Sunday, June 5, 2005

AT&T to Adopt Microsoft Connected Services Framework

AT&T will adopt Microsoft's Connected Services Framework, enabling it to dynamically create new network-based IP services and applications. Microsoft Connected Services Framework is an integrated software solution for building and managing complex services using a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web service interfaces. AT&T will deploy Microsoft Connected Services Framework as the foundation of its Microsoft .NET-based SOA, which integrates an array of interoperable Web-based, functional capabilities in a simplified, streamlined manner. This will enable AT&T to provide a consistent service interface to its back-office systems for delivering fully managed, on-demand IP communications services.

Under a strategic alliance announced by the firms, the two companies committed to developing a broad array of "network-enabled right-time communications services" during the next five years that will focus on messaging, collaboration, media and business applications. These services will expand on AT&T's existing IP services portfolio, including the company's recently announced Dynamic Network Applications (DNA) portfolio, and Microsoft's set of hosted collaboration, communications and business applications, and will drive the development of other service bundles.

One of the first goals of the five-year road map will be an effort by Microsoft to Web services-enable AT&T's VoIP service so it can be delivered through the Microsoft Connected Services Framework to enterprise customers along with other communications services. AT&T has also become a founding member of Microsoft's Connected Services Framework Customer Advisory Board and will help shape the development of its road map priorities.

"Today's announcement is yet another milestone for AT&T's strategy to deliver next-generation services atop our application-aware IP network. These services will enable enterprises to implement integrated collaboration, messaging, VoIP and conferencing services without the capital investment that locks them into solutions that are not future-proofed," said Dave Dorman, chairman and CEO of AT&T.

  • In February 2005 at 3GSM World Congress 2005 in Cannes, Microsoft introduced an integrated software framework that allows telecommunications operators and service providers to deliver converged communications services across multiple networks and a range of device types.
    The Microsoft Connected Services Framework is a server-based solution for helping wireless and wireline operators to generate additional revenue through new services. The framework integrates other Microsoft, including Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, to provide a unified platform for creating, aggregating and managing converged services. Microsoft said that by deploying its Connected Services Framework, operators can bring together not only Microsoft services such as Microsoft Solution for Hosted Exchange 2003, the Microsoft TV platform and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, but also operator-developed services and a broad array of third-party services and content to create new combinations of services targeting specific customer segments. The Connected Services Framework would integrate with a variety of operations support systems (OSS), business support systems (BSS) and network service products based on industry standards.

  • Microsoft has previously said BT, Bell Canada and Celcom Malaysia are deploying the Microsoft Connected Services Framework to facilitate the delivery of services to their customers.
  • In May 2005, AT&T unveiled a portfolio of IP-based Dynamic Network Applications (DNA) that leverage its global MPLS network and its IP VPN services. The first service available in the portfolio will be AT&T Voice DNA, a network-based VoIP solution for enterprise branch offices and remote locations, as well as for smaller businesses. The service offers standard business-class capabilities and advanced features, such as mid-call move, which gives customers the ability to move a call from one phone to another without disruption; personalized call handling; simultaneous ring; click-to- call, to dial calls with a single mouse click; locate-me; the ability to have multiple phones ring at once or sequentially; on-demand audio conferencing; and integration with Microsoft Outlook. AT&T will begin rolling out this service to a limited number of customers in the coming months, and will continue to roll out service through the rest of the year. AT&T Voice DNA will also support a variety of IP phones, including select models from Cisco and Polycom as well as a variety of IP PBXes, including select models from Cisco & Avaya. Additionally, the service will support a variety of softphones.


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