Almost since the inception of the Internet, organizations have attempted to connect disparate “islands” of enterprise communication platforms and networks. Historically it has been a mammoth endeavor to create seamless interoperability between different providers’ platforms, and every time an enterprise service provider launches a new protocol or standard it gets more complicated — until the creation of gateway technology. As the technology landscape becomes more diverse, with protocols that do not necessarily play well with each other, gateway solutions have become critical in aligning the workforce and keeping communications flowing. Gateway technology provides a “bridge” between collaboration tools and IoT devices, in the cloud, and it is a necessity for organizations to survive and thrive. 

One of the most pressing situations in which a gateway solution is needed is in the migration to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams dominates the UC&C marketplace as a single, unified solution blending voice, video, and content-sharing, and it is a core part of many organizations’ digital transformation strategies. When Microsoft Teams is combined with sophisticated elements like the Surface Hub, complex boardrooms and Meeting Rooms, it can dramatically transform and unify the workplace. However, the challenge is how to create interoperability between Microsoft Teams and all of these components. What is the best way to integrate Surface Hubs or other collaboration tools in a Microsoft Teams roll-out, and how do you manage any incompatibilities with existing UC&C applications, desktop and web clients, and personal devices? Gateway technology provides the answer to this question.

Many organizations are still not aware of gateway technology and might think that adopting Microsoft Teams would require a rip-and-replace of part or all of their current technology – something that is both costly and time-consuming. Decision-makers can be hesitant to move forward with a solution that is incompatible with their current collaboration estate and existing investments. One common scenario is that an organization (unaware of gateway technology) decides to implement Microsoft Teams separately from other network components. This approach creates a siloed network comprised of technology islands mentioned above, which operate independently but do not have gateways to one another. The result – another independently functioning platform that misses out on the potential advantages of direct integration with Microsoft Teams.

Gateway technology clears a migration path for Microsoft Teams, including all of the accompanying AV factors. By creating a bridge between diverse protocols or standards, gateways eliminate the need to rip out any existing collaboration equipment or silo scenarios, providing seamless interoperability between different technology platform providers. 

Gateway technology in general is evolving every day with new platforms — Microsoft and Cisco are developing solutions to simplify interoperability between Microsoft Teams Rooms and Cisco Webex Rooms. Organizations are starting to implement gateways within multiple aspects of their digital workplace and workflow, including in physical spaces.

The key to wise investments in gateway technology is determining how the implementation between different protocols or standards impacts the overall collaboration strategy. It is wise for enterprises to work with a Managed Services Provider with expertise in integrating gateway technology, specifically within digital workplace enterprise transformation. For Microsoft Teams integrations, a Certified Microsoft Partner with expertise in integrating Microsoft Teams will best understand the nuances of integrating gateways within the entire Microsoft environment. 

While gateway technology doesn’t always get the same buzz as the latest collaboration platforms, it plays a critical role in workplace infrastructure, acting as the oil in the engine of a Modern Workplace for its Modern Worker and maximizing an organization’s technology investments. Learn how Yorktel can help maximize your investments in collaboration infrastructure with a Gateway service.

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