Verizon Business offers VoIP transition services

Business Managed IP PBX service for advanced voice applications

Verizon Business announced a flurry of new products this week that are designed to help businesses consolidate their voice and data services and switch more easily to VoIP.

The main product unveiled this week is Verizon Business' Managed IP PBX service that uses Nortel's IP telephony platform to manage and monitor company PBX systems. Verizon says that this managed service can be used to implement advanced voice applications such as find me/follow me, which sends communications to e-mail, voice mail or wireless phones based on individuals' different schedules and availabilities.

Additionally, Verizon says the service will let users integrate voice, e-mail and SMS systems and can give users the option of prioritizing incoming messages and to have them sent to user devices. Verizon says it will provide full implementation for the service, as well as management of performance and security for the system, which will be available to customers starting next year.

"Many of our customers want to modernize their voice and data communications infrastructure using IP and are considering managed services as a way to deal with the complexity inherent in that," says Nancy Gofus, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Business. "As IP transformation continues, this remains a sweet spot for us."

In addition to its managed IP PBX service, Verizon has also announced a host of new IP Trunking capabilities that it says are similarly designed to help business customers make the transition to VoIP. The company's IP Trunking applications include the Burstable Enterprise Shared Trunks capability, which lets companies utilize excess trunk capacity in one location to provide added bandwidth in locations with high traffic demand; a capability that gives Ethernet access to private IP that the company says will provide a "simple, effective migration path for VoIP"; and the Inbound Failover feature that the company says improves the traditional PSTN method of manual call-forwarding by automatically forwarding calls to a different IP address during unanticipated service interruptions.

William Stofega, a research manager with IDC, says that Verizon's trunk-sharing option is "unique to the marketplace" and believes that such expanded trunking capabilities "represent another compelling reason" for businesses to switch to an IP environment.

The services and capabilities unveiled by Verizon Business are not its first. Last year, for instance, the company introduced its IP Flexible T-1 service that lets sites with 24 phone lines or less keep their analog key systems while transitioning to a converged system that delivers voice and data through the same connection.

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