Productivity software

Siemens Readies Business Communications Tool

On October 22, Siemens Communications will unveil its UC (unified communications) solution for small and midsize busineses.

Dubbed HiPath OpenOffice ME it is a UC solution in a box or appliance that will offer much but not all of the same features larger enterprises are now deploying as part of their communications rollouts.

While the feature set may be smaller -- it scales mainly between 20 and 150 employees -- and it lacks the customizable complexity and redundancy in Siemens enterprise UC solutions, it does have at its core the same three major components of a UC platform: A single application for all categories of communications; a single user interface for both administrators and users, and a single reporting and management capability that aggregates data on all forms of communications onto a single platform.

"Our presence technology bleeds across all communications methodologies, including cell phones, instant messaging, and within applications," said Al Baker, U.S. Vice president, product and service management, enterprise line management at Siemens.

The OpenOffice suite of applications includes but is not limited to VOIP and presence awareness.

As a suite option, another new product called Wireless C20 Controller will allow businesses to move both voice and data traffic through wired and wireless connections, allowing users a single telephone number for all calls on all devices.

Besides the SMB offerings and its own OpenScape solution for the enterprise, Siemens licenses its SIP technology, presence/collaboration engine middleware, and logic that ties it all together, to the likes of IBM and SAP.

The HiPath OpenOffice ME appliance is expected to be available in the U.S. in February 2008 with pricing starting at US$270 per user.

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