Microsoft has signed a global deal with MCI to offer communication and collaboration systems based on Microsoft Office Live Meeting and MCI's Net Conferencing services.
The deal aims to enable companies to collaborate in real time from various devices using multiple communications channels, including web conferencing, secure instant messaging and audio conferencing.
MCI Net Conferencing powered by Microsoft Office Live Meeting will offer a Windows-based collaboration client with application-sharing capabilities, integrated with MCI's Instant Meeting audio conferencing service for online call management.
Under the terms of the agreement MCI and Microsoft will co-develop new real-time communication applications in the future, such as access to presence-based services for voice over Internet Protocol.
Currently, MCI is working with Microsoft on integrating a PC and telephony system to enable workers to set up conference calls from within their Microsoft Office applications.
Microsoft and MCI said their plan was to establish a relationship as preferred communication and collaboration partners, which will include web conferencing services.
"MCI and Microsoft are combining resources and experience to focus on the fast-growing collaboration arena, which is a strategic market for both companies," said Michael Capellas, MCI president and chief executive, in a statement.
And Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer added in a statement: "Today's agreement between MCI and Microsoft advances our mutual goal of delivering the next generation of real-time communication and collaboration solutions to businesses worldwide."
MCI Net Conferencing powered by Microsoft Office Live Meeting is available immediately. Pricing is determined on a per named user licence, shared seat licence or per participant minute.
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