BT has announced the addition of unified communications capabilities to its Onevoice service.
Onevoice is a voice-oriented VPN service used by corporate customers with offices spread around the world. On Tuesday, BT announced that, in a rollout to take place over the course of this year, Onevoice would gain session initiation protocol (SIP) connectivity. SIP allows for features such as presence, which refers to the ability to see whether correspondents are available, and makes it possible for a user to connect to a network from a variety of different devices.
BT also said that Onevoice had been augmented with conferencing services and integrated "on net" mobile-phone access, which is designed for making international calls at cheap rates.
"Historically, all voice VPNs did [was go] to the customer-edge router level, connect to a PBX in the customer's site and provide a routing table," Simon Farr, the head of voice and unified communications at BT Global Services, told ZDNet UK on Tuesday. "On top of all the regular calling features that are in place, with the adoption of SIP, organisations with a SIP-ready PBX will be able to adopt presence."
Farr said the SIP functionality would extend to features such as click-to-dial and directory-based calling, and would also let organisations use platforms such as Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) to plug into their VPN infrastructure.