New Branching Breakthrough

Updated: January 07, 2011

OpenSpace Branch, a new product from Siemens Enterprise Corporation, represents a step forward in branch solutions technology. This new program is offered as part of the fourth release of Siemens Enterprise’s OpenSpace Voice program.
Like many other branch solutions programs, OpenSpace Branch claims to offer “scalable, feature-rich communications for cost-conscious customers with multiple branch offices.”

Unlike other programs, however, OpenSpace Branch also offers a new level of convenience to its users by incorporating SIP trunking. This approach, made possible by the recent deployment of services by AT&T and other carriers, shortcuts the traditional PSTN/IP gateway or network system used by most branch solutions.

OpenSpace Branch can connect anywhere from 50 to 6,000 users, depending on the version, through the same management system used by OpenSpace Voice, and uses IBM or Fujitsu-Siemens server systems. It comes in two different configurations, one inside a corporate WAN and one over an external WAN, which is useful for cloud/branch deployments. The program also comes with proxy, a Session Border Controller (SBC) functionality, and security functions including firewall and Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to address any security issues. Thanks to SIP trunking, these functions no longer need to be provided externally.

OpenSpace Branch requires an extra WAN bandwidth because it lacks a media server in the traditional gateway. As a result, all tones, announcements, and large conferences are unavailable when the branch is in isolation mode. A local media server is provided to reduce the bandwidth needed to trunk these resources back to the main data center’s media servers. Most attractive to customers, however, is OpenSpace Branch’s ability to connect customers directly to the branch from SIP carriers.

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