Vodafone teams up with BT on unified comms

Vodafone is launching One Net today, its first unified communications solution.

Vodafone logo

Vodafone is making its move into the unified communications market with the launch of One Net.

The fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) offering is aimed at SMEs with between 50 and 100 employees.

It connects desk phones, mobiles and PCs on one number with one voicemail box. All three will ring at the same time and it is down to the user whether they take that call at their desk, on a phone or even on a laptop.

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Peter Kelly, enterprise director for Vodafone UK, told IT PRO: "This is a big step for us. We already have a strong presence in enterprise which we have spent 10 years building up. Now, through customer insight, we see the latest demand is for FMC."

The service is hosted by Vodafone but is aided by a managed services agreement with BT Wholesale.

It is compatible with what Kelly called "robust infrastructures" that are already in place updated in the past two to three years and is not limited to any one handset for the mobile aspect. There are a range of desk phones also available.

The initial roll out of the service begins today. Later in 2010, the company will expand its partnership with Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite, bringing it down from enterprises to this smaller level of business.

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"We understand there will be more compatibility issues," added Kelly, "but we want to bring together what Vodafone and Microsoft can do, for SMEs. The challenge is to maintain the simplicity."

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Prices have yet to be confirmed for One Net, as they will vary depending on company size. Vodafone confirmed there would be options for both a one-off upfront payment or stretching it over a longer contract period.

Kelly concluded: "We have a long term strategy and this isn't just an adjunct. We want to become a unified communications company over the years, albeit mobile centric, and we just don't see that from our competitors."

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