Verizon Business Enables Unified Communications for Voice-over-IP Customers

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- To help businesses with voice-over-IP (VoIP) service more effectively manage their communications and enhance employee collaboration, mobility and productivity, Verizon Business today introduced its Integrated Communications Package.

The new unified communications service - available for customers of Hosted IP Centrex, part of Verizon Business VoIP portfolio -- provides a dynamic hub where employees can access voice mail, control incoming and outgoing calls, manage their online presence, send text messages, and synchronize contacts and calendars.

"Collaboration and mobility represent key challenges for our customers, but also powerful opportunities," said Nancy Gofus, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Business.  "With our Integrated Communications Package, companies can see more than cost efficiencies by moving to voice over IP.  We want to help our customers achieve a more collaborative, high-performance work culture in a converged voice and data environment." 

Integrated Communications Package can help a wide array of businesses or government agencies to make employee communications more productive -- whether they are in an office, on the road or in a remote location.  It will be available to U.S.-based Hosted IP Centrex customers beginning next month, with plans to expand internationally later this year.

As the service evolves, future plans include integrating it with Verizon Business' portfolio of advanced audio, net and video conferencing services, and contact center services. 

"As businesses deal with more mobile and remote employees, the need for a product that provides phone, e-mail, calendaring, messaging and presence capabilities will be on their list of must-haves to further enable collaboration," said Will Stofega, research manager for VoIP services, with IDC.  "This offering is a good start, delivering a user-friendly platform to help enhance a company's VoIP investment."

Hosted IP Centrex with Integrated Communications Package is network-based and simple to deploy, manage and support.  This service is aimed at reducing the time, processes and inefficiencies of connecting employees.  By combining Hosted IP Centrex with Integrated Communications Package, organizations can efficiently support teleworkers, meet mobility requirements and unify communications. 

The Integrated Communications Package also includes both end-user and administrator-level graphical user interfaces (GUIs).   The intuitive "point-and-click" interface allows employees to access and manage their communications services, including office phones, e-mail, Lotus Sametime instant messaging and voice mail.

The services can be used on a Web-based interface, or run in conjunction with a stand-alone desktop client and Microsoft Outlook plug-in.  The Administrative Console provides a Web-based tool to the corporate administrator for near real-time service control and management.

Integrated Communications Package allows users to determine how their colleagues can best reach them -- by phone, e-mail or instant message.   For example, if they want to be reached by phone and they are not near an office phone or computer, Integrated Communications Package can instantly direct incoming phone calls to a mobile phone, PDA or to voice mail.

Verizon Business' portfolio of VoIP services consists of five product offerings:  IP Flexible T1 (available only in the United States), IP Integrated Access, IP Trunking, Hosted IP Centrex and Managed IP PBX.  These services leverage robust, flexible platforms that provide high-quality voice communications, an expansive national and international footprint and many advanced features -- all of which afford customers a smooth, flexible transition to VoIP on their own path and pace.   The VoIP services also allow customers to utilize their existing infrastructure, enabling them to mix and match services, whether network or premises-based.

Verizon Business is a recognized leader in delivering advanced communications and information technology (IT) services for large-business customers around the world.  The company was recently recognized by Forrester Research for leading the competition in overall strategy for VoIP services.  The independent report , "Forrester WaveTM: US Enterprise-Class VoIP Services, Q1 2007," found that "Verizon Business is best in class on overall voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) strategy, leading others on technology strategy, planned performance and customer service enhancements, and price."

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide.  Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced communications, security and other professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.