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April 03, 2006

CallTower Releases its Live Communications Management Suite To Combine Voice with the Power of the Desktop

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The industry’s first voice and data solution to include Microsoft Live Communications Server with the Cisco CallManager into one convenient, secure, hosted suite for growing businesses has been introduced by CallTower. The provider of Always-On, hosted communications and collaboration solutions for businesses has released the CallTower Live Communications Management Suite.
By extending the capabilities of presence and people-centric communications to include voice and apply the power of desktop software and software platforms to improve and advance communications, the CallTower Live Communications Management Suite is the first hosted service and solution that combines “Presence Management” with the phone system.
This new suite from CallTower enables users to identify on-the-phone/off-the-phone status for any PC and telephony device. The suite also includes control and recognition of callers, the ability to click-to-call or click-to-email/IM and the ability for users to make phone calls, place calls on hold, transfer calls or place calls into conference all via a PC.
Cisco Systems (News - Alert) and Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp. announced recently that they were working together to provide real-time capabilities for business through the integration of the Microsoft® Office Communicator 2005 and the open Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) (SIP)-based Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 with the new SIP-based Cisco Unified Communications system.
Microsoft Office Live Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator will interoperate with the new Cisco Unified CallManager in order to enable the solution. This solution is anticipated to be a late summer release.      
CallTower anticipates great opportunity by beating Cisco and Microsoft to market. The company is currently delivering the full integrated functionality, including hosted, provisioned Cisco CallManager, with the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, in one package.       
Growth businesses will have easy access to sophisticated communication and collaboration capabilities through the combination and integration of the Cisco CallManager, the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Live Communications Server into its hosted voice/data suite.
According to Mark Harris, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CallTower, growing businesses can instantly obtain all the features and functionality that Cisco and Microsoft have stated will be delivered later this year. The new CallTower Live Communications Management Suite allows businesses to communicate better and faster, conference in people from IM, and to click-to-dial.
Harris continued that CallTower is committed to developing secure, Always-On applications that improve the productivity of knowledge workers. CallTower enables businesses to eliminate their capital expense for telephony and data, add collaboration and communication applications and immediately deploy and benefit from all the features and functionality.
The CallTower Live Communications Management Suite allows mid-sized and growing businesses to add collaboration operations and capabilities to their portfolio and leverage their existing PCs, phones and infrastructure across multiple offices, without the need to buy new hardware. These growing companies will have the ability to communicate with the functionality and capabilities of much larger organizations.
Part of a complete, secure, scalable, end-to-end voice and data suite, the CallTower Live Communications Management Suite™ provides connectivity ranging from the Cisco CallManager to the Microsoft Exchange Server to the mobile device and the desktop or call center phone.
The CallTower Call Center suite is delivered as a part of CallTower’s hosted services, resulting in seamlessly integrated inbound/outbound voice, with collaboration, productivity and Internet applications.
This new suite from CallTower could be the priority solution for growing companies operating in a mobile world. Imagine, while on the road, the ability to stop in a Starbucks to check your email and other account information to discover that a call is coming in on the business line and with a few mouse clicks, that call is transferred to your cell phone.
Want to know if someone is at their desk available to take a call? A quick check of their profile will give you the answer. This product promises to end the waste of time created by missed calls that have to be returned and searching through Outlook to find contact information. CallTower also intends to make the mobile employee more productive and accessible; all this without significant expense.
CallTower is promising significant functionality and productivity with this new suite and from what I have seen of it – they are likely to deliver. Should the company be worried about the anticipated release from Cisco and Microsoft? The healthy competition is likely to only strengthen their position.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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