BT launches high definition business collaboration services

BT to deliver superior user experience on any device: the conversation just gets better

BT today announced the launch of a series of new services that promise to transform the quality of business conversations and greatly improve the way people work together within and between large organisations. Meetings using conferencing services, video and online collaboration systems will become much more life-like and available on devices ranging from desktop computers and fixed line phones to tablets and smartphones. 

HD Voice, a new service that changes the quality of phone audio enabling faster and better communication, will be available at no extra charge to all existing and new BT One customers.

Later this month, BT and Dolby Laboratories will announce the full details of a ground breaking new offer that transforms audio conference calls by making them sound and feel like in-person meetings. Both companies will also share brand new academic research analysing the impact of voice quality on the productivity of online collaboration. 

Broader enhancements to the BT One portfolio of unified communications and collaboration solutions deploy technology from partners such as Avaya, Cisco and Microsoft. They are available over BT’s global network and can be delivered as cloud-based, on-site or a mix of both, allowing customers to find the best fit to their business case and to benefit from the most flexible pricing options.

BT’s collaboration portfolio allows customers to gradually move their communications infrastructure from the typically complex combination of ageing analogue and digital technologies to a single unified platform where the latest IP technology transforms the experience. This can be done at a pace selected by the customer, and allows end-users to collaborate from and to any mobile or desktop device, through wi-fi, cellular or fixed line network services, regardless of whether the device is corporate or managed under Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. 

With the help of the BT Advise teams of professional services consultants, customers can take advantage of BT’s wealth of experience in how to further improve end user experience in an efficient and cost effective way. They will be able to integrate new services with their existing infrastructure without having to rip and replace, allowing them to make the most of existing investments and avoid disruption to their organisations.

Luis Alvarez, chief executive officer, BT Global Services, said: “BT has been helping businesses have successful conversations over vast distances for more than a hundred years. Today, the world of collaboration is changing faster than ever before. There are big opportunities for organisations that create new ways of collaborating in a work environment. In today’s world of clouds, IP and social media the quality of experience is what counts in the eyes of the user. At BT, we’re not only revolutionising voice, we are bringing together the best possible quality of video, instant messaging, web conferencing and streaming. We allow people to collaborate in a way that speeds up decision making and helps global organisations reduce travel costs and carbon footprint. The industry will now compete on this new ground and I am proud that these announcements show BT spearheading that transformation. Better conversations are the key to creating a better future.”

Jason Andersson, program director, EMEA Telecom and Networking at IDC said “IDC sees the Unified Communications market as a diverse market with need for integration with an ecosystem of providers and a strong network to support it. These enable providers to deliver a comprehensive and integrated range of services in the market, including audio, video and web conferencing, to bring solutions together that are providing a seamless experience for their users. BT understands these challenges and opportunities in the Unified Communications and Collaboration area.”

Notes to Editors

The launches include the following highlights  :

• BT One Cloud Cisco: the platform is now based on Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), the latest version of Cisco’s cloud telephony and unified communications portfolio. The new hosted solution, featuring HD voice, HD video, IM, presence and collaboration, can be deployed rapidly on a pay per user basis with no commitment.

• BT One Cloud for Microsoft Lync: the platform is now upgraded to Microsoft Lync 2013, with a new integrated SIP offer, integration with Skype and an enhanced app for better calls and video on mobile devices. It is available on premise or as a cloud solution. BT is the only operator that can fully integrate Lync 2013 into its network, thus enabling calls to fixed lines directly from the Lync platform.

• BT One Cloud iComms: a BT developed utility-based solution with no upfront cost, offering full unified communications capability with a mobile client supported across different devices, enabling better collaboration within teams and with customers and suppliers

• BT One Enterprise Avaya: the “on site” platform is now based on IP Office, a new low-cost evolution for legacy Avaya environments. It is designed for mid-size businesses and allows users to connect and collaborate using smart phones, laptops, tablets, home phones and office phones.

• BT One Enterprise Cisco: the “on site” platform is now upgraded to release 10, delivering improved BYOD capability and additional video functionalities.

• BT One Voice anywhere: a new ‘mobile only’ offer for customers not on BT One Voice VPN. It allows customers to take the costs savings of BT’s One Voice service from the fixed lines to mobile phones, resulting in cost savings of more than 45% on outgoing international mobile and roaming charges.