Sprint and Cisco are launching a cloud-based unified communications bundle for large enterprises. It's the first of several cloud initiatives Sprint will launch this year.
partner Cisco Systems, is launching its first major cloud initiativeand the
first of several cloud-based services the carrier says it has planned for this
year. Powered by Cisco's Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS)
, Sprint Complete Collaboration is a hosted, fully managed
unified communications (UC) bundle that allows IT departments to deploy a
communications platform across an all-IP network to all employees, regardless
of where they are and the devices they are using.
Geared toward Sprint's larger business customers
it's now offered on a per-seat basis. The carrier officially announced its new
UC platform March 26.
builds on our legacy as a managed voice provider; we've offered PBXs for as
long as we've been in business," Mike McRoberts, Sprint's director of
convergence product management, told eWEEK
explaining that Sprint's customers nudged it toward the offering.
were saying, We want the benefits of what can come through a UC investment,
and we want Sprint to provide a complete service offering, McRoberts added.
We stepped back and said that makes sense.
Complete Collaboration includes IP and video telephony, integrated messaging,
collaboration tools, user endpoints, enhanced mobile integration and
connectivity through Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking. An SIP trunk
connects traditional phone lines to an IP solution, inside or outside an
enterprise; while extra in some solutions, it's included here, helping to offer
a seamless experience across all mobile operating systems and endpoints.
said McRoberts, also addresses the trend of increasingly remote workers and
bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies
. Users can download the client
to laptops, tablets and smartphonesregardless of the carrier or if it's a
personal device or company-owned.
really gives users the capability of having a seamless experience, whether
they're working out of a traditional office, in a hotel room, in an airport, at
home or wherever," said McRoberts. "It will also deliver a lower
total cost of ownership because of the flexibility we're enabling. It frees up
IT organizations from the mess traditionally having to do with the PBX. They
can buy this as a service and let Sprint make sure it works in a tactical way
for the user community."
Sprint is the
first Cisco customer to market an HCS-powered solution that includes enhanced
mobility and SIP trunking in a fully managed bundle that enables complete
is the only hosted UC solution to offer both client and network-based mobile
integration for a simplified, richer mobile user experience," according to
Sprint. It added that the solution also helps to "ensure business
continuity and disaster recovery, while reducing costs through LEC [Local Exchange
Carrier] elimination and more efficient trunking."
Collaboration will be offered in three versions:
Centric: This is designed for employees mostly needing call management and
basic UC functions.
Offering more true UC capabilities, this packages all voice features with
enhanced collaboration through instant messaging, presence and desktop
sharing. It's integrated with the Jabber client, and while Microsoft
Office isn't offered, it's compatible with it.
Geared for very on-the-go executives or remote workers, this version
includes voice features, collaboration tools, mobile presence and support
for a wide range of user endpoints.
customers have been testing the beta version of the solution. McRoberts noted
several customers believe a cloud-based UC platform can help them free up extra
IT resources and "keep their focus on higher value-added projects and
really rally to move the needle."
As for the
Sprint network, McRoberts added, "We're promising customers a
congestion-free experience and backing it up with [service-level agreements].
We encourage you to load it up with traffic."