Siemens Bolsters Unified Communication Suite

Siemens upgrading its OpenScape Unified Communications suite to include a stand-alone collaboration platform that doesn't require other Siemen's products in order to set up conferences.

[Also read: 10 great iPhone apps for business collaboration]

Called OpenScape Web Collaboration, the stand-alone server distributes client agents to parties that are invited to join conferences. These agents either run in browsers or as executables on the client machines, but in either case they dissolve when the collaboration session ends.

The collaboration software supports audio, video and chat and includes clients that run on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, the company says. Each conference can support up to 1,000 participants, and sessions are encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption.

No other Siemens products are needed in order for Web Collaboration to work, but it has more features if it runs in combination with its OpenScape Unified Communications platform, the company says.

Web Collaboration is part of Siemens OpenScape UC Suite 2011. Also new is OpenScape Phone Apps, a set of 20 applications supported through OpenScape UC Application server and provides conferencing capabilities and controls to Siemens IP phones. These applications include a currency converter, conferencing, alerts, weather and buddy status. The company says these applications can be viewed as building blocks that can be combined to create more complex tools.

Phone Apps also comes with a software developers' kit to customize the applications or to write new ones.

OpenScape UC Suite 2011 also includes changes to OpenScape Video that brings interoperability with video gear made by Polycom, Tandberg and Lifesize. The upgraded video platform also includes support for H.264 high definition video in the OpenScame desktop client.

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