Centrex Amps Up with IP-Centrex Thanks to AT&T!

What’s one of the more interesting services I’ve seen lately? Certainly it has to be AT&T Collaborate, the cloud-based communications and collaborations solution which pits this absolutely huge telco against a range of cloud players – from 8×8 to Shoretel Sky.

What sets this offering apart from most of the field is the fact that AT&T controls the network meaning better quality calls. In fact the solutions includes HD voice and although the company hasn’t confirmed this for me, an AT&T customer on a cell phone using VoLTE should theoretically be able to communicate in full HD with users of this solution.

There will be a controlled introduction at the end of April – a basic seat will get 30 standard calling features and can then scale up from there with these three bundles. Enhanced Voice will provide selective call acceptance, alternate phone numbers and more. Unified Communications will include instant messaging, presence and other features. Contact Center will have a basic agent, supervisor and web client services.

Included is an admin portal as well which will eventually allow customers to place new orders.

You don’t need AT&T transport which brings up an interesting thought. Scott Velting.jpgWhere would a company like AT&T stand on net neutrality as they move more towards providing OTT services? This and the Dish network OTT offer are big moves for the company in a new direction.

But getting back to the offer, I interviewed Scott Velting (pictured) and Rosie Montalvo about it and they told me integration is an important part of this service. There will be interoperability with Skype for Business and other solutions. When I joked about this being like Centrex, they did correct me and tell me it’s more like “Amped up IP Centrex.”

Now onto the fun part… How will customers respond? Does the coolness of Silicon Valley company trump the stability of AT&T when it comes to OTT cloud-based business telecom and UC? We’ll see what the market decides.

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