O2 in cloud telephony collaboration with Cisco

22 Nov 2011

Telefónica Ireland business director Alan Brown and Cisco Ireland country manager Mary Lou Nolan

O2 has entered into an alliance with Cisco that will see it roll out a new hosted IP telephony service aimed at large businesses and public-sector organisations that wish to outsource the management of their telecoms infrastructure to the cloud.

The new service, called O2 Unified Communications, allows businesses to combine their fixed and mobile telephone, voice mail, instant messaging and videoconferencing operations into a single managed cloud-based service with no upfront capital expenditure.

The service is charged on the basis of a monthly rental and number of users and is available to large organisations – including enterprise customers and public-sector bodies – in the Republic of Ireland.

Eliminating the need to own PBXs, the service involves centralised telephony and communications services being hosted and located separately in Telefónica’s two Irish data centres, where Cisco’s latest virtualisation and unified communications technology has been installed.

Cutting-edge cloud communications

“We are the first major communications provider in Ireland to bring the full range of Cisco Unified Communications services to the corporate market via the cloud,” commented Alan Brown, business director at Telefónica Ireland, which operates the O2 brand.

“Because of the current economic climate, many Irish large organisations are sitting on outdated and costly legacy telecommunications systems and have had to delay the move to more efficient communications. O2 has launched Unified Communications to address this need and help organisations to upgrade to efficient, cutting-edge communications systems at a manageable price.”

The unified communications service allows users to interact in real time no matter where they are or what device they are using, whether the devices are smartphones or desktop PCs, or laptops and tablets.

This incorporates all forms of communications, including fixed and mobile voice, email, instant messaging, web telephony and video conferencing.

“This collaboration between Cisco and O2 means that organisations across the Irish private and public sectors can now make the leap to 21st-century unified communications on a rental basis and cut the cost of their telecommunications infrastructure and administration,” added Mary Lou Nolan, country manager, Cisco Ireland.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years