Verizon Business will hold trials of a hosted unified communications package based on Cisco technology, including its UCS. The offering will provide businesses with UC applications through a cloud computing environment.
Verizon Business is about to launch customer field tests of a hosted unified
communications service based on a new offering from Cisco Systems.
The two-month trials, which will begin in July, will give
businesses an alternative to on-premises UC solutions by delivering services via
the cloud, according to Verizon Business officials.
Verizon and Cisco made the announcement June 30 at the Cisco
Live conference in Las Vegas.
"Our customers are eager to put cloud-based unified
communications to the test," Anthony Recine, vice president of networking
and communications solutions for Verizon Business, said in a statement.
Participants in the trials include a multinational auto
manufacturer, a women's fashion retailer and a state government agency, Verizon
The announcement of Verizon's cloud-based UC trials came the
same day that Cisco unveiled its Hosted Collaboration Solution, a program that
enables partners-including service providers and integrators-to take Cisco products
and offer them to their customers in a cloud computing environment.
Hosted Collaboration Solution is based on hosted communications
services that Cisco already offers its customers, and on its UCS (Unified
), an all-in-one, highly virtualized data center package
that includes server, networking, storage and management software. Using UCS, Cisco partners can offer multiple
customers a range of hosted services from a single server that is housed in the
partner's data center.
According to Cisco, this gives service providers and
integrators another key service they can offer their customers, and end users a
UC environment in which all the applications are hosted off-site and they pay
only for what they use.
"Through the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution, Cisco is
enabling our partners to provide cloud-based solutions that offer unmatched
levels of flexibility for their customers," Barry O'Sullivan, senior vice
president of Cisco's Voice Technology Group, said in a statement.
A growing number of vendors, including Cisco, Qwest
Siemens Enterprise Communications and BT,
are offering hosted UC solutions.
Verizon officials say the trial program of the Cisco Hosted
Collaboration Solution is another step in their efforts to deliver all Cisco's
solutions through a cloud-based model, which they call EAAS, or
The services are delivered from Verizon's data centers to
enterprises over the service provider's IP network and offer built-in security
through managed and professional services, Verizon said.
Businesses are looking for ways to converge their voice, video
and IP communications traffic on a single network for greater manageability,
energy efficiency and usability, and UC solutions offer that capability. It
also becomes increasingly important as more workers become mobile.
In February, IDC said the
number of mobile workers worldwide will reach almost 1.2 billion by the end of
2010, due in large part to growing corporate interest in UC.
Cisco said its offering will enable service providers like
Verizon to provide customers with a wide range of Cisco communications
technologies, including Unified Communications Manager, Unified
Unified Mobility, Unified Presence, Unity Connection and WebEx
Cisco officials said they will add to that list in the future.