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Tuesday, 11 August 2009 06:50

Telstra & Microsoft claim first hosted IP telephony / Microsoft Office integration

Telstra and Microsoft have expanded on their strategic alliance, announced last November with the launch of a hosted IP telephony service integrated with Microsoft Office Communications Server that will enable end users to make calls direct from Microsoft applications such as Outlook, SharePoint and Office Communicator.

The service is being offered on Telstra's established hosted IP telephony service (TIPT) and is claimed to be the first such integration in Australia. According to Telstra "it means for example that customers can start an instant messenger conversation with a colleague using Microsoft Office Communicator and then quickly escalate this to a high definition TIPT phone call with a single click of the mouse. Alternatively customers can receive an email in Microsoft Outlook, check the availability of the sender and then initiate a phone call using their TIPT service all within an integrated Outlook experience."

"High definition" telephony is Telstra's name for IP telephony supported on Polycom IP phones. Telstra announced in April 2008 a partnership with Polycom that made Polycom the preferred handset provider for TIPT. "Co-branded with Polycom and Telstra's logos, the next-generation TIPT handsets extend HD-quality voice calls to Australian organisations of all sizes, enabling them to leverage their investments in IP networks to experience the unrivalled clarity and productivity benefits of true High Definition, wideband telephone conversations," Telstra said.

Telstra's TIPT service is hosted on a BroadSoft platform and the integration with Microsoft Office now being offered to customers was launched internally to Telstra staff late last year.

Today's announcement comes from Telstra Enterprise and Government and makes no mention of the Microsoft applications being provided under a software as a service model. This is available from Telstra under its T-Suite service. T-Suite however is an offering from Telstra Business, directed at SMEs. Earlier this year the then head of Telstra E&G, Paul Geason, told iTWire   that E&G did not see much demand for hosted apps from its customer base. "Today, Telstra E&G would not take responsibility for the provision of any application, but I am not discounting it," he said.

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