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Unified Communications
UC News
SMBs Reduce Unified Communications Spending

While Unified Communications (UC) can provide significant improvements in both operation and cost for companies of all sizes, recent research has shown that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are backing off of their drive to implement such technologies - at least for the time being.


According to recent InfoTech research on the SMB market demand for UC, roughly 70 percent of U.S. SMBs are implementing, trialing or planning to implement UC applications. These plans however, are not always meshing with IT budgets. According to the latest research, cutbacks in IT spending have had an impact on about 25 percent of those reporting companies, resulting in significant changes to their implementation plans of IP Telephony and UC applications for 2008.
Wainhouse: UC No Longer Strategic
A recent market metrics findings report released by Wainhouse Research reveals that "unified communications may have already shifted from a strategic issue capturing upper management mindshare to a tactical issue for others in the organization to wrangle with and implement."


The finding of Wainhouse report, "Rich Media Metrics: Unified Communications and Collaboration 2008," is based on an online survey conducted in June 2008 to assess enterprise end user trends and preferences. The survey shows that less than 10 percent of the companies have established a UC strategy. C-level executives are decision makers in less than 20 percent of the UC purchases; last year, the corresponding figure was more than 30 percent. The report said: "Given that 52 percent of respondents have completed pilots or have pilot projects underway, UC may be relegated to somewhat of a "science project" in many companies, lacking process and managerial oversight, particularly in light of the fact that only 7 percent have completed a return on investment (ROI) analysis."
CallWave Acquires WebMessenger, Enhances FUZE


CallWave has acquired mobile messaging software vendor WebMessenger for $9.0 million in cash. CEO Jeff Cavins said his company will incorporate WebMessenger's technology into its new UC solution, FUZE, which is slated for rollout in Q308. FUZE offers highdefinition synchronized video and document collaboration as well as high-definition audio conferencing from any web browser, using 3G or WiFi-enabled devices.


According to CallWave, FUZE can be used to facilitate audio conferences for up to 15 participants at a time. Since FUZE is browser-based, there is no software or hardware purchase or download required. FUZE also provides Internet fax, media sharing, Outlook synchronization, voicemail transcription, and support for instant messaging with Google Talk, Yahoo!, AIM and MSN as well as an auto-fetch feature for automatically dialing and connecting participants.
Unison Technologies Brings UC to Linux

Unison Technologies announced that it has entered into a partnership with Canonical, Inc. to bring unified communications to Linux. Unison is fully unified communications software capable of running on both Ubuntu Sever and on Ubuntu Desktop Edition. For Ubuntu users this will be a cost-effective and more functional alternative to legacy solutions.


Rurik Bradbury, CMO of Unison Technologies, said, "We believe that Unison on Ubuntu is a 'killer app' for Linux and a great option for any small or medium business. It is more powerful and far more affordable than the Microsoft alternative. With the user-friendliness and wide distribution of Ubuntu, we expect this partnership to further accelerate the growth of both Linux in business IT as well as unified communications."
Nortel Offers Web 2.0 Capabilities

Nortel has announced the release of new software to expand its unified communications portfolio and enable Web 2.0 customer care centers to offer service options beyond menu-driven interactive voice response (IVR). The new Nortel Interactive Communications Portal (ICP) is designed to help businesses install instant messenger (IM), email and click-to-call features quickly to self-service and speech applications.


Nortel ICP is a software-only solution built on Nortel's Media Applications Server, a platform that provides extensive support for conferencing, messaging, and interactive voice/video response features. The solution leverages Nortel's SOA strategy, as well as the company's service creation environment in an effort to help take VoiceXML to the next level. A software-only self service solution running native SIP, ICP is designed to simplify the process of getting up and running and it will appear to the network like just another SIP device.
Zarlink Debuts VoiceEdge VE792

Zarlink Semiconductor has launched the VoiceEdge VE792 Next Generation Carrier Chipset (NGCC), an integrated voice silicon solution. As a chipset solution, VoiceEdge VE792 features support for simultaneous high-speed video and voice, carrier grade line testing, and the lowest power usage and highest density on the market.


The VoiceEdge VE792 chipset includes an octal Subscriber Line Audio-Processing Circuit (SLAC), with integrated carrier grade line test toolbox and DTMF detection, a Single Channel Subscriber Line Interface Circuit (SLIC) and a multi-port Voice Control Processor (VCP). It provides up to 72 channels of realtime call control functions, as well as a full carrier grade line test, when enabled with the Zarlink LineCare software suite.
Cisco, HP Deal for Unified Communications Delivery

Cisco announced the expansion of its relationship with HP to enhance the delivery of Cisco Unified Communications to customers around the world. The expanded relationship includes investments by both companies for training and building global marketing and sales programs. Officials said that this latest announcement builds on the established Cisco and HP strategic relationship serving global customers. Recently, the Bucks New University of Buckinghamshire selected HP to deploy Cisco Unified Communications.


Along with being a Cisco Global Commerce, HP is also a Global Certified Partner. The company offers services for a wide range of Cisco Unified Communications and mobility solutions, including Internet Protocol Telephony network analysis, preparation, design, implementation, operation, design and support.
New England Credit Union Unifies Rural Communications

Looking to save more than $100,000 a year through increased productivity, reduced travel, and time-saving functionality, New England Credit Union (NECU), Australia's largest inland regional community credit union with more than 51,000 members, has chosen a unified communications solution from Nortel and Microsoft. The new technology solution is expected to go live in early September.


NECU says they chose Nortel for the direct software integration between its communication network and Microsoft's Office Communications Server software. This provided specific information about each of NECU's expert resources available in real-time to all of its branches. NECU now has a powerful platform to connect its people with its customers in a variety of different ways - through audio, video, text and IM.
Objectworld UC Server Now Supports Multiple PBXs

Objectworld Communications Corporation has announced the industry's widest support for multiple PBX and unified messaging systems integrated with its Objectworld Unified Communication (UC) Server software.


Adding support for multiple PBXs, Google Gmail and Novell GroupWise to its unified messaging capabilities allows Objectworld to enable businesses to integrate a wide variety of PBX systems, messages stores, PBX systems, SIP phones and gateways and third-party hardware, software and services into a single unified communications solution.


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