Deliver Your News to the World

BT and Cisco deliver on cloud vision with launch of pioneering hosted unified communications service


BT and Cisco announced today they have deepened their longstanding collaboration by a breakthrough in unified communications (UC), with the launch of a global “cloud” based IPT solution from BT’s Onevoice UCC portfolio. Together, the two companies are launching a scalable, business-grade, global hosted IP Telephony service, which allows businesses to dramatically reduce upfront investment costs whilst accelerating the adoption of UC on a global scale. BT is engaging closely with Cisco Services to build the underlying virtualised infrastructure for service delivery.

The hosted IP telephony service represents the world’s first global offering based on Cisco® Hosted UC services as the platform for collaborative voice communications. It allows businesses to bring converged voice, mobile and data services to every desktop in their organisation, using BT and Cisco’s cloud computing-based technologies. Companies that are tightly managing their capital expenditure will be able to take a first step into converged communications by consuming their IP telephony, voicemail, conferencing and unified messaging technologies on a utility-based, per-user pricing model.

Available now in the UK, the hosted IPT service from BT will also be available to businesses in the United States and EMEA in 2010 followed by Asia Pacific. Businesses will be able to benefit from having all their UC needs hosted over BT’s next generation 21CN global platform and secure data centres. Coupled with BT’s Onevoice services, BT can rapidly deploy services to both large and small sites, offering significant call savings as well as operational predictability.

Chris Barnard, European Telecommunications and Networking Research Director at analyst firm IDC, said: “The current macroeconomic climate favours hosted IP telephony. The service is based on an operating expenditure model and offers the flexibility, low risk, and cost control now required by companies facing an uncertain future.”
One BT customer, which has already been using the service in the UK, is the National Health Service’s national broadband network, N3.

N3 connects more than 1.3 million UK health sector employees and is using BT Hosted IPT technology, which it calls N3 Hosted Voice Services, to provide free on-network calls and considerably cheaper mobile phone connections between medical sites.

Dr Inderjit Marok, Practice head at Rotton Park Medical Centre in Birmingham, said: “N3 Hosted Voice Service has enabled us to make considerable savings, which pretty much offsets the cost of renting the required IP phones. So we have an all new system at no extra cost, while we are saving around 20 per cent against our previous call bills.”

Neil Sutton, vice president, global portfolio, BT Global Services, said: “Businesses today typically have multiple, fragmented, disparate IT and telephony infrastructures that restrict effective communication. BT and Cisco’s collaboration on this innovative, cloud-based unified communications system will help businesses reduce capital expenditure in this difficult time, while giving them the ability to introduce productivity enhancing tools.”

Chris Dedicoat, president of Cisco Europe, said: “Cisco and BT are deepening our established collaboration today to introduce a truly transformational unified communications solution delivered through the cloud at a compelling price point. We believe this new hosted offering will help accelerate our combined ability to bring the benefits of unified communications to more customers globally.”

Notes to editors:

The breakthrough BT Hosted IPT service delivers a range of features, advantages and benefits, including:

* Businesses will be able to free up valuable IT resources to focus on strategic business priorities, whilst retaining the ability to quickly switch-on new productivity-enhancing collaborative communications technologies, such as application sharing, messaging and conferencing.
* The hosted service handles the upgrades, maintenance and investment costs associated with managing IP telephony and other information technology in-house.
* BT is also able to blend hosted IP telephony with existing legacy and IP voice infrastructures, allowing customers to benefit from significant cost savings immediately, whilst maximising their existing telephony investments.
* The service provides business-grade call quality delivered over BT’s world leading Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network and will enable businesses to securely and predictably resource their fixed and flexible workforce with the latest collaboration tools.
* BT Hosted IPT uses the Cisco Unified Communications system of products that unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks.
* BT Hosted IPT also offers a feature-rich Web portal for companies to manage their communications estate and handle day-to-day administrative tasks. The web portal also helps IT teams to reconfigure users’ phones, set up phones for new members of staff and manage name and number displays.
* Extension mobility features mean that hot desk users in businesses can log in at any phone and have their full profile and settings available, anywhere in the world. Companies will only have to deal with one supplier, one bill and one helpdesk when managing their telephony and unified communications needs.

Video: Nick Earle, SVP, Cisco Services, European Markets discusses the collaboration with BT.


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.