Orange Business Services Offers “Business Together as a Service Microsoft”

Alcatel-Lucent announces new strategy for voice / data over wireless

Orange Business Services announced recently that it has strengthened its unified communications and cloud collaboration solution with Microsoft Lync. The Microsoft Lync-based UC solution is named “Business Together as a Service Microsoft”, and it has been designed for companies with 500 to 5,000 employees.

The new service offers a unified interface with the same look and feel as consumer tools and is integrated with the user’s desktop. Communications features include presence management, telephony, unified messaging, instant messaging, and conferencing services (audio, web and video). The solution provides access via multiple devices such as PC, smartphones, and tablets and can be extended to external parties like customers and suppliers.

Orange Business Services also provides an administration portal with the service so authorized users can create and delete accounts, manage profiles, and allocate phone numbers. Four preconfigured profiles are available depending on users’ needs.

The service is priced on a “pay-as-you-go” basis with monthly fee based both on the user and his profile. The service will be initially available in Europe by June 2015 where the Lync platform is hosted and secured in the company’s data center in Normandy, France.

Orange Business Services has proven expertise and experience in Lync deployment. It lays claim as the first operator to integrate Lync into a managed private cloud, and touts Lync corporate integrations with 700,000 users deployed.

In other news coming out of this week’s Mobile World Congress, Alcatel-Lucent announced its “Wireless Unified Networks” strategy which blends the upload and download capabilities of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies. The approach is, according to the company’s statement designed to “enable higher capacity and give subscribers a more consistent and higher-quality mobile voice, data and video experience in high-traffic or low-signal locations.” This approach can help operators to combine standalone cellular and Wi-Fi networks into one unified wireless network.

With this approach, the Wi-Fi boost uses cellular to enhance the performance of Wi-Fi networks and the Cellular boost uses unlicensed spectrum to enhance the performance of cellular. Combined, they maximize performance for subscribers across both access technologies.

Commenting on the strategy, Mike Schabel, Vice President of Small Cells in Alcatel-Lucent said: “As an industry we have historically treated cellular and Wi-Fi as unique technologies. For example, the industry debates the merits of Voice/Data over Wi-Fi versus Voice/Data over LTE. From a consumer perspective, it should simply be Voice/Data over Wireless. With Wireless Unified Networks, we are excited to be taking the important steps to transform and greatly enhance the user’s wireless experience.”

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