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XO launches cloud-based unified communications service

Offering includes diagnostic probe, targets companies with 50-1000 employees at multiple locations

A new offering from XO Communications, launched today, will extend the company’s unique pricing methodology to cloud-based unified communications, XO Communications Director of Product Management Eric Hyman told Connected Planet.

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The company has had significant success with VoIP pricing based on connection bandwidth, rather than the number of voice-grade equivalent lines. The new UC offering, dubbed XO Enterprise Cloud Communications, uses the same approach—although there is a per-seat charge for certain UC features. Exact pricing will vary but “the average per-seat price will be roughly $50,” Hyman said.

Pricing includes the phone as part of the monthly expense. “We’re carrying the capital on our own books,” said Hyman. Customers also will have the option of choosing video-capable devices.

A management probe comes with the service
XO Enterprise Cloud Communications runs on the company’s MPLS-based Tier 1 backbone network.

“We provide class of service and a great deal of control,” Hyman said. “For every location we deploy, we deploy a monitoring probe.”

By using special software in combination with the probe, XO monitors traffic outside of the customer’s local area network. “If we have to troubleshoot, we can look at what happened to the packets and why [a problem] may have happened,” Hyman explained.

If a customer were to experience static on a call at a certain day and time, XO would be able to determine if, for example, someone at the enterprise was downloading a large video that was not coded for the proper service class at that exact time.

XO expects the new offering to be popular in the healthcare, education, professional services, retail and financial sectors. Such organizations, Hyman said, are interested in minimizing costs by moving functionality to the service provider cloud. A typical customer is expected to have multiple sites and to have between 50 and 1000 employees.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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