IBM Collaboration Tools Gain Telephony Features

IBM and Avaya team up to integrate telephony capabilities into IBM's enterprise e-mail, Web conferencing and instant messaging tools.

IBM and Avaya Inc. are teaming up to integrate telephony capabilities into IBMs enterprise e-mail, Web conferencing and instant messaging tools.

The integration will allow users to initiate calls by clicking on one or a group of e-mail or IM contacts from within their Lotus Notes and Domino and Lotus Sametime clients. Integration with the Avaya Meeting Exchange server will let Lotus Web conference attendees see which participant is speaking, call new participants, mute lines and control volume.

The new functionality will be available with Lotus Sametime 7.0 by the end of the year and with Lotus Notes and Domino 6.5.6 and 7.0.1 in the first quarter of next year, said IBM officials in Armonk, N.Y.

/zimages/3/28571.gifIBM shifts course on its Notes client. Click here to read more.

Integration of the telephony capabilities with IBM Workplace Collaboration Services is scheduled for a future date.

Pricing has not yet been determined.

"I have definitely seen interest in click-to-call from some of my Domino customers," said Richard Schwartz, principal of RHS Consulting Inc., in Nashua, N.H.

"Interest in this has been growing rapidly in the last year as customers have been learning more about VOIP [voice over IP]. In many cases, employees are switching to broadband IP telephony at home and signing up for services like Skype, and theyre going to expect their collaborative applications in the workplace to have even better integration than they see at home," Schwartz said.

The capabilities are built on An IBM TSPI (telephony service provider interface), and IBM said other telephony providers plan to build on top of the framework.

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