Unified communications software solutions specialist Mitel unveiled its Freedom architecture, a single, cloud-ready software stream that delivers an array of communications options for businesses looking to integrate a voice solution into networks and applications.
Mitel also announced new supporting offerings and capabilities including Mitel AnyWare, a cloud-based UC service; desktop virtualization integration with VMware View; and expanded UC support for Google Android, BlackBerry PlayBook and Apple iPad devices.
Mitel AnyWare is a cloud-based UC service that bundles everything a typical business user needs, from IP handsets to long-distance service, for an all-inclusive monthly per-user subscription fee. This service delivers communications features, scalability and simplicity by eliminating the need for customers to administer and maintain premises-based equipment.
The company said AnyWare could deliver up to 45 percent cost savings per user when compared with premises-based solutions. AnyWare is currently available from Mitel in the United States with additional service providers delivering Mitel-based hosted offerings globally.
To further strengthen Mitel's virtualization strategy, the company announced it intends to expand its relationship with VMware to include desktop virtualization. By combining Mitel's UC applications with VMware View, the company said it hopes customers will be able to benefit from an integrated, high-performance desktop experience.
"Businesses increasingly acknowledge the productivity and efficiency benefits they can realize from properly serving their mobile and dispersed work force," said Elka Popova, North American program director of unified communications and collaboration for analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. "Today, employees desire to be able to access a wide array of collaborative communication tools, on any device of their choice, regardless of their physical location. Mitel's Freedom architecture provides the necessary communications and collaboration tools to support organizations looking to reduce costs, increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction."
Hoping to support its strategy of enabling a consistent user communication and collaboration experience anywhere, on any device, Mitel UC Advanced Web and Mobile Portal provides remote access to corporate communications capabilities such as managing presence and viewing corporate contacts, call history and voice mail details from a mobile device or tablet.
Mitel is designing a UC Advanced Mobile client for Android that leverages the capabilities of these devices to provide additional enhancements such as location-based presence via GPS or Bluetooth. This will be available the first half of 2011, according to a company release. Mitel also plans enhanced integration of UC Advanced into iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook devices.
"Mitel Freedom is the culmination of the strategy Mitel put in place when it started to make the transition to IP-based communications a decade ago," said Jim Davies, chief technology officer for Mitel. "That strategy is that organizations favor a best-of-breed approach over a walled garden infrastructure offered by other vendors. They want a solution that fits their business model, not one that they have to force to fit. Freedom architecture gives organizations the flexibility to choose the applications they want to deploy, in the way they want to deploy it, and in a timeframe that suites their specific needs."