Siemens is growing its OpenScape unified communications platform by offering a Web-based solution that is as simple to use as Skype, but with enterprise features.
Siemens Enterprise Communications is preparing to announce enhancements
to its OpenScape
unified communications platform
, with the key enhancement being a new
cloud-based collaboration offering.
OpenScape Web Collaboration solution is designed to enable businesses to
easily, quickly and cost-effectively launch a collaboration session among
multiple participants. In addition to the cloud-based offering, OpenScape UC
Suite 2011 includes a host of productivity and collaboration applications for
Siemens' OpenStage phones, as well as updates to OpenScape Video and OpenScape
Mobility, which now includes a greater number of mobile clients, including the
Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices.
company, which will formally announce the new and enhanced offerings Dec. 7, is
looking to create a UC family of offerings that enable businesses to
collaborate any time on any device, in any fashion, from e-mail to video,
according to Ross Sedgewick, vice president for global solutions marketing at
common thread [in all the new offerings] is expanding our footprint in the
collaboration space," Sedgewick said in an interview with eWEEK.
unified communications space is a fast-growing and increasingly competitive
one, as businesses look for ways to increase employee productivity while
reducing costs in such areas as travel. In a report Nov. 18, market
research firm Dell'Oro Group
noted that, thanks to the efforts of Cisco
Systems, Microsoft and Avaya, the UC space in the third quarter saw its strongest
revenue growth in two years, with revenue jumping 7 percent over the same
period in 2009.
analyst Alan Weckel pointed to Microsoft's recent release of its Lync UC
platform as a catalyst that will help the market continue to surge.
pockets of weakness reappearing, we believe that the unified communications
market will expand significantly in 2010, as existing vendors continue to
invest and expand their software offerings and Microsoft begins to actively
push Lync," Weckel said in a statement at the time.
is looking to become a larger player in this arena, and Sedgewick said the
OpenScape Web Collaboration solution could be a differentiator for the company.
He said the offering brings to businesses the ease of use that consumers
get with services like Skype or Apple Facetime with the security, scalability
and performance features enterprises demand.
key point is that all a business needs to do is install the technology on a
single server. After that, there are no hardware components or special devices
that the business needs to buy. OpenScape Web Collaboration will
distribute client agents to people participating in the online conferences, and
users can access the conference either through a Web browser or an executable
on their devices.
the solution, users can participate via chat, e-mail, audio and visual, and on
a wide range of devices, including most smartphones. Once the session is over,
the user can close the Web browser. If the person gained access through the executable
agents, those agents will disappear. Sessions can scale to up to 1,000
participants. They support the H.264 standard and are protected via AES
256-bit encryption and passwords.
completely footprintless," Kathy Heilmann, director of UCC (unified
communications and collaboration) solutions marketing at Siemens, said in an
interview, noting that after buying the OpenScape Web Collaboration technology
that sits on the server, no other Siemens products are necessary to get an
online conference going.
with the online conferencing offer, Siemens also is offering OpenScape
PhoneApps, which offers more than 20 phone applications to IP phones from
Siemens. The applications range from messaging, conferencing, alerts and
scheduling to buddy status, weather, call block and wake-up calling. In
addition, Siemens is offering an SDK (software development kit) to enable
businesses to build their own XML applications.
to OpenScape Mobility offer UC capabilities on a greater range of mobile devices,
including the iPhone and iPad. Updates to OpenScape Video include
interoperability with video conferencing systems from the likes of LifeSize
Communications, Polycom and Cisco's Tandberg business.
new and enhanced offerings will be available this month.