RIM, Cisco Optimize BlackBerry for Unified Communications

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Cisco announced a new BlackBerry Mobile Voice System Server for use with Cisco's Unified Communications Manager. Gearing up for its WES show in Orlando, starting May 5, RIM also announced an alliance with HP.

Research In Motion has announced, along with other news coming on the eve of its Wireless Enterprise Symposium, in Orlando, Fla., a new version of its BlackBerry Mobile Voice System Server, optimized for use with Cisco Systems' Unified Communications Manager, version 6.1 or later.

This version of the BlackBerry Mobile Voice System Server offers a closer link between office desktop phones and employee BlackBerry smartphones.

According to RIM, features will include:

  • The option of a single "reach me anywhere" number, creating one caller ID, voice mailbox and phone number for both the BlackBerry and the desktop.

  • Simultaneous or sequential ringing for up to four devices.

  • Telephony desktop functions such as extension dialing and call transfers to BlackBerry devices.

  • The ability to make calls on a BlackBerry using either the smartphone number or the desktop number.

  • The ability to transition an in-session call from a BlackBerry device to a desktop phone.

The new RIM product features deeper integration with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and direct SIP integration between the Cisco Unified Communications Manager and the BlackBerry MVS Server.

Out-going calls on BlackBerry devices can be made to route through the BES and Cisco manager for added security and manageability.

For example, the solution enables call logging, which can be used for auditing or regulatory purposes. The solution can also route the call through the least-expensive method; enable IT policies and controls to be put in place; and assign phone numbers to specific BlackBerry devices, enabling an enterprise to pass the number to a new contact person, should an employee leave the company.

"The integrated solution now enables IT professionals to manage mobile costs by extending corporate voice policy to their mobile devices, while offering BlackBerry smartphone users a rich set of familiar enterprise features through the same elegant user interface of the BlackBerry smartphone," Laurent Philonenko, general manager of Cisco's Unified Communications business unit, wrote in a statement.

The solution will be available in North America in the third quarter of 2009.