• United States

AT&T goes the bundling route for business VoIP and IP services

Feb 08, 20062 mins

* AT&T announces services for businesses

At its analyst conference last week, the new AT&T (which combines the “old” AT&T with SBC) made some announcements about its business VoIP and IP services.

First, the company announced it would no longer be promoting the former-SBC Hosted IP Communication Service (HIPCS) to new business accounts, although the company will support enterprises that already subscribe to HIPCS. For new accounts that want network-based VoIP, AT&T will offer its Voice DNA (Dynamic Network Applications) service, announced last May. AT&T also plans to continue its premise-based VoIP solutions offered in partnership with PBX/IP-PBX and PBX gateway suppliers.

The AT&T DNA portfolio is set to expand to include Conferencing DNA with audio, video, and Web conferencing as well as Collaboration DNA with managed/hosted Microsoft Exchange, managed/hosted Microsoft Live Communications Server (LCS), and Microsoft SharePoint. AT&T maintains more than 30 Internet data centers worldwide that can be used for DNA and other hosted applications.

The company also announced that, while it will continue to offer its CallVantage VoIP service to consumers and small business, it plans to take the DNA services “down-market” with targeted packaging designed for small and midsize businesses. It also plans to offer its remote-worker VoIP later this year.

In addition to the network-based DNA services, the company announced plans to bundle business voice services with an AT&T-branded and supported wireless voice plans later this year. The “old SBC’s” unified messaging system is set for enhancements, providing customers with integrated voice mail across multiple voice offerings including Voice DNA, wireline and wireless services.

One of the key advantages to AT&T’s product decision is that the Voice DNA services can be managed by systems administrators and end-users using AT&T’s industry leading Web-portal (called BusinessDirect) that provides customers direct reporting and control data. And DNA services can also be bundled with other AT&T services, including its managed security and managed LAN services.

Sounds to us like many network-based application and bundling options – something that benefits customers who want to reduce complexity and the service providers who want to continue offering value-added solutions to their customer base.