the Teams app (no 3rd party plug-in required). And, even if Teams has an outage users can still make and receive calls, or redirect calls if needed, since their underlying voice platform is still working. While not all providers have Direct Routing into the Teams today, leaders in the space include CallTower, EvolveIP, Nextiva and 8×8, among others, allowing businesses to utilize the full functionality of Teams with a fully featured and resilient Unified Communications (UC) platform. In some cases, the UC provider is also a Microsoft Gold partner who can manage (and potentially enhance the security and resiliency of) the Microsoft licensing, allowing IT staff to focus on core business technology issues.

Please contact us to begin a discussion if you’re considering Voice Integration with Microsoft Teams for your organization, and we can leverage our vendor agnostic technical resources to design the best solution for your business.


Update: CenturyLink is now Lumen, 'We're still committed to this community'
CenturyLink Rebrands as Lumen®

Bright and early on Monday September 14th, it was announced that CenturyLink has rebranded as three separate entities: Lumen Technologies, CenturyLink, and Quantum Fiber.

According to Fierce Telecom, “Lumen Technologies’ platform brings together a global fiber network, edge cloud capabilities, and security and communication and collaboration solutions while Quantum Fiber is a subscription-based, fully digital platform for delivering fiber-based products and services to residents and small businesses.”

SEE FULL PRESS RELEASE


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Renodis Client Tech Moves

Overview:
Renodis enterprise client in the security technology industry needed to move to the cloud due to end-of-life of a legacy Shortel system. They also needed to improve both the overall customer experience and employee productivity in using a new solution. This firm had unique requirements given their global operations, multiple business units, and over 3000 employees.

Solution:
Renodis leveraged VendorPoint™ to produce a confident, metrics-driven decision to migrate to UCaaS/CCaaS after a thorough vetting of all players. Business drivers dictated an integrated solution for UCaaS/CCaaS vs. separate providers. [Learn more about Renodis VendorPoint™ Selection Methodology]

Results:
After implementation, all stakeholders reported they are thrilled with the new platform, ease of use, flexibility, customer experience improvements, and overall value to the firm.


Upcoming Events

Oct 9-11th — Duck Hunting with Renodis, North Dakota

Oct 15th — Clays for a Cause Fundraiser, MN Horse & Hunt Club

Oct 23-26th — Duck Hunting with Renodis, North Dakota

Oct 27th – 28th — Renodis Annual Pheasant Hunt, North Dakota

Nov 6-8th — Duck Hunting with Renodis, North Dakota


What our clients are saying…

New feedback from the field, IT leaders, and end users.

“We expect a lot of our partners. Renodis has proven themselves both in experience and in their knowledge of our current environment and services within the telecom space. We’ve also acquired organizations and they’ve had knowledge and experience with those. They’re very responsive and are in line with what we need.”

— Senior Analyst, IT Vendor Management

“Renodis understands a world that’s hard to understand, the language, vendor processes, how to order and follow up. They’re responsive. We feel they’re part of our team, not just a vendor. They’re very easy to do business with. And they continue to evolve, finding better ways to help.”

— EVP & CIO