Unified communication (UC) has transitioned from being a buzzword to a business necessity in global workplaces today. Communication hurdles can impair businesses. Flexibility with interoperability is a chief requirement from the integrated communication solutions available.

This is where UC ensures a convergence of communication channels — instant messaging, voice calls, or e-mail — so that the right contact is made without wasting time and effort.

Siemens OpenScape v2.3 is the ninth software release in what has come to be an out-of-the-box solution for enterprises seeking to reap the benefits of UC. It is the next generation mobility and collaboration framework that’s built on an open-standards model for ease of integration with other third-party solutions.

The client for the UC solution comes in four variants:

  • Rich client for graphics rich dashboard
  • Thin browser-based client
  • Voice portal | voice-activated end
  • Java-based mobile client

The live demonstration of the features include:

Facility to add a group-presence model for enabling one-click meetings and easy setup of live meeting places online. I actually attended one such Microsoft live meeting, and it was a breeze with just a click on a link in an e-mailed invitation.

The group presence model enables teams to compress milestones and get in touch in the most effective ways. The model was successfully deployed by the FDA and has proven to be very beneficial.

The live presence features lets a user set his preferred device for communication and route his calls to a mobile device. In addition, the presence feature allows a user to see the availability of colleagues or other resources across the team or organization at a quick glance.

Also, v2.3 adds the feature for UC delivery via SaaS, as demonstrated with the SalesForce.com integration, where the advantages of UC can be leveraged from online applications.

Siemens is collaborating with several organizations, including Microsoft, Nortel, and IBM, to ensure that the UC solutions work well as a layer on top of products such as Microsoft Office Communications Server and IBM Domino Sametime.

The ease of integration and competitive pricing is what makes the product ideal for UC deployment.