Verizon integrates conferencing with instant messaging

* Verizon Business is integrating Verizon Conferencing with popular instant messaging services

Verizon Business announced last week that it is integrating Verizon Conferencing with popular instant messaging services, including IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Communications and Collaboration; Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005; and the Cisco Jabber XCP. Using the feature, enterprise and governmental organizations will be able to immediately initiate conference calls via instant messaging (IM) applications

In the company’s statement, Verizon noted it is one of the first global service providers to offer such a service. Jim Tyrrell, vice president of global business voice solutions for Verizon, said in the statement: "These capabilities help organizations to make the most of their existing work tools like instant messaging and calendar applications.”

The new tools are available immediately in the United States, and are planned for rollout internationally later this year, “along with Verizon audio and net conferencing integration with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007,” according to the company.

Brian Washburn, Research Director for Network Services at Current Analysis, said that “Verizon Business' new conferencing plug-ins for messaging clients may be relatively simple from a software application standpoint, but they also reflect more network intelligence.” Washburn continued, “Some industry observers are hastening to declare the death of conventional hosted audio conferencing at the hands of new unified communications platforms. But carrier-hosted conferencing and collaboration can scale and accommodate incoming users in ways that unified communications built around messaging application servers cannot, which guarantees that conventional audio conferencing will not go away anytime soon.”

We also point out that click-to-call and click-to-conference from an IM application is nothing new in many premise-based systems, but the fact that Verizon is hosting the feature and giving the customer options across so many supplier platforms is commendable.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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