BT Newsbyte
BT's quarterly newsletter for analysts and investors - Issue 39 - December 2015

Steve BestNew plug-in from BT Wholesale bridges gap between Hosted Centrex and Skype for Business

By Steve Best, Managing Director Products, Portfolio Strategy & Regulation, BT Wholesale 

Many UK workers use instant messaging (IM) applications in their day-to-day work, with it fast replacing email as the number one means of communication. Instant messaging applications allow workers to see whether their colleagues are in meetings or free to start an instant chat.

A lot of these applications have the capability to make and receive calls locally to users, but don't provide the ability to make calls to people not using the IM software, or not on the company's IP network. This is where an integrated voice, video and messaging client can revolutionise how people work. Instead of going onto a directory and looking up telephone numbers, users can simply 'click-to-dial' directly from the messaging client, as well as being able to see the availability of the person they wish to call.

BT Wholesale's existing application, Wholesale Hosted Centrex Unified Communications One (WHC UC One), provides this full capability, combining carrier-grade voice, video, conferencing, call recording and extensive telephony features. However, there are some customers who already use Microsoft's 365 suite, and in particular Skype for Business, who are not necessarily looking to replace the service, but instead want to make it voice and video enabled.

To make this happen, BT Wholesale has introduced a 'plug-in' to bridge the gap. It joins WHC and Microsoft Skype for Business together, meaning businesses won't have to invest in a new IM system, or have disparate IM and communications services. By using BT Wholesale's inclusive plug-in they can use their existing Microsoft set up to 'click-to-dial' from Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, as well as Skype and Lync, in conjunction with carrier-class communications from BT Wholesale.

We are excited to be the first UK service provider to offer a combined Hosted Centrex and Microsoft Skype for Business UC solution to the wholesale channel. By integrating our Hosted Centrex capability, which includes HD voice, with Microsoft's 365 messaging suite, our wholesale customers will be able to address Microsoft's large UK customer base with an exciting new communications service.