Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vanderbilt University and NextPlane Federation Server

Learn how Vanderbilt University, which currently uses two different unified communication platforms, Google Apps for its students and Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) for faculty, uses NextPlane Federation Server to enable students and faculty to share presence, IM, participate in multi-party chat and make voice calls across systems.

NextPlane provides enterprise-class federation solutions for unified communication (UC) platforms, enabling organizations to run multiple UC platforms such as Google Apps and Google Talk, as well as Microsoft OCS, IBM Sametime, Cisco Jabber XCP, Jive OpenFire, and AOL.

Here Farzin Shahidi, CEO of NextPlane, talks about helping organizations share the same domain name across two or more federated UC platforms.

We see a lot of organizations running Google Apps while also using Microsoft OCS in a different part of their organization. These situations can be tricky if the organization wants to federate both platforms as well as use the same domain name for all facets and members of their organization.

One example of such an organization is Vanderbilt University, which runs Google Apps for its students and Microsoft OCS for faculty. Vanderbilt’s dual UC platform environment created a situation in which it couldn’t maintain a single domain name for all members of the Vanderbilt community. In light of this challenge, Vanderbilt turned to NextPlane.

Organizations use NextPlane Federation Server or the NextPlane Federation Cloud service to federate multiple disparate UC platforms so their end users can work together as if they were served by the same UC, sharing presence, IM, participating in multi-party chat and making voice calls.

Prior to installing NextPlane, if on Microsoft OCS wrote to on Google Apps (or vice versa), the message would never make it to its destination because the outbound server would never route the message beyond its local domain.

Vanderbilt used NextPlane to federate the two systems without causing a domain locality problem. Unlike federation gateways, the NextPlane Federation Server enables the two UC platforms to differentiate between local traffic and federated traffic even if they use the same domain name.

Now that they use NextPlane the faculty on OCS and the students on Google Apps can communicate directly and use the same domain name.