IBM improves Sametime platform

IBM recently released enhancements to its IBM Sametime platform with improvements that deliver native and third-party audio and video conferencing in browser-based meetings, and extend unified communications to new mobile devices.

Incorporated with the release, IBM has added Network Address Translation (NAT) support and firewall traversal for audio and video along with bandwidth management tools to enhance network operations for audio and video usage. The latest release also enables simultaneous integration with multiple audio and video conferencing systems. Other administrative improvements include enhanced meeting room controls, giving administrators the ability to manage access to rooms, eject users, and delete rooms. Users and administrators alike can take advantage of an improved chat history search feature.

On the mobile side, IBM has added a new Instant Messaging client and a Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) dialer for Google Android devices along with client software for Research in Motion (RIM) Blackberry devices.

Android users will now be able to monitor presence, access instant messaging (including background notification of new messages), use a new text to speech application that lets the Android device read Sametime messages, and take / send photos from the chat window or from the user's photo library.

Blackberry users will now be able to join Sametime meeting rooms directly from calendar or messaging applications, or find meeting rooms by room or owner name; view annotations by the presenter, raise or lower hands in the meeting, utilize zoom tools from the Blackberry device, and participate in group chats.

Our observations: unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solution providers continue to make feature improvements across their platforms, suggesting that somebody is willing to pay for these many bells and whistles. The best days for UC&C growth are probably still to come.

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