Microsoft, Verizon Get Cozy on VoIP, Unified Communications
Microsoft and Verizon said that the networking provider's IP Trunking technology has been certified to work with the software giant's Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (R2), paving the way for closer integration between the two companies' IP-based communications offerings.
The announcement, which means that customers can combine Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Communications Server's voice calling, conferencing, instant messaging and user availability with Verizon Communication's (NYSE: VZ) voice over IP (VoIP) calling, came at VoiceCon in Orlando Monday.
The move is a further expansion of a long-standing partnership between the two companies dating back to 2004.
"We are excited that Verizon IP Trunking services are qualified for use with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Verizon IP Trunking services deliver cost savings and improved IT telephony resource management," Yancey Smith, director of communications server product management at Microsoft, said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.
Smith also said Microsoft has stringent testing requirements for certification with Office Communications Server.
Office Communications Server is a key component of Microsoft's unified communications push -- the merging of real-time communications such as voice and instant messaging, with non-real-time media such as e-mail and voice mail. Microsoft delivered Office Communications Server 2007 R2 just over a year ago
The news is also the latest move by Verizon to embrace the growing trend of UC. Soon after the launch of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 last year, Verizon debuted an offering for the server meant to simplify management of unified communications. According to Verizon, that effort aimed at enabling enterprise customers to offload application integration and management to Verizon Business while taking advantage of UC's benefits.
Now, it's poised to tie Microsoft's flavor of UC to its own IP trunking business. Also referred to as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking, the technology enables an enterprise telephony customer to tie their IP-PBX into Verizon's network to route calls across its IP backbone.
"We are positioned to deliver a full range of hosted, dedicated, and managed solutions around Microsoft Office Communications Server, backed by our infrastructure, server management, security and expert technical support," Anthony Recine, vice president of network and communications solutions for Verizon Business, said in a statement.
Verizon IP trunking customers can begin taking Office Communications Server 2007 R2's real-time unified communications capabilities immediately, Verizon said in a statement.