Verizon Adds Audio Conferencing to Its UC&C Portfolio
Verizon Enterprise Solutions today announced the launch of cloud-connected audio as part of its Cisco-powered unified communications and collaboration services.
In an interview with me yesterday, Frank Ciccone, head of the global advanced communications practice at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said the service is enabled by a bridge integrated into WeEx. Traditionally, he explained, service providers built their own audio bridges, but that created integration challenges and the quality in the end wasn’t always great.
By using the Cisco platform for UC&C, he said, Verizon can offer a variety of capabilities that are top quality and consistent across the globe in terms of experience. Verizon’s relationship with Cisco also allows the company to keep up with all the latest revisions, he added.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions first rolled out the Cisco-enabled UC&C solutions in the U.S., then in the EMEA countries, and Asia launched a couple months ago. Now the company is adding new features, such as this cloud-connected audio piece.
In addition to the cloud-connected audio, Verizon Enterprise Solutions offers WebEx, including Collaboration Meeting Rooms, a feature within WebEx that allows different standards-based video endpoints to collaborate/federate; and UCaaS, which includes an open API for integration with third-party applications like Salesforce. Verizon is leveraging its own MPLS service, and mobile networks to provide the underlying infrastructure.
The Verizon service UCCaaS Mobile First enables users to boost the audio and video performance of the Cisco Jabber mobile unified communications client application on Verizon’s 4G LTE network for a high quality experience. Cisco Jabber enables users to make and receive voice and HD video calls and access other tools such as instant messaging and WebEx conferencing on their preferred device, whether it is a Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet.
Mobile and video are both central components of what Verizon is delivering on the UC&C front, as people are increasingly working remotely and from mobile devices, and videoconferencing can help them keep in touch with their co-workers and partners. In the press release Verizon issued today it noted that 53 percent of business leaders surveyed said connected work has increased significantly in the past three years, and is expected to remain important going forward.
Ciccone referred to the enterprise-level UC&C space as a two-horse race, in which Cisco and Microsoft are the two key players. Both provide very good solutions, he said, but Verizon picked Cisco because they’re “just very partner friendly.”
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere