AT&T offers 'UC as a service' to enterprise customers

AT&T is now offering cloud-based unified communications to its enterprise customers, adding to its existing portfolio of hosted VoIP services (with Voice DNA) and other managed UC services. AT&T UC Services are embedded in the AT&T managed network, offering accessibility to multiple device types regardless of location. The service allows seamless transfers such as those between devices like sessions between a PC and compatible mobile devices; or transfers between communications applications such as switching from an IM chat to a phone call, or to a Web or video conference.

AT&T UC Services have two major components: AT&T Unified Communications Central (UC Central) and AT&T Unified Communications Voice (UC Voice). The voice component offers typical PBX/IP Telephony features supporting IP Phone, video phone and soft phone. Other features include Single Number Reach, Voicemail, Unified Messaging and Presence. AT&T UC Voice can be used both as a stand-alone service or it can be integrated with AT&T UC Central.

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The second component, AT&T UC Central, is a downloadable UC client application for a selection of mobile devices, smart devices and PCs. Among the UC Central features are: single log-on and smooth multi-tasking between communication modes, a consistent user experience across compatible wired and wireless devices, and tight integration with Microsoft Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes.

AT&T's new portfolio leverages the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) platform. The Cisco HCS platform also supports other existing enterprise and other carrier deployments, including those from Orange Business Services, and Verizon Business. For more information on Cisco's HCS, please see our archived newsletter coverage here.

Commenting in a statement, Shawn Conroy, vice president of voice, collaboration and unified communications services, AT&T Business Solutions, said, "With AT&T Unified Communications Services individuals have full access to all of their communications tools at the tips of their fingers. Not only can this service leverage an organization's existing investments to improve business collaboration, it also provides an easy transition from where a customer is today to where they want to be tomorrow without incurring significant capital expenses."

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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