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February 10, 2009

NEC's Mobile Unified Communications Client Rated "Best" by Miercom

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director


We’ve been talking about Unified Communications (News - Alert) for more than a year now, but really, it’s a challenge to differentiate one solution from another based on a list of features and capabilities.  With perhaps a few exceptions, they all offer the features most of us need or would use.  But additional insight can be gleaned from third-party analyses, like the one conducted by Miercom recently of NEC’s (News - Alert) UNIVERGE Mobile Client (MC530), the mobility component of NEC Unified Solutions’ UC platform, which rated the MC530 “Best” in a comparative study of six UC solutions.
 
The UNIVERGE UC for Enterprise (UCE) solution was hailed for its mobile capabilities, which certainly bear consideration in today’s market, where mobile communications is being adopted at an increasing rate — just look at the growth of the smartphone and laptop markets. Verizon just recently announced it has already sold 1,00,000 Blackberry Storms, in fact.
 
The mobility components tested by Miercom included its presence engine, unified messaging capabilities, call management capabilities, IM, Microsoft Outlook and OCS integration, Web-based management interface, and compatibility with a variety of deskphones, softphones, and mobile handsets (it supports both Windows Mobile and BlackBerry operating systems), connected via both WiFi (News - Alert) and cellular networks. The results, according to Miercom, speak for themselves.
 
“Based on our testing, the mobility attributes of NEC’s UNIVERGE UC for Enterprise are superior to those of any other UC solution on the market,” said Rob Smithers, CEO of Miercom. “Specifically, the Mobile Client MC530 offered seamless connectivity, including presence status and a simple, intuitive interface that gives users all of the features of their NEC UNIVERGE desktop while away from the office.”
 
The MC530 provides a seamless extension of unified messaging from the corporate IP PBX (News - Alert) to mobile devices, allowing access to enterprise VoIP application services, while also enabling dual mode (WiFi/cellular) connectivity.  It provides single number access, and adds the flexibility today’s mobile workforces require to remain productive on the road and at the office.  
 
Several test solutions were used in the test process, including Touchstone Technologies’ WinSIP 3.0 for traffic load testing, processing 32,369 busy-hour call attempts and 1,000 concurrent users.  
 
Capable of generating high-density loads at high speeds, without additional equipment, WinSIP 3.0 was also instrumental in security testing.  It was used to generate traffic that was subsequently subjected to interception and modification attempts for gaining access to the network.  Those attempts were unsuccessful, "likely due to the thick encryption employed on the server and other UC components,” Miercom suggested.
 
In total, more than two million different attack scenarios were run, without experiencing a loss of connectivity once.  

Touchstone’s (News - Alert) WinEyeQ solution was used to assess voice quality, for both G.711 and G.729A codecs, in addition to subjective scoring by a live listening panel.  
 
“As a whole, NEC’s UNIVERGE system proved to be well-designed. It was feature-packed, resilient and secure,” reported Miercom. 
 
Yes, there are several well-developed UC and mobility solutions available, but this thorough testing and analysis from Miercom certainly positions NEC UNIVERGE among the candidates for any enterprise deployment.
 
“The various UNIVERGE endpoints and client interfaces presented identical menus and features and had an overall sleekness in their design,” Miercom concluded. “It was apparent NEC spent a significant amount of time ensuring the aesthetics of its equipment matched the units' high level of functionality.

Erik Linask is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask




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