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News
Issue #2003 - 12 (April 2003)
(Updated Apr. 9, 2003)

APPLICATION SOLUTIONS & APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

Siemens Announces OpenScape™ Suite V1.0 For Real-Time Communication and Collaboration

New SIP-Based Solution Built On Microsoft's Greenwich Platform

SAN JOSE, Calif., – March 31, 2003 – The Enterprise Networks division of Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI), announces the OpenScape software suite version 1.0 for real-time communications and collaboration. The OpenScape solution is a SIP-based, open application that provides users with consolidated access to all enterprise communication resources, including voice features and services, e-mail, instant messaging (IM), and multiresource collaboration. The OpenScape suite operates independent of the voice communications platform, leveraging the forthcoming Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft's Greenwich platform.

By bridging gaps between communication islands, the OpenScape solution far surpasses current unified communications applications. Such solutions may make it possible, for example, to listen to e-mail through text-to-speech applications or initiate a simple phone call via a click on the PC screen. In contrast, the OpenScape solution takes unified communications to the next level, offering intelligent, real-time, presence-based access to people, calendars, and files through three new capabilities.

Presence-based Communication
Since the advent of instant messaging, users have grown accustomed to using buddy lists and checking the availability or presence of key contacts before initiating a communication. The OpenScape solution version 1.0 brings the buddy list concept to the entire spectrum of enterprise communications, making it possible to extend presence awareness to the desk phone, the cell phone, e-mail, IM, and other media. Users can click to identify which resources they want others to use at different times or in different circumstances, and the buddy list identifies the allowable choices for those seeking to make contact.

Presence-based communication enables business people to find the best way to communicate on the first try. Users can also customize accessibility, such as making themselves available to certain callers but not to others. For example, a reporter might welcome live voice communication from sources contacting him about a story that he is writing, while he may want to avoid calls on other topics.

Multiresource Collaboration
The OpenScape solution brings rich, flexible collaboration capabilities to the enterprise, simplifying the task of setting up multimedia conferencing and dramatically decreasing the expense of conferencing services. Rather than scheduling an audio conference bridge, sending the number to all participants, remembering pass codes, e-mailing documents, and using multiple resources (telephone, e-mail, Internet), users of the OpenScape solution version 1.0 can initiate a rich collaboration session by simply selecting the people they need from their buddy list and clicking on "audio conference" or "multimedia collaboration." The application contacts all users and gives them access to documents via the collaboration portal. The collaborative sessions of the OpenScape solution are unique in that they meet the preferences and real-time communication capabilities of all participants.

Open Application Architecture
The OpenScape solution is designed to appeal to IT managers and IT solution partners. It is integrated with Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange 2000, uses the security protocols of the operating system, and is managed via standard IT administration tools such as Microsoft Management Console. Version 1.0 of the OpenScape solution will operate on the Windows Server 2003; later releases are scheduled to support additional IT platforms.

The OpenScape solution provides an extensive range of developer resources to encourage independent application development and customization. The OpenScape solution is technologically opportunistic, leveraging the capabilities of in-place systems and resources, adding advanced capabilities, and bringing them together at the user experience level. This “communications broker” capability streamlines the user experience, simplifies the use of multiple resources, and makes it possible to implement team solutions without changing out major platforms.

Business Benefits
The OpenScape suite is designed to radically increase communications efficiency for both individuals and teams. It addresses the needs of the increasing number of enterprise users who must communicate effectively regardless of location. For individual users, it functions as a personal communications control center that users can manage through a variety of simple, intuitive graphical user interfaces (GUIs) or telephony interfaces (TUIs). Depending on their location and accessibility, users define how they wish to be reached, including under a single corporate telephone number. For teams, the OpenScape suite extends the power of presence to multiresource collaboration by offering a real-time snapshot of team members' availability and the best mode to access each person.

A real-world example might involve a sales team with an urgent problem. The lead sales executive learns that an important deal is in trouble. With one mouse click, she is able to initiate an ad hoc conference call with three other team members. One participates via a voice-enabled PDA (personal digital assistant). Another takes the call on his cell phone while waiting in an airport lounge. And a third team member, at a training session, receives an urgent instant message and makes himself available for the call. The team is assembled and can discuss the problem. Since the OpenScape solution version 1.0 enables multiresource communication, the team lead is able to turn the call into a multiresource session in which participants can view relevant documents.

Significantly, the OpenScape solution represents a simple, intuitive, and cost-effective alternative to audio and multimedia conferencing. According to Wainhouse Research, the conferencing service market will grow 12 percent annually during the next several years, reaching $5.2 billion in 2007.(1) Gartner research claims that enterprises can save up to 40 percent of capital expenses as well as operating expenses by bringing audio conferencing in house.(2) From the conferencing standpoint alone, the OpenScape solution is expected to produce a rapid return on investment.

OpenScape 1.0 requires Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Server 2003 and Greenwich collaboration server. Future versions will support other platforms, such as IBM's WebSphere J2EE environment, Stratton said. OpenScape, which is currently in beta test with 50 customers, is expected to ship in the fall or whenever Greenwich becomes available. It will be targeted at workgroups and branch offices, with a list price per seat of around $400. 

For more information: http://www.siemens.com

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory:  Siemens has introduced a very innovative solution for real-time collaboration that ties together phones (cellular & fixed), voice mail, e-mail, text messaging, calendaring, instant messaging, and conferencing services. Using voice over IP (VoIP), it provides a fully integrated, real-time framework that simplifies work flow. OpenScape will meet competition from existing data-centric solutions as IBM and Oracle upgrades Lotus and Oracle collaboration suite with more voice-based collaboration. Over time, carrier-centric offerings like Siemens OpenScape and data-centric Lotus Notes will come together from functionality points of view. That will usher real voice-data convergence. VoIP will be the communications vehicle that will allow this integration between enterprise business and communications applications. 

 Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.


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