Ferrari electronic: Shape the workplace of tomorrow

The German IT company Ferrari electronic has set itself the task of sustainably increasing the efficiency of its customers by unifying the communication processes for employees and the systems they use. Unified Communications and Smart Business from the company are the key to the workflow of the future.

Unified Communications (UC) has gained more relevance recently as the evolution of digital technology has shifted the landscape of the workplace towards IP-based activities. There are multiple reasons for this, though the most important ones to consider include the increased variety of communication channels on offer, as well as the digitisation of information across the globe and the need for increased effectiveness. UC solutions help companies to simplify their processes, making them more efficient and enabling them to meet any challenges they may have.

From communication to building control

UC solutions can bring together the different systems and communication services used at a company on to a central server. Existing email systems, such as Microsoft Exchange, are usually the central platform on which all messages arrive. Video and telephony, webinars and solutions for call recording are also in the range of services on offer.

Comprehensive UC solutions also open up opportunities for business processes related to building controls, such as security, heating or lighting. In principle, it is about transferring the 'smarthome' technology to the business world, so 'Smart Business' is created.

OfficeMaster Suite: more than a fax server

With OfficeMaster Suite software, companies can connect their email system - for example, Microsoft Exchange or IBM Notes/Domino - to the fax system, SMS and voicemail channels. OfficeMaster Suite, like all Ferrari electronic solutions, is integrated deep into the systems, which ensures stable communication and supports a simple configuration. In the case of Exchange, for example, OfficeMaster Suite uses the information and user data from the Active Directory. IT professionals can also edit configurations via well-known access points.

Smart voicemail solutions

Via OfficeMaster, companies can also easily integrate voice messages independently of the telephone system. Users can edit their received voice messages via a smartphone or PC. The announcements can be set up via a web interface; a personal scheduler (out of office replies, for example) is also available. Especially useful is the voicemail function as it also responds to Outlook calendar entries. If the employee is at an appointment or in a meeting, OfficeMaster Suite automatically activates the announcement for the duration of the time calendared for the entry.

Former fax card, today's multitalent

Ferrari electronic is the only manufacturer to offer hardware and software from one source in the area of UC. The software integrates the various channels required into the email and application systems, while the hardware seamlessly connects the infrastructure of classical telecommunications with existing IT.

The media gateways have their origin in the fax card that made Ferrari electronic the pioneer of computer fax 25 years ago. Today, as a reliable interface, they adopt a key position within the infrastructure as they act as translators between the different technologies; for example, ISDN and SIP. This is especially important when using a PBX or other analogue terminals. In addition, the gateways, in conjunction with Microsoft Skype for Business or Lync, take over the role of the 'survivable branch appliance'. It ensures that the telephony in branches remains available even in the event of a network failure.

Direct IP communication with telephone systems

With DirectSIP, Ferrari electronic is breaking new ground in fax communication, and simplifying its switch to All-IP and into the cloud. The newly developed interface makes it possible to completely dispense with additional hardware such as a fax card, a media gateway or third-party software during fax transmission and reception, reducing costs. Companies can also completely dispense with additional 'middleware'; the software is largely preconfigured and can be connected to the PBX with just a few clicks. In addition to the maintenance and training expenses, the error rate also decreases as the server effectively counteracts IP problems caused by volatile networks. The software itself takes over the fax connection, so a physical or virtual machine is no longer needed.

Webinars and VoIP meetings

Globally operating companies often rely on Skype for Business, the IP telephony solution from Microsoft. To ensure smooth and reliable operations at an international level - where more than 36 different SIP trunks and analogue connections exist - LM-IT has developed the platform MeetS4B using technology from Ferrari electronic. The solution for online events, a mixture of on-premise and cloud technology, has been available worldwide since July 2016.

Thanks to the Enterprise Session Border Controller (E-SBC) from Ferrari electronic, participants from Australia or South America can easily dial into the audio or video conference, as well as those from the US or Europe. The E-SBC takes control of all SIP protocols used by a wide range of providers. The result: reliable, highly available and high-performance communication. However, not all regions have a sufficient internet infrastructure, which is why the connection of conventional telephone connections to the performance spectrum of MeetS4B is essential.

Since the beginning of the year, over 314,000 subscribers have registered on the platform, which has been used for more than 1,500 meetings and webinars, and is fail-safe due to the reliable E-SBC from Ferrari electronic.

Complete integration into the cloud

Cloud solutions are flexible, grow rapidly, and are always up to date in terms of functionality and security. Companies want to use this potential for their communications infrastructure. OfficeMaster Suite is compatible with Exchange 2016 and fully integrates with Microsoft 365. In addition, the Office 365 Connector is part of the software that allows employees to easily manage their fax and voice messages in Microsoft Office 365. The connector does not use SMTP connections, which makes faxing particularly secure.

Additional smart UC features

Ferrari electronic combines the communication services that are used and accepted by the employees in a particularly intelligent and smart way. This creates added value for companies. OfficeMaster is the interface to IP communication for Smart Business applications, such as access control and resource management. With OfficeMaster, end users can control building automation using existing communication tools such as email, calendar and chat. Access-control systems can thus be operated via the inbox or the telephone, automatically controlling ventilation or lighting, or booking meeting rooms via a simple calendar entry.

Recording completes the UC solution

Recorded telephone communications are useful in many situations and already well established in some areas where there is a legal requirement to do so; for example, in the financial sector. An EU regulation (MiFID II) even states that: "An investment firm shall arrange for records to be kept of all services, activities and transactions undertaken by it that shall be sufficient to enable the competent authority to fulfil its supervisory tasks and to perform the enforcement actions under this directive, Regulation (EU) No 600/2014, Directive 2014/57/EU and Regulation (EU) No 596/2014, and in particular to ascertain that the investment firm has complied with all obligations including those with respect to clients or potential clients and to the integrity of the market."

Ferrari electronic also offers a flexible solution with the modular system OfficeMaster CallRecording. It consists of various measuring instruments and powerful recording software. Telephone calls and telephone data are recorded easily and legally on the users' own premises, and by using their own communication solution. Thanks to the various real-time functions and the 'call-browser', the handling and administration of the recordings is particularly easy. The security of sensitive recordings ensures password protection and encrypted storage.

UC solutions from Ferrari electronic open up many opportunities. Whether it's hardware or software, Ferrari electronic's high standard of quality makes long-lasting solutions from which companies profit in three ways. You receive a powerful, comprehensive package, which covers all channels of modern business communication and bundles for greater efficiency. You also enjoy high investment protection, and you can rely on continuous development and a comprehensive service.

Office 365: work-flow optimisation.