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Siemens looks to simplify with mobile U.C.: Enterprise offering promises increased productivity, reduced costs

Siemens Enterprise Communications launched an enterprise-focused one-stop shop for mobile unified communications.
The German-based company unveiled its OpenScape Mobility Solution last week and an analyst predicts the offering will reduce costs for businesses. Siemens also claims the new solution will work with infrastructure from other vendors and various smartphone operating systems.
“What we have done is taken four major components and put them all together for a true mobile U.C. solution,” said Luc Roy, Siemens VP of enterprise mobility. “It is the first time a company has been able to put all the key components together.”
Roy said the company is offering “starter-kit value bundles” for both the all-wireless enterprise and mobile unified communications. The wireless enterprise bundle starts at $70,000 and the starting cost for mobile U.C. is $120,000. Siemens officials added that the service is scalable.
“Small companies can pay as they grow,” said Rahul Aggarwal, Siemens VP of solution management.

Wi-Fi/GSM combo
By blending voice, wireless and Wi-Fi networks, Siemens is touting worker productivity improvements and costs associated with communications will decrease.
Siemens said the service routes wireless calls placed inside an enterprise over the Wi-Fi network, so cellular minutes are not used. This can be done through the company’s enterprise fixed-mobile convergence solution that features seamless call handover between Wi-Fi and GSM networks.
The offering also combines with software installed on personal computers, laptops and smartphones to provide workers with access to presence, contact lists, conferencing, voice e-mail and a one-number service. Roy said in today’s business world it is key for workers to have a single number that handles calls placed to an office or mobile line.
“When employees are out on the road, companies expect the same amount of productivity,” he said. “Production is one the key issues as more and more businesses are going mobile.”
Siemens also says the new solution has a green element; instead of having 10 to 20 different servers to handle the different modes of communication, the company’s solution is contained in a single server, Roy said.
Dean Bubley, founder of Disruptive Analysis, said the mobile U.C. market is now emerging by combining mobility with features and manageability of enterprise unified communications.
“Together, these should enable increased productivity, improved ‘reachability’ and help drive down costs of business mobile communications,” Bubley said.
According to a recent report by Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala, mobile unified communications is the future for businesses as they undergo transformation to a more global “anywhere enterprise.”
The integration of communication and mobility into business processes and the advances in wireless technology has “created an opportunity for businesses to deploy mobile unified communications that will bring productivity to new heights by enabling workers to communicate in more ways from more places,” according to Kerravala’s report. “It is imperative that companies of all sizes begin to look at mobile unified communications as a strategic initiative.”
Businesses are ready for unified communications, Roy said. “The new solution will do very well. How well? We will see.”

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