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Fujitsu Rolls Out Cloud-Based UC Solution

With the ECS Connect offering, Fujitsu joins a growing number of UC vendors that are taking their solutions to the cloud.

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Fujitsu is moving into the highly competitive cloud-based unified communications space with an offering aimed at larger companies that can scale to more than 100,000 users.

Fujitsu's Cloud Enterprise Communication Service (ECS) Connect offers a range of communications capabilities, from instant messaging and presence to audio and visual calling and desktop sharing, according to the company. It also supports a wide variety of Microsoft solutions, such as Lync, Exchange, SharePoint and Office 365.

The vendor is looking to make it easier for users to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers in any form they want and on any device, according to David Berry, executive vice president of Infrastructure Services at Fujitsu America.

"Our collaboration with Microsoft and other partners to provide cloud-hosted UC solutions empowers our customers with instant collaboration, from a desktop or handheld device," Berry said in a statement.

Fujitsu is joining a growing number of vendors looking to expand their unified communications (UC) capabilities into the cloud. Trends such as increased worker mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and cloud computing are putting pressure on businesses to enable their employees to collaborate from anywhere at any time and on any device. Workers want to have the same experience on their smartphones and tablets as they do on their office phone and room-based video conferencing systems.

Most UC vendors—from Cisco Systems and Microsoft to ShoreTel, Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent and Mitel—are addressing those demands with cloud-based UC solutions. According to market research firm Frost and Sullivan, the hosted IP telephony and unified communications and collaboration market—which includes UC as a service (UCaaS)—in North America will grow to $13.2 billion by 2020, increasing at an annual rate of 28.4 percent.

Fujitsu officials said the company's ECS Connect solution is aimed at enterprises with at least 1,500 users and that may need to scale in the future. Through the solution's voice features, users can send and receive phones calls from a range of devices, including mobile phones, soft phones, PCs, tablets and desk phones. By offering it as a hosted solution, Fujitsu makes it easier for businesses with a range workplace systems and devices to offer a streamline collaboration environment that can span geographies and enable both planned and ad hoc meetings, they said.