Friday, April 5, 2019

Verizon Enterprise Solutions to provide integrated connectivity for Microsoft Teams users - Verizon Communications

Verizon Enterprise Solutions to provide integrated connectivity for Microsoft Teams users - Verizon Communications

Verizon Enterprise Solutions to provide integrated connectivity for Microsoft Teams users - Verizon Communications

Posted: 04 Apr 2019 07:36 AM PDT

NEW YORK – Verizon today announced a new collaboration service which will enable the company's network customers to integrate their compatible voice infrastructure to a Microsoft Teams environment across 80 countries.

The service leverages Direct Routing and Verizon's SIP Trunk connectivity, giving users access to Microsoft Teams' collaboration features including calling to and from traditional phones, VoIP, or mobile phone lines. Powered by Verizon's Session Border Control as a Service (SBCaaS), the virtualized, cloud based service reduces the need for organizations to invest in additional hardware.

Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files) and application integration. The service is built on Office 365 Groups subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. The company recently announced that its Teams platform is now being used by 500,000 organizations worldwide including 91 companies in the Fortune 100.

"Enterprises are always looking for tools and solutions for better productivity and collaboration," said Shawn Hakl, SVP Business Products for Verizon. "By integrating Verizon's SIP Trunking into Microsoft Teams, users get the best of both worlds. They are able to have reliable communication services from Verizon, seamlessly integrated into their Microsoft Teams collaboration software."​

"Innovation has always been a hallmark of Verizon's VoIP and SIP Trunking services," said Michael Brandenburg, Industry Analyst, Connected Work, at Frost & Sullivan.  "Integrating Microsoft Teams Direct Routing with Verizon's VoIP and SIP Trunking, either on-premises or in the cloud with SBCaaS,  is a game changer in terms of enabling flexible deployment options for customers.  With Verizon's global coverage and quality, we see this as a compelling solution for enterprises using Microsoft Teams for voice calling."

Learn more about Voip/IP Trunking solutions

Firefly Fiber Broadband Comes to Rockfish Valley - The Crozet Gazette

Posted: 05 Apr 2019 03:29 AM PDT

Installing fiber cable at Martin's Store substation on Route 151. Photo: Mary Cunningham.

Warm weather brings thoughts of spring and summer and the fireflies are a part of that scene. This year the buzz is about Firefly Fiber Broadband™ the tradename for the high-speed internet and voice over internet phone service (VOIP). Connections are coming to Martins Store substation on Route 151 serving Afton and Nellysford. and expected to begin in May. Pre-registrations are offered now to members of Central Valley Electric Cooperative (CVEC) with an opportunity to skip the $100 installation fee.  

CVEC is building fiber for expanding communication over their existing electric system to benefit members. The fiber network will use laser beams and glass fibers to move data at speeds of up to one gigabit per second.  The build-out for Martin's Store will include 500 miles of optic cable that will stretch from Afton Mountain down Route 151 to Brent's Mountain plus the side roads and subdivisions, including Stoney Creek, on either side of the main road. It will also extend along Route 6 from Martin's Store station to Woods Mill and cover the Route 29 corridor from Davis Creek to Covesville in Albemarle County.  Portions of Faber will be included, as well as Wheelers Cove and Dutch Creek. 

Unlike cable, DSL, satellite, cellular, and fixed wireless connections, "Fiber To The Home" (FTTH) internet has both fast download and upload speeds. This symmetrical service means that you can upload and download at the same speed.

According to Jace Goodling of Afton, CVEC Director for East District, Firefly is "a better deal than the (Nelson) county offered at half the price and is more reliable—it's a huge thing because it's offered not just to people along the main road." 

Goodling described three stages happening on fast forward for the Martin's Store rollout:  The south leg includes Nellysford, Wintergreen and Beech Grove, with hookups happening now. If you are not pre-registered, Goodling recommends that you call now for free installation. The central leg of the rollout is Route 6 to Route 29. The north leg in Afton will have service by July.

Goodling said the process is now managing 20-30 hookups every day. The first step is the inspection of poles followed by another crew replacing the poles where necessary.  Next the crew strings a line of fiber either above or in-ground consistent with existing lines. A crew then runs hookup to the house and lastly the service inside is set up. 

The CVEC website ( identified plans for a project to build and offer fiber for members to take advantage of reliable, high speed internet that only the FTTH system can offer in rural areas. Now everyone in the Rockfish Valley will have access to data streaming for their home and personal use, telecommuting and business operations. 

Central Virginia Services is a separate subsidiary of CVEC for subcontracting the installation so electric service member customers are not required to be directly involved in the new business service. Initial focus will be on areas that are most dense and the lowest cost to serve to quickly generate revenue. Funding from the federal, state and county level to help offset costs is being pursued.  CVEC received a $30 million grant to assist the project and applied for a $66 million loan from the Rural Utilities Service to finance the first part of the project. In March, CVEC was granted nearly $1 million in funding from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.  

A contractor works to connect cable at Martin's Store substation to the overhead power lines that service the CVEC area. Photo: Mary Cunningham.

The CVEC fiber-optic network will be installed on and adjacent to existing overhead and the underground electric distribution lines which utilize the existing infrastructure.  CVEC will own the fiber-optic cable, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Firefly Broadband™ (Firefly) will operate the internet and telephone service. Highspeed internet is offered at 100 megabits per second for basic rate or upgraded to 1 gigabit per second of unlimited data. Voice-over IP (VoIP) phone service with unlimited local and long-distance calling will also be available. Firefly will include a managed Wi Fi service for wireless devices in the home.  

CVEC was created in 1937 to bring electricity to thousands of rural Virginians not served by the large power companies. CVEC is a member-owned, not-for-profit, electric utility, serving homes, farms and business and providing electric service to rural Virginia counties including Nelson and parts of Albemarle. Firefly is carrying on that legacy now as the first to bring FTTH, high-speed internet to the rural community. Choosing to be a Firefly customer helps connect fellow local residents, local businesses and supports local infrastructure growth. Firefly internet is homegrown right here in Central Virginia, with virtually all technical and support staff based in Virginia.  

If you live in the CVEC service area of Martins Store substation including Beech Grove, Nellysford, Stoney Creek, Afton and Woods Mills, you can now pre-register for Firefly service and receive a no-cost modem and free installation. Firefly Fiber Broadband is on Facebook and can be reached at 833-473-3591.b 

Verizon Lends SIP Trunking for Microsoft Teams Integration - Channel Partners

Posted: 05 Apr 2019 03:14 PM PDT

Verizon Enterprise Solutions just launched a new service to let its customers integrate with a Microsoft unified communications platform.

The collaboration service combines direct routing and SIP trunk connectivity, and helps Verizon's network customers embed their voice infrastructures in the Microsoft Teams platform. Verizon's Session Border Control as a Service (SBCaaS) powers the new service.

Alex Doyle, Verizon's director of unified communications and collaboration, told Channel Partners that the partnership serves a two-fold purpose for partners.

Doyle, Alex_Verizon

Verizon's Alex Doyle

"SIP trunking has historically been a successful product for the Verizon Partner Program, and this opens new opportunities for our members to serve their customers by offering voice-enablement and business transformation for users of Microsoft Teams," Doyle said. "For Verizon, it's also an opportunity to bring in new partners who are well-versed in the Microsoft ecosystem."

Microsoft Teams allows users to call to and from a variety of phone types, including traditional, VoIP and mobile. Other platform features are workplace chat, video meetings and file storage.

"Enterprises are always looking for tools and solutions for better productivity and collaboration," said Shawn Hakl, SVP of business products for Verizon. "By integrating Verizon's SIP trunking into Microsoft Teams, users get the best of both worlds. They are able to have reliable communication services from Verizon, seamlessly integrated into their Microsoft Teams collaboration software."

The two also announced that Microsoft Azure will power a Verizon Digital Media Services offering that one executive called "the ultimate streaming solution."

Verizon restructured last year, and in doing so shared its former wireless unit with consumer and business segments. Verizon introduced the realignment and some its recently expanded partnerships to monetize the rapidly materializing 5G opportunity.

We wrote a month ago about Verizon's latest Mobile Security Index, which exposed persisting problems with wireless data protection.

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