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October 10, 2006

Unified Communications Comes Full Sphericall

By Robert Liu, TMCnet Executive Editor

Sphere Communications (News - Alert) kicked off INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & Expo, West, on Tuesday by bringing video conferencing capabilities under its Sphericall Web Services platform for unified communications.
With video conferencing giants Polycom (News - Alert), Tandberg and Aastra, as its integration partners, Sphere is expanding its software-based unified communications services engine to include an integral web server that can host a range of services for browser-based devices such as IP telephones. Providing an open system that can be easily programmed using standard scripting, XML files and a set of Call Control & Media Services functions, the system can be easily customized to adapt to the needs of enterprises and their business applications.
“Unified communications includes converging business information and multiple communication media such as video onto devices that people use throughout the day,” said Graeme Robinson, President, Sphere Communications. “It's only logical that a communications services engine provide an easy and consistent convergence point for enterprises to build solutions that meets the needs of their business.”
Sphere Communications will be hosting the demonstration in booth #108 at the INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference and Expo. Sphere executives can also be found speaking across many events in the conference this week during the show.
The demonstration will showcase Tandberg 150 MXP personal video conference phones illustrating next generation desktop video conferencing as a unified enterprise communications solution, micro-browser based IP telephones from Aastra and Polycom showing integrated unified messaging services including numerous RSS feeds that include the ability for users to get traffic information, weather reports, or the latest news updates and how a business can provide critical news and alerts to employees such as emergency weather or company meetings.
Sphericall's SOAP/XML based Web Services allow businesses to integrate the system with other business applications such as CRM, HR, ERP, and other systems that are part of their SOA (Services Oriented Architecture), allowing them to link certain information directly to employees telephone screens such as daily sales volumes, promotions, inventory status, and more.
“If you have certain information readily available, it is more convenient than looking it up on the Internet,” said Todd Landry, Senior Vice President, Sphere Communications. “Information available at your telephone device could be weather conditions, the latest news, or traffic reports. Enterprises will find that providing the results of your daily sales goals, an emergency alert to a teacher in a classroom, or an inventory availability alert are the kind of information that has real business value.”
Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.

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