Level 3 incorporates collaboration services into cloud ecosystem

Level 3 Communications has added unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) into its Cloud Connect ecosystem, giving its enterprise customers another cloud service option.

However, the service provider is not going totally alone into the UC&C space. It is going to connect to a number of different UC&C partners, beginning with cloud-based video conferencing provider Blue Jeans Network.

The movement into the UC&C space reflects the trend that enterprise customers want simpler and more cost-effective ways to deploy new collaboration services such as voice, video collaboration, e-mail, conferencing and contact center.

A new Frost & Sullivan study revealed that hosted/cloud-based video conferencing services are expected to grow to $344.1 million in revenue by 2019, up from $113.7 million in 2013, which the research firm says is related to the ability to offer lower costs compared to on-premises solutions, ease of deployment and use, and interoperability across endpoints.

By using a single MPLS network connection, customers can use Level 3's Cloud Connect ecosystem to access global cloud-based communication services, such as those provided by Blue Jeans Network.

Whether they are home grown or through partnerships like Blue Jean Networks, cloud services have been increasingly becoming a major part of Level 3's service repertoire. Over the past year, the service provider has struck cloud relationships with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), all of which are designed to help businesses move applications and workloads from physical locations into the cloud.

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