UC news roundup: Thinking Phone Networks in EMEA, Level 3 adds to portfolio, ShoreTel's new phone

Several news highlights today: Thinking Phone Networks has extended its cloud-based UC solution to target enterprises in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Level 3 has launched its Carrier Cloud Voice solution as a wholesale offer to CLECS, cable operators, telcos and wireless carriers. Meanwhile, ShoreTel has launched a new DECT phone and upgraded its system management capabilities.

Thinking Phone Networks already offers a cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS) in North America serving more than 4,000 enterprise customers. The company is expanding into the EMEA region, offering applications such as spanning IP voice, mobility, video, analytics, presence, messaging, contact center and conferencing. The new regional headquarters will be located in Amsterdam and headed up by Ronald Rubens, who has held executive positions with Avaya, CosmoCom and NEC. Commenting in a statement, Steve Kokinos, president and CEO of Thinking Phone Networks, said, "Global demand for cloud communications services is increasing, particularly in the EMEA region."

[ BACKGROUND: Thinking Phone finds success with UC approach ]

Level 3 Communications has launched a Carrier Cloud Voice solution designed to help service providers to simplify from voice services delivered to business and residential broadband subscribers. Through a teaming agreement with Alianza, a leader in cloud-based voice platforms, Level 3 is providing a complete outsourced voice solution for service providers that are looking for ways to add voice but avoid significant upfront investment and ongoing operational costs.

Commenting about the Level 3 offer, Cindy Whelan, principal analyst at Current Analysis, said in a statement, "Level 3's carrier cloud voice solution is an attractive hosted VoIP platform enabling communications providers to accelerate the time to market while avoiding onerous capital investment costs and minimizing the operating costs associated with operating a carrier-grade voice service."

In other news, ShoreTel's new DECT phone, the ShoreTel IP 930D, is designed to meet the needs of users who want a full telephony feature set along with in-building roaming capabilities. The phone delivers the full feature set of ShoreTel IP desk phones, such as enterprise directory access and multiple line appearances.

ShoreTel also announced that its latest diagnostic and monitoring capabilities have been enhanced for ShoreTel's Web-based system management application, ShoreTel Director. The diagnostics and monitoring interface is designed to provide system visibility with relevant information in an easy-to-use format; related performance reports can be generated from any location using a PC, Mac or iPad.

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