Verizon Combines Wireline, Wireless Communications Through New One Talk Service

Verizon on Thursday introduced its mobile-first communications solution for small business customers. The offering, called One Talk, is an integrated wireline and wireless voice service that will be available through the channel immediately.

One Talk, which is available on Verizon’s nationwide 4G LTE network, combines business calling features that work seamlessly over desk phones or mobile devices, and will appear on one bill for customers. The new service will provide a mobility offering to solution providers that haven't tapped into the wireless market yet, Alex Doyle, director of unified communications and collaboration for Verizon, told CRN.

’Our [agent] partners have an amazing expertise in communications,’ he said. ’We are giving them a way to leverage those capabilities and also come into the wireless space to deliver mobile solutions – the next leap forward.’

[Related: Alliance Partners Consortium Extends Verizon Relationship For Access To Next-Gen Solutions]

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SOVA, a Plains, Pa.-based master agent and Verizon Platinum Partner has already run the One Talk service by several of its partners and has never seen such a high level of interest for a new product, according to Gene Esopi, SOVA's president.

’This mobility-first, integrated solution offers nationwide coverage, and we think this is finally the product that will help us move those traditional wireline agent partners into the wireless space,’ Esopi said.

Many small business customers today use both traditional wireline phone systems for employees on desk phones, as well as wireless plans for mobile users. As a result, voice strategies are often fragmented, with employees having multiple phone numbers and often no easy way to switch between their office lines to their mobile devices, said Catherine Sugarbroad, executive director of enterprise product management for Verizon.

One Talk lets employees move between their desk and mobile phones by pushing one button. It also allows a user to have one phone number rather than sharing their personal cell phone numbers. The service is available on both Android and iOS mobile devices. Users will have access to all of One Talk's business features, such as conference calling, executive assistant line sharing, and hold and transfer functions from their mobile devices.

’This mobile-first [offering] was designed to give small businesses an elegant unified communications solution with all the features they need to appear bigger than they are,’ Sugarbroad said.

Employees using a competing wireless service provider can also take advantage of One Talk. These users can make calls and access One Talk's features through the One Talk mobile app.

One of the most compelling features of One Talk for both partners and customers is the fact that the service combines all mobile and fixed communications into one bill, which will help many businesses cut costs. The combination is also a win-win for partners that have had to manage multiple wireline and mobile plans for their users, Sugarbroad said.

Verizon's reseller partners can hold the paper for the One Talk service, while Verizon will bill end customers for the service on behalf of its telecom agent partners, Doyle added.

Alongside the One Talk service, Verizon is rolling out a new line of desk phones that can be used with it. Verizon partners can also sell the newly released One-Talk desk phones along with the One Talk service, Doyle said.

SOVA plans to resell the new One Talk desk phones along with the One Talk service, Esopi, of SOVA, said.

’We will be providing this total solution to our partners and their clients,’ he said. ’We think it’s a great opportunity for channel partners to reach into their existing clients, and we expect the offering to be super sticky.’