Microsoft has made a big jump into the VoIP market with the announcement of three separate deals with AT&T, Amdocs and Sylantro.

The software giant's goal is to provide VoIP providers with the tools and services needed to produce new integrated products, according to Michael O'Hara, general manager for the service provider business at Microsoft.

"We're focusing on collaborating with service providers to build software-powered service networks. We believe that by focusing on collaboration with service providers we can build software-powered service networks that will create new applications," O'Hara said.

Microsoft's main product will be its Connected Services Framework (CSF), an integrated software product designed for building and managing complex services using a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web interfaces. CSF will let telcos aggregate, provision, and manage converged communications services, regardless of network or device, according to O'Hara. .

"With Connected Services Framework, telecommunications providers can develop and deploy not only Microsoft applications, but also operator-developed services and other third-party products aimed at specific customer segments," he said.

The strategic alliance with AT&T connects AT&T's global IP network with Microsoft's Connected Services Framework. Using Connected Services Framework, AT&T will create new network-based IP services and applications, according to the two companies.

The two companies will also work together on network-enabled messaging, collaboration, media, and business applications to expand AT&T's existing IP services line. .

Microsoft and Amdocs meanwhile have signed a letter of intent to jointly develop and market products that will combine Amdocs consulting and implementation services and software products with Microsoft's Connected Services Framework. "The goal here is to speed up the development of products and services that help service providers to deliver converged network services that bring together voice, video, and data," said O'Hara.

The companies will make the Amdocs software available on Microsoft platforms and work together to develop industry-standard, Web services-based interfaces for faster development of new services.

Microsoft and Sylantro Systems announced they will develop and market enhanced VoIP solutions for telcos. Sylantro's Application Feature Server will be integrated with the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration. The product will offer subscribers combined VoIP, e-mail, collaboration, presence, instant messaging, and desktop services.

"Increasingly, businesses are looking to service providers to deliver rich communications services that bring together a variety of features and capabilities in a single package. The combination of the Sylantro platform with the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration provides the powerful, yet easy-to-use telephony and desktop capabilities that business users demand, and delivers a consistent experience across the PC, telephone and mobile devices," said O'Hara.