Siemens Pushes for a Unified Domain

The company's LifeWorks program is designed to give the end user an integrated communications experience, regardless of location or device.

Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc. at SuperComm in Atlanta on Monday will bring a fresh perspective to the voice over IP-driven march to converged communication.

Claiming that first-generation VOIP didnt bring the cost savings people expected and that it doesnt address a mobile and distributed workforce, the integrated voice and data network supplier will launch a new marketing program, dubbed LifeWorks, designed to highlight the need to integrate home, business and carrier networks along with wired and wireless networks to give the end user an integrated communications experience, regardless of location or device.

"In the market today, weve developed service fragmentation. Your office phone does certain things; the home office line doesnt participate with the work environment," said Perry Kamel, general manager of next-generation carrier networks at Siemens, in Boca Raton, Fla.

"Unified Domain is the concept we are talking about, where the corporation and home are combined as if they are one single system," echoed Mark Straton, senior vice president of global marketing at Siemens Enterprise Networks, in Reston Va.

The first product to be introduced under the LifeWorks umbrella is the Surpass Business Connection platform for hosted communications. Siemens will also as part of LifeWorks outline its strategy to deliver a self-hosted version of its HiPath softswitch technology for enterprises.

The Surpass Business Connection platform, intended for carriers, managed services providers or hosting providers, is a more advanced IP Centrex platform that adds to traditional Centrex functions such features as multiparty collaboration, click-to-dial conferencing, and voice-to-text and text-to-voice messaging. "It lets carriers give customers seamless access to applications across a wide geographic scope. And it gives them a new value proposition to bring to the market," said Kamel.

"The marketplace [today] evolved to where PBX and Centrex are adversarial. We think there is synergy between the two that can unlock capabilities the market is demanding," he added.

Surpass Business Connection allows service providers to migrate subscribers over to a softswitch-based network architecture more cost effectively than replicating services and features over IP.

With the Hosted HiPath offerings, which arent slated to be available until next year, Siemens ICN will allow customers to run their HiPath softswitch applications as if they were another IT application from the data center.

"With Hosted HiPath, you can install the platform of choice, run the softswitch applications out of the data center and use a router to get [IP telephony capabilities] to other locations," Straton said.

Hosted HiPath is based on the standard Session Initiation Protocol, and it supports H.323 as well as Siemens own CorNet IP. It will scale to support 100,00 users and provides connectivity through standard routers and gateways or Siemens Survivable Media Gateways.