Sprint Teams with Cisco, IBM, Microsoft on UC

Sprint is touting partnerships with vendors such as Microsoft, IBM and Cisco as a way of pushing forward its unified communications efforts. Sprint officials say the partnerships are bringing together technological capabilities from all parties to enhance UC offerings for customers looking to streamline their wired and wireless communications. Sprint has saved $6 million annually by implementing a UC program, officials say.

Sprint is expanding its reach into the unified communications field.

The wireless network giant May 11 outlined the capabilities of its offering and touted its partnerships with Cisco Systems, IBM and Microsoft.

The collaborations are bringing together Sprint's Global MPLS network; SIP Trunking, which enables VOIP (voice over IP) on the MPLS network; and Mobile Integration, which allows users to integrate their Sprint CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) with the UC environment and with the other vendors' U.S. products.

Sprint's Mobile Integration and SIP Trunking are now offered with Cisco's Unified Communications Manager and IBM's Sametime Unified Telephony product to create a platform for fixed and mobile employees. Sprint's SIP Trunking services also can be used with Microsoft's Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2.

Click here to read about how Sprint is cranking up its WiMax deployments.

Paget Alves, president of Sprint's Business Markets Group-which is spearheading the company's UC strategy-said creating UC capabilities is important for the company's converged solutions plans.

"Our customers operate in a complex environment, but they need just the opposite in their communications experience," Alves said in a statement. "We are converging wireless and wire-line technologies into an unprecedented user experience that is fully mobile, flexible, feature-rich, simplified and cost-efficient. We're not talking about something that's years away. Unified communications ... can bring immediate benefits in the form of a competitive advantage for businesses combined with the opportunity to better manage costs in a recessionary environment."

Sprint officials said the company has saved $6 million by using unified communications technology internally.