By Ellen Muraskin  |  Posted 2004-06-04 Print this article Print

The IM generations—two, counting mine and my childrens—also "get" the idea of presence, something Your Assistant (and Openscape software by Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc., and others) use in multiple media. IMers dont confuse "presence" with physical location. They know that the Great Register in the cloud lets us find our buddies no matter where they are, whether we sit at our home PCs or sneak notes around the world through PCs in the classroom.
Likewise, YA will work for anyone who plugs in via broadband from any location, whether theyve packed a Mitel IP phone or a YA soft-phone client on a laptop.
PC Magazines Labs recently took a look at Mitels solutions. Click here to read more. YA windows show you which of your co-workers are available to chat, which are on the phone, which may be in video sessions and which are video-enabled. And it ramps up from text to voice to video with a click. Video conferences for as many as five people are supported using the YA 6600 server and any USB cameras; a richer video option is to use the MXM conference bridge and video endpoints OEMd from Herzliya, Israel-based VCON Ltd. Your Assistant can place and answer phone calls, video calls, IM and file transfers. When a call comes in, it pops up a little window with caller ID or ANI, or a whole Outlook/Lotus Notes/ACT/Goldmine record. You click to dial from logs of missed and received calls, and you can easily capture numbers into a contact list. You can click and drag phone numbers from any list to make an instant conference call. Mitels IM software, imbedded with YA, is enterprise-secure, encrypted and OEMd from San Diego-based WiredRed Software Corp. But it can be set up to work with MSN, so you can include your beyond-the-office contacts in your personal buddy list. And its exceptionally clever: If someone who is online calls you while youre on the phone, it can automatically pop up the chat window that you need to tell him to hold on a sec, or when to call back, or to answer his burning question. Your entire Your Assistant profile and controls can be ported to an iPAQ pocket PC by Hewlett-Packard Co. This can be nestled in the cradle of the 5230 model phone, giving it an instant personality transplant. Wi-Fi-based telephony via iPAQ is still in the works. Next Page: Indexing file-system documents by name.

Ellen Muraskin is editor of's VOIP & Telephony Center. She has worked on the editorial staff at Computer Telephony, since renamed Communications Convergence, including three years as executive editor. Muraskin's work has also appeared in Popular Science magazine and other publications.

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