Verizon Adds To Its Hosted IP Centrex Service - InformationWeek

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Software // Information Management

Verizon Adds To Its Hosted IP Centrex Service

At VoiceCon, the company announced its new Integrated Communications Package, which lets employees push incoming office calls to a mobile phone or voice mail.

Verizon on Tuesday introduced a new unified communications service it developed to connect office phones to e-mail, Lotus Sametime instant messaging, and voice mail.

Available for customers of its Hosted IP Centrex business, the Integrated Communication Package uses a graphic interface where employees can point and click to decide how they'd like to keep in touch. For example, if they want to be reached by phone and they aren't near an office phone or computer, Integrated Communications Package can instantly direct incoming phone calls to other modes of communication.

The services can be used on a Web-based interface or run in conjunction with a standalone desktop client and Microsoft Outlook plug-in. The Administrative Console provides a Web-based tool to the corporate administrator for near-real-time service control and management, Verizon said.

Verizon's portfolio of VoIP services currently consists of five product offerings: IP Flexible T1 (available only in the United States), IP Integrated Access, IP Trunking, Hosted IP Centrex, and Managed IP PBX.

The Integrated Communication Package is expected to be available to U.S.-based Hosted IP Centrex customers beginning next month, with plans to expand internationally later this year.

As the service evolves, future plans include integrating it with Verizon Business' portfolio of advanced audio, Net and videoconferencing services, and contact center services, Verizon said.

The news was well received at the VoiceCon show in San Francisco, which runs through Thursday.

"Integrated Communication Package is a good first step in adding unified communications features to its Hosted IP Centrex service," said Current Analysis senior analyst Cindy Whelan. "Small to medium enterprises are the target market for everyone from small, independent carriers to the [regional Bell operating companies], and every day seems to bring yet another player or service into this space. Verizon Business is providing its customers with the contact management, calling features, and collaboration tools that these businesses need to operate efficiently and be competitive in today's mobile, distributed work environment."

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