Answering the Call for Better Business Communications- the Future Revealed
Jun 25, 2008
Global leaders Vodafone, Cisco and Research In Motion (RIM) join forces to deliver a world-first business communications solution for small business: Vodafone Business One
Vodafone Business One delivers full service telecommunications; converged fixed and mobile services including DSL broadband, equipment and devices, fully managed support in One simple solution for One monthly fee, with One point of contact
Sydney, Australia- Revealing a world-first in IT and telecommunications, Vodafone Australia, Cisco and Research In Motion (RIM) today announce a three-way initiative to deliver integrated business communications services in Australia, to be marketed as Vodafone Business One.
Launching later this year, Vodafone Business One will combine all telecommunication services – fixed and mobile, voice and data, services and equipment – into one simple, managed service with single-point accountability on installation, technical support and fleet management and one monthly invoice. Focusing primarily on small-medium sized businesses of between 10 to 100 employees, the integrated solution uses the latest, business grade technology, delivering efficiency, scalability and cost benefits to Vodafone Business One customers.
Today’s announcement marks the first move beyond ‘mobile-only’ communications services for Vodafone Australia and is the first instance globally of a Cisco® Unified Communications solution with BlackBerry® smarpthones as a handset option.
Russell Hewitt, CEO at Vodafone Australia explained the significance of the announcement: "Today, Vodafone Australia makes it’s most significant strategic play since the launch of 3G services three years ago. With the announcement of Vodafone Business One, Vodafone has evolved from being a ‘mobile-only’ provider, to the world of full-service telecommunications services, enabling Vodafone to bring the principles of innovation and competition it has delivered in the mobile space to the fixed-line arena."
Vodafone Business One customers will receive the latest in cutting-edge networking and unified communications technology – a scalable Cisco Powered platform. With it, small businesses can step away from the traditional world of fixed line access fees and into the cost-effective world of Internet Protocol (IP), broadband and unified communications. By using Wi-Fi®-enabled BlackBerry® smartphones and secure Cisco Wi-Fi and IP-PBX in the office, Vodafone Business One customers can use their BlackBerry smartphones to make calls within the office zone at fixed-line rates, while making calls outside the office via the Vodafone mobile network. Both fixed and mobile calls will be covered by a single account-level service fee, similar to Vodafone’s popular Business Cap plans.
Hewitt continued; "Customers have told us that they want to capitalise on the latest IP technologies without sacrificing quality, security and reliability. SME business owners are busy growing their business and don’t have time to deal with multiple systems, technologies and suppliers, so we’re doing all of the hard work for them. Vodafone is integrating the very best, business-grade technologies available, so our customers can benefit from the combined expertise of three global leaders and enjoy the advantages of a fully integrated, scalable, converged managed communications service.
Hewitt concluded; "Spending money on traditional, fixed-lines with costly line rentals is now a thing of the past. Vodafone Business One provides a genuine alternative for Australia’s small businesses."
With Vodafone Business One customers will also gain access to unique features such as Office Zone Calling, Office Number Anywhere and One Voicemail:
- Office Zone Calling - when inside the secure Office Zone Wi-Fi coverage area, calls from dual-mode BlackBerry smartphones are routed through the fixed network and charged as a fixed line call.
- Office Number Everywhere - enables customers to keep their fixed line identity while away from the office environment and receive calls to their landline number on their mobile, through Wi-Fi in the office and via Vodafone’s GSM network while out of the office.
- One Voicemail - enables customers to simplify voicemail with one, integrated account covering both fixed and mobile.
Les Williamson, Vice President, Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said: "Vodafone Business One is the coming of age of unified communications for small to medium-sized businesses and Cisco is proud to be an integral part of this ground-breaking initiative. Mobility and the integration of business communications services is now essential for customers in the modern competitive environment, and Vodafone Business One will soon become the new standard for integrated communications."
Vodafone Business One utilizes BlackBerry® Mobile Voice System (MVS) technology to extend desk phone functionality, including hold, transfer, conference and extension dialling, to BlackBerry smartphones over Wi-Fi networks. Vodafone plans to offer several new BlackBerry smartphones that will support the Wi-Fi calling capabilities of Vodafone Business One, including the BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8120, BlackBerry® Curve™ 8320, BlackBerry® 8820 and the new BlackBerry® Bold™ 9000.
An integral part of the Vodafone Business One solution, BlackBerry smartphones can automatically select Wi-Fi as the preferred transmission method to send and receive calls and emails, as well as access other data applications, when in the office. Customers can choose to use IP phones or their BlackBerry dual-mode smartphones while in the office.
Jeff McDowell, Vice-President, Global Alliances, Research In Motion, said: "We are very pleased to support Vodafone Australia in delivering this full service telecommunications solution. Vodafone Business is an innovative offering that enables small businesses to gain the benefits of convergence with the simplicity of a turn-key service."
Vodafone, Cisco and RIM have been collaborating for more than 12 months to develop a unique, converged solution of services and equipment and since early 2008, Vodafone Business One has been deployed at a number of Sydney-based businesses, where the service has undergone stringent testing, development and refinement.
Vodafone, Cisco and RIM today invite businesses to learn more about Vodafone Business One by visiting: www.vodafonebusinessone.com.au. Prospective customers can view all key elements of the Vodafone Business One proposition and pre-register their interest.
Vodafone will begin a progressive rollout of Vodafone Business One over the coming months to small and medium-sized enterprises in New South Wales before extending the service to customers in all major business centres by the end of the year.
Further details relating to Vodafone Business One products, services, features and pricing will be released closer to launch, later this year.
Notes to Editors
* For further information visit www.vodafonebusinessone.com.au or contact Media Contacts, outlined below.
* Pricing structure will be announced closer to launch, later this year however, will follow the same philosophy as Vodafone’s popular Business Cap plans, which offer a scalable, shared service, for one simple, monthly fee. Pricing will be based on the individual requirements of each business, covering hardware, software and network requirements as part of a ‘bundled’ solution.
* Vodafone provides business-grade DSL services to customers via a network agreement with AAPT.
* Vodafone Australia will manage all support services in relation to Vodafone Business One, offering customers one single point of contact for all communications services.
* Vodafone will announce channel partners and the distribution of the Vodafone Business One service closer to launch.
Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with equity interests in 25 countries and 39 partner networks across 5 continents . The group provides quality services to 3.57 million Australian customers (excluding MVNO customers) and has more than 252 million proportionate customers worldwide.
© Vodafone Pty Limited 2008: VODAFONE and the Vodafone logos are trade marks of the Vodafone Group. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trade marks of their respective owners.
About Cisco Systems Australia / New Zealand Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) enables people to make powerful connections-whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible-providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time.Cisco was founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University. Since the company's inception, Cisco engineers have been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. Today, with more than 65,225 employees worldwide, this tradition of innovation continues with industry-leading products and solutions in the company's core development areas of routing and switching, as well as in advanced technologies such as data centre, digital media, mobility, security, TelePresence, video and unified communications.
The emergence of the network as a platform is changing the entire value chain of technology and placing the network squarely at the center of innovation: as many as 14 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2010. The explosion of devices will be fueled by more and more services and tasks being handled online, from phone calls to personalized searches to downloading videos, games and other forms of entertainment.
The role of the network is evolving beyond that of infrastructure. It is emerging as a secure platform for delivering the customized and personalized experience that 21st century users expect - whether that means delivering new services as a carrier, boosting productivity for businesses of any size or consumers looking for real-time, personalized entertainment and services.
As an increasingly intelligent network evolves into a platform, users will be able to communicate from any device and in whatever mode they choose.
Cisco is leading the transition to a network-centric technology environment. By combining its core strength (IP) with intelligence, the company is creating a powerful communications platform that will serve as the basis for the convergence of data, voice, video and mobile communications in a secure, integrated architecture.
Cisco’s headquarters are in San Jose, California. It also has major operations in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
About Research In Motion (RIM)
Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.
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