Don’t Forget About Mobility!


One of the hot topics among IT managers I’ve spoken with in recent weeks is integrating mobile phones into their enterprise telephony and UC plans. Requirements vary. At a minimum users are asking for a single number for all their in-bound calls, allowing them to ring on both mobile and desktop, or to forward calls to their mobile if there’s no answer on the desk. Beyond single number reachability, most smartphone users have come to expect access to their calendar, e-mail box, and task lists from their BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile device, or now their Android phone. But increasingly even these applications aren’t enough. As UC arrives on the desktop, mobile users are asking for UC features such as presence, instant messaging, meet-me conferencing, web conferencing, and even video conferencing on their mobile devices, leading UC planners to turn to options from: • Mobility vendors such as Agito Networks, Ascendent Systems, CounterPath, D2 Technologies, DiVitas, OnRelay, and Varaha Systems; • UC vendors, such as Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, NEC, ShoreTel, and Siemens • Service providers such as Sprint Each of these vendors vary in their feature sets and their ability to integrate with back-end systems and services. Yet they all offer more options for driving UC to the mobile device, even opening the door to the possibility of eliminating the desktop phone altogether, saving money on infrastructure costs, and better supporting the needs of the mobile worker. As you develop your UC plans, don’t forget about the mobile phone. But more importantly, evaluate emerging services and applications that integrate the mobile phone with your UC applications to improve productivity and reduce costs.

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