By Claire West

Star, a provider of on-demand computing and communication services to UK businesses today announces WorkLife Talk™, an on-demand IP telephony service that gives UK companies a new way to access the very latest technology, without the need for expensive PBX systems and priced at a fixed, all-inclusive monthly cost. The new telephony service is enterprise-grade and accessible to any size of business as it frees companies from a dependency on expensive in-house hardware. Now all companies can access a flexible and scalable communications platform that can grow with their business and break the cycle of hardware and software upgrades and obsolescence.

WorkLife Talk™ is targeted particularly at organisations with multiple sites and/or remote workers, where dramatic cost savings can be enjoyed by eliminating the cost of inter-office phone calls. The service is fully managed and requires no on-site switching hardware at the client’s premises as everything is done from Star’s secure, highly available data centre facilities that sit within a national network capability. WorkLife Talk™ is delivered direct to the customer’s IP desk phones and connected to their Local Area Network (LAN).

According to John Higgins, Head of IT at Hydrex, []i“We have been very impressed with how quick and easy it was to roll out business grade IP telephony to our users. So far our in-house IT resource has been able to refocus on the needs of the business because WorkLife Talk has removed the burden of an in-house PBX. For us, it’s extremely important to have a single point of contact for any issues we have with any aspect of the phone system. Our employees have also reacted very positively to the ease with which they can use the service in a way transparent to the caller from any of our offices or from home.”[/i]

Costing as little as £15 per user per month, for a minimum of 50 users, the service includes: phone, software, comprehensive management and 500 minutes of local or national calls. The user experience remains the same whether office based, on the road or working from home and they can manage their call preferences through Internet Explorer or from within Microsoft Outlook using the WorkLife Talk toolbar. The administrative task of adding or removing users is also simplified by offering the ability to add or delete users or change settings via the MyStar online customer portal.

According to Hugo Harber, Director of Convergence and Network Strategy at Star, “We are delighted to be in a position to assist UK companies with a service that will expand their communications capability beyond anything they can afford today. Many companies who want to break the cumbersome and expensive cycle of hardware and software upgrades and equipment obsolescence now have an alternative that is a business grade service and is affordable.”

The WorkLife Talk™ service is part of Star’s WorkLife™ Productivity Suite of on-demand services that also includes: business email, instant messaging, voice mail, audio, video and web conferencing. These modules have been fully pre-integrated and come as a single easy-to-use managed communications proposition for a fixed price per user per month.