BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Large businesses and government agencies will be able to immediately initiate conference calls from some of the most popular enterprise instant messaging (IM) applications, using new capabilities unveiled Wednesday (Feb. 4) by Verizon Business.
The company is one of the first global service providers to integrate audio and Web conferencing services across multiple leading IM services, including IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Communications and Collaboration, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and the Cisco Jabber XCP. As a result, businesses and government agencies will be able to initiate virtual meetings on the spot, thus speeding decision-making and helping to enhance productivity as they make the move to unified communications (UC).
The new tools are available immediately for U.S.-based organizations and are scheduled to be rolled out internationally later this year, along with Verizon audio and net conferencing integration with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007.
"Workforces are becoming increasingly distributed across various sites, and these new capabilities meet a growing demand for tools to fuel real-time decision-making," said Jim Tyrrell, vice president of global business voice solutions for Verizon. "These capabilities help organizations to make the most of their existing work tools like instant messaging and calendar applications.
"Verizon Business continues to introduce the latest unified communications and collaboration technologies to help our customers promote teamwork and productivity, and hold the line on business travel costs, which benefits the environment," Tyrrell said.
Organizations are increasingly adopting unified communications strategies for more effective communications by using Internet protocol (IP) networks to integrate various systems, media, devices and applications, including instant messaging, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), and audio, Web and video conferencing.
New Tools for Spontaneous Meetings
New features and capabilities within Verizon Business' suite of collaboration and unified communications products and services include:
- Conferencing Integration with IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Communications & Collaboration - enables people to start conferences and send conference invitations directly from their Lotus Sametime Unified Communications and Collaboration system. During chat sessions, users can send a meeting invitation with audio and/or conference details and click-to-join links, which allow the leader and participants to join both the audio and net conferences. Users can manage single or multiple conferencing accounts, and import their audio and net conference details into their conference preferences.
- Instant Scheduler for IBM Lotus Notes - a plug-in for Lotus Notes that allows people to start and schedule conferences within a Lotus Notes appointment and send meeting invitations with audio and conference details. Users also have the ability to start or join meetings from the reminder screen, which reminds participants of the upcoming call.
- Verizon Business Conferencing integration with Office Communicator 2007 - a plug-in that allows users to start and send conference invitations directly from Office Communicator 2007. During chat sessions, users can send a meeting invitation with audio and/or net conference details and click-to-join links. Users can manage single or multiple conferencing accounts, and import their audio and net conference details into their conference preferences.
- Integration with the Cisco Jabber XCP - allows instantaneous collaboration for users of this popular presence and enterprise IM system to create, send and receive audio conference and net conference invitations. Participants will receive invitations for audio and net conferences through their chat windows, which will include conference coordinates as well as click-to-join links to enter the virtual meetings. Jabber recently was acquired by Cisco, and its technology is being integrated into Cisco's unified communications and collaboration portfolio.
Industry experts see unified communications as changing how organizations communicate.
According to Gartner's "Dataquest Insight: Enterprise E-Mail and Calendaring, Worldwide, 2007," July 1, 2008. [Gartner # G00158627]: "UC is becoming a key driving force in the enterprise e-mail and calendaring market. UC is the direct result of convergence in communications networks and applications. The convergence of a wide variety of communications technologies - including audio, e-mail, IM, voice and Web conferencing - on Internet protocol (IP) networks and open-software platforms is changing how individuals, groups and organizations communicate."
Verizon Business is a leading provider of collaboration and unified communications services, enabling organizations to conveniently and effectively collaborate, virtually anytime, anywhere, and helping them improve response time and productivity without the costs and carbon emissions associated with business travel. With more than 30 years of experience delivering conferencing services, Verizon Business today handles millions of virtual meetings each month through a wide range of audio, video and Web-conferencing offerings; IP-based services including hosted and managed services support with application management and performance capabilities; and some of the most advanced meeting tools available today.
About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world's most connected IP network 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