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Verizon Business and technology giant Microsoft Corp. announced they
are jointly delivering Verizon unified communications (UC) and
collaboration capabilities with Microsoft Online Services, a
cloud-based platform designed specifically for small to medium-size
businesses (SMBs). The platform combines Verizon voice, Internet,
security, mobility and backup services with a host of Microsoft
capabilities that can be packaged together and delivered via the cloud.

The combined solution suite features Microsoft applications such as
Exchange Online for advanced messaging capabilities, including shared
calendaring and contacts; up-to-date anti-spam and antivirus, access
to Microsoft Outlook via a PC or a Web browser and support for mobile
devices including Google Android and Research in Motion BlackBerry devices.

Also included is SharePoint Online, a single location for document
sharing and collaboration, featuring collaboration sites for teams,
meetings and documents, access to Outlook, forms, and workflow and
portal sites and content management and search. Office Live Meeting
enables online meetings, presentations and training sessions, featuring
desktop sharing and whiteboard tools, rich media, hi-fi recording, live
Web cam video, multiparty video, VOIP/audio and Web client support for
remote attendees.

"This new solution can be a catalyst for more efficient, automated
and interoperable business processes for our small- and
medium-sized-business customers," said Carrie Gray, executive director
of solutions marketing for Verizon Business. "Together with Microsoft,
we’re delivering a simple, cost-effective opportunity for businesses to
adopt cloud-based messaging and UC&C capabilities and improve their
business performance.  This solution is ideal for companies with
limited resources to take advantage of these advanced communications
capabilities, which are becoming a business essential." 

In addition, the suite includes Office Communications Online (OCO),
which enables business-class instant messaging and chat among users,
featuring seamless presence awareness, one-to-one video, and voice and
integration across Microsoft Outlook calendar and contacts and other
applications. Verizon will offer Lync Online, announced Wednesday, as
it becomes available in 2011. Since Verizon UC&C with Microsoft
Online Services is a hosted solution, customers pay a subscription fee
for each user, and then single-price subscription and features are
billed monthly for each worker.

"Microsoft Online Services delivers the most popular productivity
applications in the cloud and offers the same world-class services to
small and medium businesses that are available to larger businesses,”
said David Scult, general manager of Online Services at Microsoft.
“Verizon is a key strategic partner for us to bring these capabilities
to small and mid-sized businesses in the United States today and will
be a launch partner for Office 365."