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Unified Communications Magazine May 2008
Volume 1 / Number 6
Unified Communications Magazine
Peter Saint-Andre

Esnatech Achieves a New Level of Integration and Flexibility

Esna Technologies Inc., known as Esnatech (www.esnatech.com), has pioneered many advanced concepts in the unified communications. Unlike many so-called unified communications solutions that should more accurately be called integrated messaging, instant messaging, presence applications, or perhaps unified messaging, Esnatech’s Telephony Office-LinX™ is a true UC enterprise platform. Indeed, Office-LinX™ recently took another huge leap forward when Esnatech announced that it had added support for Google™ Applications. Businesses can now confidently use Google™ Applications as the Esnatech UC Solution links their office PBX into the hosted Google™ applications services for messaging, collaboration, calendaring and presence.

 
By Richard “Zippy” Grigonis

Mohammad Nezarati, President and CEO of Esnatech, says, “Our new version of Office-LinX allows any business to attach our UC server to their existing telephony infrastructure and fully integrate it into Google Apps including Google Gmail, Calendar and Contact. We want everyone to know that now we have a UC server that can integrate to both on-premise and off-premise environments. If need be, it can point to an off-site hosted mail server such as Gmail. We’re able to ‘glue’ environments together.”

“Historically, a typical business would implement a number of applications to manage their environments,” says Nezarati. “They would typically use Active Directory for their user base, they would use Exchange for their email, SharePoint so they could share documents, and they would keep Microsoft Office on their desktop with Word, Excel and PowerPoint.”

Now, however, Google has come up with a suite of applications called Google Apps,” says Nezarati. “This suite provides you with your directory services and equivalent Office applications, email, calendar and contacts. That environment replaces much of the legacy Microsoft infrastructure. However, the key missing functionality with Google Apps right now is integration with your telephony network, be it hosted or on-premise. Our solution can integrate with whatever the enterprise has in place in terms of a telecom network, so it can be an on-premise PBX, a VoIP PBX, a legacy TDM PBX, or a hosted PBX. Additionally, on the back-end we can push and synchronize all of your messages within the enterprise Google Gmail accounts. This doesn’t relate to an obvious Gmail address like yourname@gmail.com, rather, it works with the more impressive-looking yourname@yourcompany.com and yet it’s hosted by Google.”

“Today we see that unified communications is clearly a big driver in the marketspace,” says Nezarati. “Every major vendor of just about any kind of software and/or hardware solution is offering some kind of UC product, or UC ‘spin’ to their product. IBM has announced that they’re going to be spending a billion dollars on UC. Both Cisco and Microsoft are making serious investments. Avaya had previously invested big in UC and has made acquisitions in such areas as collaboration and conferencing.”

“One of the pieces that we’re not seeing, however, is the integration of on-premise and hosted technologies,” says Nezarati. “In the past, you kept encountering the same annoyance: if you wanted hosted applications, everything had to be hosted, and hosted by a single vendor. So if you wanted to move to a hosted PBX environment and wanted to buy it from Verizon, they would let you subscribe to a hosted PBX, but then you would have to buy, for example, their hosted mail and everything else in order to make it all unified, to yield a UC-type environment. That’s overkill and it locks you into one vendor.”

“Our application works with the products of any vendor of any type, hosted or on-premise” says Nezarati. “I can bring our Office-LinX™ product to your offices, connect it to your PBX, whatever it is, and then move all of your users over to Google if they like, or some of them can be on Exchange and some on Google. We can mix-and-match any environment and ensure that users can continue to operate in the environment in which they are most comfortable.”

“Our solution is so flexible that we can add whatever functionality you need from anywhere,” says Nezarati. “In our office, for example, our sales department uses Salesforce.com and our Support Department runs Microsoft CRM. With our technology, our sales staff get all of their screen pops and contact resolution through Salesforce, and our support staff environment is fully integrated into Microsoft CRM. You can’t beat flexibility like that.”

“We provide something that resembles Microsoft OCS functionality, encompassing collaboration, desktop chatting and presence management,” says Nezarati. “We integrate presence into your calendar as well, so you can see that I’m a meeting until 2:30 p.m. Additionally, our presence manager is smart. My laptop has a Bluetooth chip in it, and so does my phone. If I leave the office right now, our software can detect that I’m out of range of Bluetooth and can automatically change my presence status. When I walk back into the office, the system detects that my phone is back in range again, and changes my status to indicate that I’m back in the office. You can’t just base a change in presence on whether you’ve touched a keyboard, since you could be talking to someone for an hour and the system wouldn’t know that and would indicate that you were out of the office. When leaving the office I can also configure my settings so that if a particular person calls me at my one public number, the system should try to reach me, and here’s the other phone number where I can be reached. Or I could tell the system to ring me everywhere until I pick up.”

“When I travel from Canada to the U.S. or to Europe, to keep from paying roaming charges I insert a local SIM card in my phone,” says Nezarati. “Nobody knows that number. They just dial my one public number, and they’ll always get me wherever I am. This also works if somebody internally dials my extension, if I’m out, the system will simply send it to me wherever I am. With our system, you just dial one number, and you reach the person. It’s that simple.”

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