Comcast Announces Plans to Launch Interactive SmartZone(TM) Communications Center
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA; CMCSK), the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, today announced plans to launch the SmartZone(TM) communications center, which will give its customers free access to many of the most innovative and popular communications tools, via the industry's first fully integrated, Web-based communications center. For the first time, Comcast customers will be able to go to one central location to send and receive email, check voicemail online, send instant messages and manage a new smart address book. Comcast is partnering with a number of industry-leading technology companies to design and create this simple and easy-to-use communication application.
"With the SmartZone communications center, we continue to provide superior value to Triple Play customers by putting a suite of communications tools right at their fingertips. From one central dashboard, they will now be able to manage all of their communications needs as well as customize their experience," said Greg Butz, Senior Vice President, Product Development for Comcast.
Scheduled to begin rolling out later this year, Comcast customers will be able to access the message center via the award-winning Comcast.net to do things like:
Experience "Visual" Voice Mail, which means customers can listen to their voicemails online and forward voice mail messages via email to anyone. Customers can also view, save and print Call History just as they can with email. Customers can also manage calling features such as call forwarding, do not disturb and voice mail playback options.
Easily merge their contacts into a single Smart Address Book that synchronizes with and is accessible from a wide range of tools, services and Web-enabled devices.
Send Instant Messages and Video Instant Messages that enable customers to connect with friends and contacts online in real time.
Personalize their SmartZone communications center with other features like weather, news reports and video clips.
View, send and receive voicemail integrated with email, all on one easy-to-navigate Web application.
To create the new service, Comcast chose to work with best-in-class companies that are leaders in their respective fields. Mr. Butz added, "We are delighted to be working with forward-looking technology innovators like HP, Plaxo and Zimbra to create an exceptionally simple and intuitive communications application that will enable our customers to keep in touch with anyone, from anywhere."
"We're excited to be leading Comcast's team of partners and to be selected as the primary implementer to design, build and manage this communications center, which will be accessible to Comcast's 12 million plus high-speed Internet customers as well as their Digital Voice customers," said John E. Evers Jr., Vice President and General Manager, Outsourcing Services Americas, HP Services. "HP Services' proven expertise in designing, managing and hosting complex IT environments will be an asset in helping Comcast more easily and cost-effectively integrate data, voice and video services on this innovative SmartZone communications center platform."
Other key partners involved in the project include Plaxo, creator of the leading address book service, used by over 15 million members worldwide. Plaxo pioneered the "smart address book" that gives users a single, self- updating address book they can use within a wide variety of communication tools, services and mobile devices. "We're honored to be chosen by the market-leader Comcast to provide the strategically important address book component of their exciting new communications platform. By giving users easy access to contact information for all of the important people in their lives, we can help create true integration across Comcast's triple play and mobile services, and make them even more convenient and compelling," said Ben Golub, President and Chief Executive Officer of Plaxo.
Zimbra, the award-winning provider of next-generation unified messaging and collaboration software, was chosen by Comcast for SmartZone. "Zimbra is thrilled about teaming up with Comcast to deliver a rich, integrated email and Visual Voice Mail communications platform," said Satish Dharmaraj, co-founder and CEO of Zimbra. "With our combined expertise and Zimbra's innovative Web 2.0 technologies we are delivering a powerful, unified, and effortless experience that brings Comcast Triple Play to the web. SmartZone represents the future of communications and we look forward to working together and expanding on this vision."
Beyond control and ease of use, Comcast's SmartZone communications center will also set new standards for safety and security. It will incorporate Bizanga's email anti-abuse system, Cloudmark's email anti-spam and anti- phishing tools and Trend Micro's anti-virus software.
Comcast customers will be able to access the SmartZone communications center through Comcast.net, the Company's portal, which is also a top-10 site on the Internet.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA; CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 24.2 million cable customers, 12.1 million high-speed Internet customers, and 3.0 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, four regional Comcast SportsNets and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
Plaxo is the creator of the "smart address book" service that now helps 15 million people around the world stay organized, up-to-date, and in touch with their friends, family, colleagues, and customers. Founded in 2001, Plaxo is a privately held company, funded by leading investment and technology firms - Sequoia Capital, Globespan Capital Platforms, Harbinger Venture Management, DAG Ventures, and Cisco Systems - and by individual investors Ram Shriram and Tim Koogle. More information on the company is available at www.plaxo.com.
Zimbra is the leading provider of open source messaging and collaboration software for consumer and other hosted service providers in addition to businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies. The Zimbra Collaboration Suite features a rich web-based user interface built with AJAX technology that dramatically improves the messaging and collaboration experience for end users. Zimbra's flexible system supports users of Windows, Apple, and Linux desktops. The Zimbra Collaboration Suite was voted one of the 20 Most Innovative Products of 2006 by PC World, Best Messaging Project in the inaugural 2006 SourceForge.net Community Choice Awards, received a SIIA Cody award for Best Communication or Collaboration Solution and won InfoWorld's 2007 Application Innovator Technology of the Year Award. More information and software downloads are available at http://www.zimbra.com/.
SOURCE Comcast Corporation