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News and analysis of developments in the enterprise communication industry and market with primary focus on Europe.

The author aims to tap into ideas, insights and thoughts of the readers to get varied perspectives.

Views expressed in this blog are solely the author's opinion and in no way reflect those of his employer.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Carrier Hosted UC

In a move that could potentially shape the future infrastructure deployment scenario within SMBs, Innovative Communication Alliance (ICA) formed between Nortel and Microsoft has announced its intent to offer carrier hosted converged office solutions to small and medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises.

It is believed that service providers will begin customer trials during H2, 2007 with GA released by end of 2007.

Hosted telephony solutions have gained some traction in the market. Forecasts suggests 15% of all enterprise telephony shipments in Europe could be non-premise by 2010. Despite the growth rate, non-premise deployments would still constitute a very small percentage in terms of installed base. The primary challenges associated with hosting have been credibility, reliability, richness of the solution and quality of service.

Nortel-Microsoft's entry into the market will alleviate the restraint around credibility. The new carrier hosted converged office solutions include e-mail, instant messaging, VoIP, click-to-call, video conferencing and other multimedia services. We have experienced mature network based E-mail, IM, video conferencing services. However, most of them are disparate and are consumer grade. Network based click-to-call is yet to be very popular. The case for network based VoIP is quite similar to hosted VoIP.

I reckon that with adquate security framework, asset management policies, flexible but robus process and binding SLAs, these services can add tremendous business value. Carriers on the other hand will be able to derive greater value from their existing network investments and resources.

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