Siemens is thinking Unified

So, when you think of the name Siemens you think open, software and unified communications, right? Well, I don't but Siemens seems to be making a sincere effort to build a unified communications platform based on the SIP protocol.

The latest effort was displayed this week at the CeBIT trade show when the company held a press conference announcing its OpenScape unified communications platform. The platform has lots of different offerings, but an executive desktop videoconferencing application runs about $5000.

The promise of unified communications remains unfilled at most companies in my opinion. The platforms are traditionally too complex to install and manage, involves too many departments and too often include a vendor proprietary lock-in.

The Siemens suite addresses these issues, but the devil of these big suites is in the details. Can a company go a little way into the unified communications landscape without having to build a big budget, go out and hire a bevy of consultants and hope that a decent return on investment can be reached? Going a little unified would go a long ways into making this market

take off.