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BT revamps One unified comms service as CEO Luis Alvarez takes the helm

Jennifer Scott

BT has unveiled an updated portfolio for BT One which includes Microsoft Lync and mobile applications.

BT has added cloud services and high-definition video end points to its unified communications (UC) BT One portfolio.

The announcement comes just over a week after the division responsible for UC, BT Global Services, named Luis Alvarez as its new CEO.

Luis Alvarez will take up the CEO post at BT's UC division, BT Global Services, from 1 October 2012. 

The previous CEO, Jeff Kelly, is returning to the US after three years in the job. Kelly will remain a part-time advisor to BT Global Services.

The headline feature of the updated BT One suite is the introduction of a cloud service based on Microsoft Lync. The cloud service will enable users to merge their email and instant messaging into one window and enable new functionality, such as screen-sharing and interactive whiteboards.

The new BT One smartphone applications highlight the importance BT ascribes to mobile in UC. These will bring BT One services onto the handset and help cut the costs of calling, with its cost covered in the subscription fee.

BT-Cisco system cuts server costs

BT has also partnered with Cisco to offer an on-premise system called One Enterprise Cisco. Based on the networking giant’s own UC9 offering, the service claims to cut server costs by up to 66%. BT says One Enterprise Cisco enhances video support, call quality and dial by email function.  

“To be successful in this economic environment, it is paramount for business leaders to make better decisions faster,” said Alvarez. “While some might feel more comfortable with face-to-face interactions, it is becoming very clear that a competitive advantage is at hand for those who grasp the full gamut of today’s and tomorrow’s communications channels.”

“It is not just a case of buying a device or a piece of software, it is about making sure that existing investments are federated and about bringing all the tools and channels together in an effective and secure way that saves time and money.”

To incorporate the new features, BT has unveiled a new structure for its UC, placing the solutions under four headings:

  • BT One Voice focuses on bringing the mobile functionality to a user;
  • BT One Enterprise covers all the partnerships with the likes of Microsoft and Cisco;
  • BT One Cloud offers UC as a monthly subscription model;
  • BT One Collaborate includes audio, video and web conferencing tools.

“Our vision is to make communications simpler, helping organisations transform the way they collaborate internally and the way they interact with their customers, partners and suppliers,” added Alvarez.

“This is something that BT is very well placed to do, as we work closely with the best technology suppliers and invest in new capabilities.”


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