Orative Aims to Eliminate Phone Tag Headaches

Mobile telephony company Orative introduces technology that aims to eliminate the "phone tag" problem for large companies.

Mobile telephony company Orative Corp. has introduced technology that aims to eliminate the "phone tag" problem for large companies.

Orative Enterprise Software resides on a server to help direct mobile phone traffic on the campuses of large enterprises. Using the software, mobile phone users throughout the organization can contact each other more quickly, screen calls, access personal and corporate contact information and, in emergencies, erase critical data from lost or stolen cell phones.

"In many enterprises, employees mailboxes fill up sometime during the day, and if they are trying to get an urgent call about an upset customer or a malfunctioning plant, they cant get it," said Paul Fulton, CEO of Orative, based in San Jose, Calif. "We help people reach each other and make the first contact much more successful than it is today."

The product is unlike anything else on the market, said Bob Egan, president of Mobile Competency Group, a consultancy in North Providence, R.I.

"I dont know of any other company that allows somebody to get all of the contacts of a company provisioned for that individual and allows them to maintain them while protecting privacy and increasing reachability," he said.

Orative Enterprise Software is deployed behind the corporate firewall on Orative Enterprise Server, which integrates with popular e-mail and groupware platforms. The software also works in concert with corporate directories that house contacts, calendars and other information. Employees access the features through Orative Client Software, which operates on most handsets that run open operating systems.

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The goal of the system, Fulton said, is to empower employees and to make them more productive. Features that allow them to accomplish this goal include Orative Phonebook, which shows that contacts are available and which allows for two-way synchronization of contact information and remote search; Active Call, which shows caller identity, subject and priority and which allows employees to respond in a variety of ways; and the ability to receive calendar appointment and conference call reminders from Microsoft Corp.s Exchange.

"You get hundreds of numbers on your phone—both personal contacts from Outlook and corporate contacts from Exchange," Fulton said. "And if you dont have the contact you need, you can do a remote search back into the corporate directory."

To address the problem of whether the intended target is available to take the call, the system provides icons next to peoples names that show whether they are available to talk or text or whether their phone is even turned on. This feature translates into a much higher chance of reaching the intended person, Fulton said.

Because the phone system is integrated with employees calendars, the phone wont ring during meetings or during vacation, he noted.

Security also was a priority in developing the system, Fulton said. In addition to deploying the server behind the enterprise firewall, using single sign-on with authentication and full encryption, IT staff also can delete data remotely if an employees phone is lost or stolen. IT staff also can manage user activation, configuration and administration; set system privileges; and remotely manage devices in a variety of ways.

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