Savi Office, from Plantronics, offers more than a wireless headset solution with simultaneous connection to both a desk phone and PC. Savi Office also offers the PerSono software suite for controlling device behavior and for bridging content between communications channel. However, the flexible solution comes at a steep price and is not yet enterprise-ready. And it can only be used with Microsoft Windows-based PCs, though Plantronics says users of Apple Macs will be able to use the Savi Office devices as headsets.
With its new Savi Office line of wireless desktop headsets, Plantronics
looks to solve the last 10 feet of unified communications deployments,
providing users with an easy way to blend and bridge the audio from both the PC
and the desktop phone.
At its heart, Savi Office is just a wireless headset solution that can be
simultaneously connected to a desk phone (via a handset cable) and the PC (via USB).
Users can switch between audio sources simply by depressing a button on the
wireless headset component. Tested to work with the major PC media players and
softphones, a switch between communications channels automatically pauses media
playback or answers incoming calls.
While this functionality is useful-analysts predict the consumption of rich
media and the use of softphones in the enterprise will increase significantly
over the next few years-the list price of $380 for Savi Office seems steep just
to cut cable or headset clutter on workers' desks. Fortunately, Savi Office
introduces a software layer that allows much more functionality.
here for a look at Plantronics' Savi Office solution.
Plantronics offers Savi Office in a couple form factors, both of which I got
to try out during a recent prelaunch demonstration. The Savi Office Convertible
(WO100) comes with a wide microphone and thin earpiece, while the over-the-ear
(WO200) model has a wider earpiece and a more slender microphone. Both form
factors work with the same base station, as the base station has a swappable,
modular battery connector. Base stations can also be paired with more than one
Savi Office devices come with the PerSono Suite, which can be used to
control device behavior with supported telephony and media applications. It
also gives the user power to bridge content between communication channels.
When using PerSono, users can easily play back audio content from the PC to a caller
on the desk phone, bridge calls between a softphone and the desk phone-allowing
the user to basically host a conference between a land line and a VOIP (voice
over IP) network like Skype-or easily record calls placed on the desk phone.
While I liked the flexibility for ad-hoc connections between communications
channels that PerSono provides, I found the application took up too much screen
space for the limited amount of function it provides. I would like to see
Plantronics re-engineer the application to come as tool bar or as a plug-in for
supported third-party partner applications.
Unfortunately, the PerSono Suite is only available for Microsoft
Windows-based PCs, although Plantronics claims Apple Mac users will still be
able to use Savi Offices devices as a headset. They just won't be able to
control many behaviors of the Savi Office solution. Sadly, the battery
indicator for the headset is only available as part of the PerSono Suite, not
on the base station or headset.