Cloud-Based Unified Communications – Data Center Knowledge

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The Enterprise Connect conference kicked off Monday in Orlando, Florida and all of the big names in communications were there to discuss unified communications, managing mobile in the enterprise, and advances in communication technology.   There are plenty of outlets to track the buzz coming out of the conference, with over a dozen press releases issued on Monday alone, the updates from the No Jitter blogs, the EnterpriseCon twitter account, or the conference hashtag of enterprisecon.  Skype has an event page for the conference as well to track all of the conversations, events and interviews.

Verizon’s Cloud-Based UC

Verizon Business (VZ) introduced new capabilities that enhance and advance unified communications and collaboration solutions for businesses and government agencies with Unified Communications and Collaboration-as-a-Service (UC&C) and a Mobile UC Client. The new UC&C capabilities include seamless call transfers from fixed to mobile phones and the use of “presence” technology, such as instant messaging, to initiate audio, web and intra-company video conference calls both in and out of the office. Verizon’s UC&C combines applications from the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution within Verizon’s high-IQ network and data center infrastructure to quickly and cost-effectively provide UC&C capabilities to multiple employees across an enterprise. Pricing will be on a per-user basis since the applications reside in the cloud and businesses can activate employee subscriptions to some or all of the available services as needed. Later in the year Verizon will deliver a hybrid solution, also based on a per-seat subscription, for customers that still require a fully dedicated environment and want both a cloud and premises based solution.

Verizon Business also announced a Mobile UC Client, designed to extend business telephony solutions to mobile handsets. It is available with a docking station that enables workers to replace their traditional desk phone with a single mobile device that can access advanced UC&C features, whether workers are in or away the office.

The two new offerings will be available to U.S. customers this spring.

XO Launches Cloud-Based Communications

At the Enterprise Connect conference XO Communications launched XO Enterprise Cloud Communications as a highly scalable, enterprise-grade, IP communications service that allows businesses to accelerate the deployment of IP and unified communications, simplify the management of their IP communications needs, and dramatically reduce the capital investments and operating costs of their enterprise-wide communications. Businesses managing enterprise communications can utilize the new service as a way to integrate IP telephony features, local and long distance calling, enterprise-wide HD voice and video, network services, and IP phone sets in a per-user pricing model.

“XO Enterprise Cloud Communications represents the next evolution of our award-winning IP communications portfolio which today supports 30,000 business customers and more than one million end users,” said Mike Toplisek, chief marketing officer for XO Business Services at XO Communications. “This solution is ideal for mid-market businesses and larger enterprises with distributed operations by helping them solve important business issues of controlling costs, improving employee productivity and increasing their competitiveness in the market.”

Global Crossing Communications as a Service

Global Crossing (GLBC) introduced Communications as a Service (CaaS), the first phase of its network-centric, cloud-based solution set.  It provide an on-demand, “pay-as-you-grow” set of capabilities that simplify a business’s audio conferencing experience from multiple services to a single-service, cloud-based model. As an enterprise custom-communications platform it combines Global Crossing’s IP Virtual Private Network, Session Initiated Protocol Trunking, and Ready Access hosted audio conferencing services.

“Global Crossing CaaS is integral to our global cloud solution strategy,” said Anthony Christie, chief technology and information officer for Global Crossing.  “It is a logical extension of our competency in IP networking and collaboration, and addresses the needs of today’s businesses that want to take advantage of network-centric cloud services, while reaping the benefits of a higher quality experience and more simplistic per-seat pricing model.  In subsequent releases we’ll enhance CaaS to include video, telephony and IT services, including Instant Messaging, presence and email.”

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