By Sean Buckley
Comcast Business (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is making another move to appeal to larger business clients by serving up its cloud-based voice and unified communications Business VoiceEdge service.
As a wholly-managed service, Business VoiceEdge does not require the business customer to purchase a PBX or key system to manage their voice calls.
As one of the third largest domestic voice providers, the service provider will make Business VoiceEdge initially available in 14 states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as Chicago. It plans to offer the service on a nationwide basis by the end of 2012.
Business users that sign up for the new service will be able to get a service set that includes unlimited nationwide calling, free Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) phones, HD audio and advanced UC features that also include an array of mobility features. In addition, users can download a client that enables click-to-dial and service management from within Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
Mobility is a key element of the new service. With the Be Anywhere feature, employees can have one number for their mobile device, home office or other locations and have calls follow them or push/pull them between devices without having to disconnect and then reconnect the call.
The new cloud-based service builds on previous offers it debuted in 2011, including its Business Class Trunks, a service that provides business customers a connection between their telephone system, PBX and the Comcast network.
The new service actually leverages the assets it purchased from New Global Telecom. Last summer, it began a hosted PBX trial in Boston and Western New England and that was coupled with its plans to expand its Metro Ethernet service footprint.
John Guillaume, VP of Product Management for Voice and Unified Communications Solutions, Comcast Business Services, said that the success of the trial proved it was time to offer the service on a commercial basis.
“This started with made with the acquisitions of New Global Telecom and Cimco,” Guillaume said in an interview with FierceTelecom. “A lot of that DNA was captured in those acquisitions and since then we were quietly running a trial up in the Northeast and what led us to make Business VoiceEdge officially available.”