Siemens Intros Packaged OpenScape UC Solutions

Siemens is offering packaged OpenScape communications offerings that include audio conferencing, unified messaging and collaboration tools for the licensing cost of a voice-only solution.

Siemens Enterprise Communications is offering new integrated unified communications packages based on its OpenScape platform and aimed at enterprises and midmarket businesses.

The new IP-based packages, OpenScape UC Server Enterprise and OpenScape UC Server Xpress, offer a host of communications technologies-including audio conferencing, unified messaging, user presence and one-number services-in a single offering with licensing fees the same as voice-only solutions.

The goal is to enable businesses to more quickly move to an IP-based communications platform that will help drive down costs but improve productivity, according to Chris Hummel, president of North America and chief marketing officer at Siemens. Because they are integrated packages of offerings, the new solutions will help businesses with deployment while driving down cost of ownership, the company said.

"We continue to focus on innovative new ways to package, deploy and deliver the value and competitive advantage of advanced UC, collaboration and voice software solutions for our customers," Hummel said in a statement. The new offering makes it "faster and easier for enterprises to migrate to next-generation communication solutions, and do so with a lower overall cost of ownership."

Such a move is on the mind of many business executives, according to research firm Frost and Sullivan. Siemens quoted Frost and Sullivan analyst Elka Popova as noting that up to 93 percent of CIOs are saying that such capabilities as IP telephony, audio conferencing and unified messaging are top priorities for improving employee productivity.

OpenScape UC Server Enterprise is an integrated voice and UC software offering for larger enterprises that has the same licensing price as a voice solution, according to Siemens. While targeting enterprises, the fact that it's deployable on a single server makes it worthwhile as a starting point to a UC deployment for departments. It also can be scaled for multi-server environments.

OpenScape UC Server Xpress is a more streamlined offering for midmarket companies with 350 to 1,000 users. The preconfigured solution offers voice, UC conferencing and entry-level contact center capabilities in a single package.

Along with the integrated packages, Siemens also is unveiling HiPath 4000 Evolution, which offers new software and data center deployment options for migrating to converged IP telephony. In addition, officials said they will later release an IT-ready rack-mount hardware chassis that will be called HiPath Access to be used for more easily running gateways and modules.

HiPath 4000 Evolution essentially is a software-based abstraction of the HiPath 4000, a converged IP system that supports Linux and runs on an industry-standard server. It lets new and existing customers take a more data-center an IT-centric approach to telephony systems while continuing to support their existing traditional phone systems.

Siemens officials have been aggressive in expanding the capabilities of its OpenScape offering in the face of competition from the likes of Cisco Systems, Avaya, Microsoft and IBM. In December, the company introduced a cloud-based communications offering, OpenScape Web Collaboration, which, officials said at the time, was designed to enable businesses to quickly and cost-effectively launch a collaboration session among multiple participants.