InTechnology has launched what it claims us the first authentic hosted unified communications offering. The company, which is working with its partner, Postcti, will be offering a hosted Microsoft Office Communication Server to provide enterprises with telephony, email, instant messaging and videoconferencing.

Stefan Haase, marketing director at Intechnology, said that other vendors had claimed to be offering a unified comms service but they were all missing the voice component, something that he said was an essential part of a true unified communications product.

Haase said that the news service would be huge time saver for an enterprise worker who has to cope with messages from a variety of sources and who wasted a lot of time trying to contact colleagues who were unable. "The point is that recipients can choose how they wish to receive messages, whether it's by fixed-line, mobile, email, instant message or whatever. If they wish to be unavailable then they can be," he said. The only requirement for each end user was to have the Microsoft OCS interface installed on all their devices, he added.

The service will be able on a pay per user basis said Haase. He said that it was impossible to give an accurate figure as to how much an average set-up would cost an enterprise as it depended so much on the particular configuration. "The basic cost is £5.95 per user per month for the most basic service but the costs would increase for each additional service." He said that the costs were not charged by usage and a light user would be charged the same as a heavy user, said Haase. "But we find there are no such things as light users," he added. "The use of our system increases use of communications services."