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Verizon to offer cloud-based unified communications

Stephen Lawson | Feb. 28, 2011
Verizon is getting set to offer its customers unified communications services that can include presence information, instant messaging, videoconferencing and fixed-mobile call handoffs through a Cisco Systems-based cloud infrastructure.

In time, Cisco's Cius tablet also will play a role in UCCaaS, according to Verizon. The Cius was announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January and is scheduled to ship in March with Verizon Wireless as its first carrier partner.

One thing Verizon learned from its trials of UCCaaS was how much enterprises want to customize their UC deployments, Mackintosh said. For example, they want to integrate the UC software with the applications they use in-house and control upgrades to the software used in the platform. UCCaaS will give them that kind of control, she said.

Getting UC as a service can help enterprises both to save money and to fine-tune their UC implementations, according to analyst Cindy Whelan of Current Analysis.

"Verizon can make applications available to the enterprise that they only need for a subset of their employees," Whelan said.

Whelan thinks some enterprises will try out cloud-based unified communications and may move from in-house systems to the cloud in phases. IT managers may not want to stake their jobs on the reliability of Verizon's service as opposed to in-house systems they can control themselves, she said.

The fixed-to-mobile handoff capability is likely to be one of the most popular features among enterprises, Whelan said. She thinks the Mobile UC dock will be adopted first in industry sectors where employees spend a lot of their time moving around the workplace, such as manufacturing and health care.

 

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