11.17.2010

Verizon Business and Microsoft Expand Strategic Relationship to Heighten Cloud-Based Collaboration

Small and medium-sized businesses increasingly want to tap the same kinds of advanced collaboration tools as large enterprises, but often are restrained by limited IT budgets, fewer personnel and less technical savvy.  To address this issue, Verizon Business and Microsoft Corp. are jointly delivering Verizon unified communications and collaboration capabilities with Microsoft Online Services, a cost-effective, cloud-based solution designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

These new services build on Verizon and Microsoft's strategic relationship and are available this month to companies in the U.S.  Now small and medium-sized businesses can execute an effective UC&C strategy by combining Verizon voice, Internet, security, mobility and backup services with a host of popular Microsoft capabilities that can be packaged together and delivered via the cloud. Verizon also offers professional services to help assess, design and implement a complete UC&C solution.

"This new solution can be a catalyst for more efficient, automated and interoperable business processes for our small- and medium-sized-business customers," said Carrie Gray, executive director of Solutions Marketing for Verizon Business. "Together with Microsoft, we're delivering a simple, cost-effective opportunity for businesses to adopt cloud-based messaging and UC&C capabilities and improve their business performance.  This solution is ideal for companies with limited resources to take advantage of these advanced communications capabilities, which are becoming a business essential." 

Through Verizon UC&C with Microsoft Online Services, customers can quickly and dramatically boost their messaging and collaboration capabilities while achieving savings of as much as 40 percent compared with what they would pay to separately purchase these key Microsoft applications. 

The combined solution suite features the following Microsoft applications:

  • Exchange Online - advanced messaging capabilities, including shared calendaring and contacts; up-to-date anti-spam and anti-virus; access to Microsoft Outlook via a PC or a Web browser; and support for mobile devices including Android and BlackBerry.
  • SharePoint Online - a single location for document sharing and collaboration, featuring collaboration sites for teams, meetings and documents; access to Outlook, forms, and workflow and portal sites; and content management and search. 
  • Office Live Meeting - enables online meetings, presentations and training sessions, featuring desktop sharing and whiteboard tools, rich media, hi-fi recording, live webcam video, multiparty video, VoIP/audio and Web client support for remote attendees.
  • Office Communications Online (OCO) - enables business-class instant messaging  and chat among users, featuring seamless presence awareness, one-to-one video, and voice and integration across Microsoft Outlook calendar and contacts and other applications. Verizon will offer Lync Online, announced Wednesday (Nov. 17), as it becomes available in 2011.

These capabilities are designed to work together to deliver a seamless experience across a PC, phone or browser or mobile device for access to business applications virtually anytime, anywhere.  Since Verizon UC&C with Microsoft Online Services is a hosted solution, customers simply pay a subscription fee for each user, without having to invest in separate equipment. The single-price subscription and features are billed monthly for each worker, and customers can add users as needed. 

David Scult, general manager of Online Services at Microsoft, said, "Microsoft Online Services delivers the most popular productivity applications in the cloud and offers the same world-class services to small and medium businesses that are available to larger businesses.  Verizon is a key strategic partner for us to bring these capabilities to small and mid-sized businesses in the United States today and will be a launch partner for Office 365."

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with one of the world's most connected IP networks to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions.  We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.

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