March 21, 2011
By Khali Henderson
Mitel Networks Corp. announced Monday the latest version of its UC client, Unified Communicator Advanced, featuring integrated desktop video conferencing and server federation.
First released in fall 2008, UC Advanced provides users with a single portal to their collaboration tools, including voice, video, presence, secure instant messaging, audio and Web conferencing, document sharing, voice messaging and email, from a PC or mobile device. It also integrates Mitels call control capabilities and third-party applications.
Release 4.0 includes new point-to-point video capabilities. Users can initiate a video call in the same way they would initiate a voice call. Any compatible embedded or external cameras will work with the new features.
Brooks Riendeau, Mitels marketing manager, said video calling isnt new to UC Advanced, but now its easier to use. It as easy as placing a call,” he said. As with phone calls initiated via UC Advanced, callers can indicate the topic of the call so recipients can better evaluate whether to accept the call, he added.
As a follow on to its Freedom open architecture unveiled last fall, release 4.0 offers server federation with and Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) or IBM Lotus Sametime, enabling users to allow IM presence and point-to-point chat to all UC Advanced clients within the federated environment. Support for Microsoft Lync users is expected with the next release.
Now organizations that are invested with OCS or Sametime have a migration path [to Mitel UC] without trashing their existing systems,” said Riendeau.
Further, Mitel has released server peering so that geographically dispersed UC Advanced servers can connect, enabling users to access presence and communication capabilities across geographies. The peering capability enables UC Advanced to scale to up to 10,000 users.
The company also has updated the UC Advanced Mobile for BlackBerry. First released in summer 2010, UC Advanced Mobile for BlackBerry now takes advantage of more of the native capabilities of the device for location and status, Riendeau said. Specifically, he said, corporations can now define user status and call-handling by location. Users have had this capability for their own domains, e.g. office, car, home, Riendeau said, but now corporations can define these rules for when users travel to another office location, for example.
Another enhancement is integration with the native contacts on the Blackberry, so that users can initiate calls via the PBX using the Mitel OfficeLink feature from their Blackberry device to parties outside of their corporate contact lists. Additionally, these calls become part of the call history/record.
Finally, Riendeau said that the user interface has been improved to be more intuitive.
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