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CES Feature Articles

January 13, 2012

CES 2012: LG, Line2 Talk Bigger Business at Show

Smart phones and tablets have significantly blurred the lines between classic consumer and business technology. So it is no great surprise to hear LG and Line2 talk about leveraging their respective presences in the world of voice to growth their footprint in the enterprise space at the 2012 International CES show.

LG is showing off VMWare running on Android (News - Alert)-based LG smartphones through Verizon Wireless. With the solution, a person could bring in an approved LG (and one day other Android) phone to IT and load on a VMWare stack and a business persona onto the phone. Once running, an employee could simply swipe between personal and business sessions, with the inactive session sitting suspended and compressed in the background.

An LG spokesperson said everything is encrypted between personal and business personas, so one side can't go peeking into the data on the other. When the employee leaves the company, the business persona and VMWare client are remotely wiped from the phone.

In theory, this solution would solve one of the ongoing problems of mobile phones -- having to carry around separate devices for personal and work usage or end up blurring the lines between personal and business usage on a single device; the accountants don't like the latter issue much.

How comfortable people will be in letting the IT department put their fingers onto their precious phones is, I think, perhaps the more important psychological/social issue. The undercurrent of monitoring/Big Brother might prove to be off-putting without some sort of corporate privacy guarantee and/or a financial incentive (cost-share of savings) for the employee.   People might buy into the idea if they received a couple of extra bucks per month into the retirement savings plan or on a lower cost for health insurance.

Line2 started its business as an Apple iPhone app to add a second “virtual” phone line, transforming the smart phone into a mobile office via VoIP with the usual hosted-PBX (News - Alert), er, cloud-telephony bells and whistles for inbound and outbound calling over a 3G or WiFi data connection.   Now, Android and iPad are supported.

CEO Peter Sisson (News - Alert) says the company is looking upmarket to the enterprise segment, but I couldn't get a lot more details since there were a lot of press wonks crowding around his table at CES (News - Alert) Unveiled. He also said the Line2 client would end up moving to support the OPUS and SILK wideband HD voice codecs in the future as they provided better quality.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO, click here.

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Doug Mohney is a contributing editor for TMCnet and a 20-year veteran of the ICT space. To read more of his articles, please visit columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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