AT&T is now extending voice-over-IP services to enterprise VPN customers. The carrier's VOIP portfolio is designed to be compatible with various IP-PBX systems, including Microsoft's.
Customers of AT&T's VPN can now take advantage of voice-over-IP services
over the network cloud, according to the carrier.
The converged offering, AT&T announced Aug. 24, will enable customers to
consolidate voice and data networks, reduce equipment and maintenance costs, and
ultimately take advantage of new applications as they become available.
"Voice service is as mission-critical for businesses today as it's ever
been, and customers expect their VOIP service to perform as well as their
traditional telephone service," Shawn Conroy, AT&T vice president of
Business Solutions, said in a statement. "Adding voice to the network
cloud gives customers the ability to determine their optimal level of security,
architecture, cost and performance objectives-key differentiators for
AT&T's VOIP calling plans include unlimited local, "on-net"
long-distance and "off-net" long-distance international calling, as
well as more traditional calling features, such as caller ID, voice mail, local
number porting, e-911 and conferencing.
Its VOIP services include IP Flexible Research, a SIP (Session Initiation
Protocol) trunking service that enables businesses to continue enjoying the
capabilities of their existing IP-PBX systems to optimize their equipment
investment, and Voice DNA, a fully hosted
network-based service with various applications and management tools. AT&T's
VOIP portfolio is certified for compatibility with popular IP-PBX offerings,
such as "SIP
trunking services qualified for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007
R2," AT&T said in a statement.
VPN networks offer enterprises a secure way to connect various offices with
remote workers and third parties such as suppliers or customers, and VOIP
services can complement these capabilities.
AT&T officials added that the service "uses data and analytics from
call handling, routing, congestion and performance to detect and manage
services proactively for optimized availability. This intelligence is coupled
with specific routing capabilities that are layered on top of basic IP routing
to provide quality of service and improved performance."
AT&T's VPN technology, which is built on MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching)
architecture, is currently offered in 163 countries.
Earlier in summer 2010, AT&T competitor Barracuda
Networks introduced a line of VPN and security offerings with a particular
emphasis on features appealing to small-business customers.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.