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IP telephony vendors integrate their wares with Microsoft’s platform

Apr 03, 20063 mins

* VoiceCon sees IP telephony vendors announce integration with Microsoft

One major trend we noticed at last month’s VoiceCon in Orlando is that the IP telephony market seems to agree that integration with Microsoft’s platforms is pretty important. Today, we’ll highlight several show-related announcements about these integration efforts.

Siemens Communications announced that it is offering a pre-built Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration with the Siemens HiPath ProCenter Agile and HiPath ProCenter Standard contact center systems. In a statement, Siemens said that the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM software, coupled with HiPath ProCenter solutions, delivers valuable customer information to contact center and enterprise desktops, enabling faster first-contact resolution of customer calls.”

Commenting on the announcement, Joe Outlaw, principal analyst of contact center solutions with Current Analysis, said: “Enterprises value contact center solutions that support appropriate levels of functionality and can be quickly and cost-effectively extended with pre-integrated, add-on or third-party applications,” He added: “Siemens is providing a component-based, certified integration that helps enterprises meet today’s customer requirements and opportunities.”

Avaya and Microsoft also announced the intent to develop interoperability between Avaya MultiVantage Communications Applications and Microsoft Office Communicator, the unified communications client for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005. In a statement, Avaya said that “with the joint solution, business users will be able to:

* “Initiate calls with a click-to-dial from Microsoft Office Communicator and Avaya telephony endpoints that seamlessly interoperate between applications.

* “View colleagues’ phone status and presence availability from within Microsoft Office Communicator and instantly send an instant message or click-to-dial any worker.

* “Launch or answer phone calls from within Microsoft Office Communicator, and choose to conduct calls from the PC or Avaya desk phone.”

Cisco and Microsoft also announced at VoiceCon that they are working together to integrate Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 and the open Session Initiation Protocol-based Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 with the new SIP-based Cisco Unified Communications system. In a statement, Cisco said the system “will allow customers to:

* “Click to call as well as transfer phone calls from Office Communicator

* “Launch or answer a phone call from within Office Communicator, and choose to conduct the call from a computer or a desk phone.

* “View Cisco Unified IP Phone presence status from within Office Communicator.

* “Transparently escalate between Office Communicator instant messaging and voice sessions.”

And Mitel announced (just before VoiceCon) the general availability of its Live Business Gateway for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, saying the product offers “seamless integration between the Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform (ICP), legacy communications solutions, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and the Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 integrated communications client.”

Mitel continued, “With the Mitel Live Business Gateway users can invoke telephony and presence features from within the Microsoft Office suite of applications and from within Mitel applications including Mitel Customer Interaction Solutions and Mitel NuPoint Messenger IP.”