BT and Cisco have announced a new cloud-based product, aimed at bringing a raft of video and voice services to businesses.
The new One Cloud Cisco service hosts a number of tools from both firms, including Cisco's Jabber presence and instant messaging, HD video and HD voice calls, based on the firm's Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS).
BT’s One Voice portfolio of services, which includes international calling options and roaming services offered through the Jabber mobile client, are also available within the platform.
Services can be bought on a pay-per-use basis with no call or use commitments, in order to allow IT teams to scale the use of the services as and when required by the businesses' needs. The basic package starts from £7.50 per user, per month for basic telephony package then rise to £10 per user per month for more feature-rich UC-heavy packages.
Both firms said this setup was vital for modern firms that are looking to take advantage of modern communications tools but also reduce their costs.
Neil Sutton, vice president of BT Global Services' Global Portfolio, told V3 the firm is seeing rising uptake and interest among cloud-based tools from its customers and collaboration services are part of this push.
“There is a definite trend among customers to using cloud based services for unified communications as they want the flexibility in pricing and services that it offers,” he said.
“They don’t want the cost of managing lots of equipment on site in multiple offices so the more we integrate tools into our cloud platform the simpler we make things.”
The vice president of BT Contact, Andrew Small, added that for many customers pricing the use of the tool on a cloud model was far better suited to their needs.
“As we come out of the downturn firms are finding they’ve not invested in infrastructure for a while and they find if they want these new features it’s a massive upgrade and appears as a capex cost,” he said.
“But if they use it in the cloud it’s an opex cost and they are not faced with huge upfront costs.”
The use of collaboration tools in businesses is increasing all the time as firms looks to improve staff communication, especially with employees often working remotely or from home, rather than in the same office at all times.
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