Qwest aims integrated VOIP services at midsize businesses

The service package includes a T-1 loop, router, Internet port and front-office equipment such as handsets

Qwest unveiled its managed communication service for midsize businesses that integrates both voice and data into a single network.

The Qwest OneFlex Smart Connect service is being marketed toward businesses that have between six and 48 employees, the company says. The service package includes a T-1 loop, router, Internet port and front-office equipment such as handsets. In addition to providing the equipment, Qwest will also be in charge of installing and maintaining the network through technical assistance, security firewalls and various software updates.

Eric Bozich, Qwest's vice president of IP connectivity, says that because this new service will be maintained entirely by Qwest, business owners will be able to concentrate more on running their business and will have to worry less about constant network repairs and upgrades.

"We heard from medium-sized businesses that there was a need for a fully managed VOIP solution," says Dan Yost, Qwest's executive vice president of product and IT. "With Qwest Smart Connect, businesses get the most flexible, reliable and affordable integrated VOIP solution available."

Qwest first came out with its OneFlex VOIP enterprise services and WAN data services in 2004. While those services were tailored more toward large enterprises, Smart Connect is Qwest's first comprehensive managed service package that targets exclusively midsize businesses.

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