Sun, Mitel Team Up on UC Client, Hot-Desking

A new client brings hot-desking to the voice world.

Mitel Networks and Sun Microsystems at VoiceCon on March 17 will strengthen their OEM commitment when they launch a new unified communications client on the Sun Ray thin client.

One week after launching the first implementation of its Communications Director call control software on Sun Linux-based servers, Mitel added the Sun Ray Unified IP Client to the growing list of products in its year-old global OEM agreement with Sun. Mitel earlier released messaging software on Sun servers.

"This isn't just a one-off partnership. There is a team at Sun and Mitel working on R&D," said Stephen Beamish, vice president of business development and strategic alliances for Mitel.

The Sun Ray Unified IP Client is a module that snaps onto Mitel IP phones and lets users hot-desk into Mitel IP phones and Sun Ray thin clients using an authenticated Java Card.

"With thin-client technology you can go anywhere with a smart card and log in from anywhere and have access to your desktop. I can pull out my Java card in Ottawa, go to LA and access my desktop," Beamish said.

With the Java smart card, users can now hot-desk into the voice world as well as the data world. "With the Java card, my extension from Ottawa is now associated with me in L.A. I just have to give people one phone number and they can reach me anywhere," Beamish added.

Within about 5 seconds of inserting the Java Card, users have concurrent access to their desktop profiles and to unified communications functions such as mobility, unified messaging, video streaming and presence.

The combined Mitel and Sun offerings claim to help customers reduce power usage. The Sun Ray thin client and Mitel IP phone require 9 watts of power, compared with the 80 watts required by a PC, 60 watts required by a laptop and 10 watts required by other IP phones.

The new Sun Ray Unified IP Client will be available in May from both Mitel and Sun as well as their resellers. The list price for the client alone is $250. The Mitel Communications Suite on Sun servers is also due in the second quarter from both vendors.