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Integra Telecom, a provider of fiber-based, business-grade networking, communications and cloud solutions, announced it is expanding its offering of cloud services for businesses to include collaboration and messaging services. Integra is providing networkwide availability of hosted Microsoft Communication Services, which includes Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft SharePoint, enhanced encryption and other enhanced features. The service joins a growing roster of Integra cloud services, all selected to meet the needs of a range of business customers.

“Integra is pleased to offer an expanding portfolio of hosted communication services to support our business customers as they look for ways to improve the productivity of their workforce while reducing IT costs,” said Joe Harding, senior vice president of product and marketing at Integra Telecom. “The addition of collaboration and messaging services further extends the range of Integra’s cloud services and is a natural addition to our business-grade voice, Internet and private data networking services. Our customers trust us to provide best-in-class competitive services and Microsoft Communication Services are a good fit for that promise.”

With Integra’s collaboration and messaging services, customers are now able to utilize the latest versions of Microsoft business productivity tools, hosted on secure servers by a trusted communications provider, for a monthly fee. The new services also enable customers to support an increasingly mobile workforce by synchronizing their smartphones with their Exchange email, calendar and company directory.

In December, the company announced networkwide availability of Managed PBX and Hosted PBX Services for business. Integra’s Managed PBX Services pairs Integra’s network services with telephone equipment from Mitel or NEC, and for businesses that would prefer not to manage the data center and telephony equipment, the company’s Hosted PBX Services are designed to deliver communication services and solutions previously available only on premise-based equipment.

“Since our phone system is so critical for our business continuity, we found the greater reliability of a hosted system a compelling option,” said Tim Neid, IT director at Admiral Merchants. “Integra Hosted PBX lets us monitor our call center closely, looking for opportunities to do things better. We like the control it gives us.”