Siemens Enhances OpenScape Suite 2011 With Video, Mobility, Conferencing

Siemens Enterprise Communications is building on OpenScape UC Server 2010--its March release of a unified communications portfolio for the data center and virtualized environments--with a set of collaboration, mobility and video tools.

December 7, 2010

3 Min Read
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Siemens Enterprise Communications is building on OpenScape UC Server 2010--its March release of a unified communications portfolio for the data center and virtualized environments--with a set of collaboration, mobility and video tools.

OpenScape UC Suite 2011 includes an enterprise-grade Web conferencing solution called OpenScape Web Collaboration, a system for delivering packaged and custom applications to OpenStage phones called OpenScape PhoneApps, videoconferencing enhancements called OpenScape Video and an expanded range of mobile collaboration clients called OpenScape Mobility. Siemens has also announced it is acquiring FastViewer GmbH & Co. KG and will incorporate its Web conferencing, desktop sharing and e-collaboration tools with the Web collaboration component of the 2011 edition.

The new iteration of the OpenScape suite continues to address customers' top concerns, says Siemens. According to Frost & Sullivan data, customers are focusing on audio, Web and IP because of the real cost savings available, as well as the collaboration benefits. There are a variety of point solutions that compete with Siemens' offerings, but the company brings its extensive enterprise experience to offer enterprise-grade solutions that are secure and scalable.

"With this release, Siemens is really emphasizing the ROI issue," says Melanie Turek, industry director, enterprise communications, at Frost & Sullivan. "Making the software easy to deploy and setting an attractive price point, and keeping it open so that companies don't need to rip and replace and can integrate other apps and end devices as needed, is really key."

Turek says that for many companies, the value of UC can be found in a hierarchy of return, similar to psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Just as people must have certain certain basic needs (hunger, thirst, shelter) met before they can enjoy more advanced rights (freedom, education, self-actualization), companies must ensure first and foremost that the technology they deploy is cost-effective and utilitarian. Once that basic requirement is met, they can start looking for ways to leverage technology for more advanced benefits, including improved productivity and revenue acceleration."Siemens gets that idea really well, and when they talk to customers about UC, they start with the basics, then layer from there," says Turek. "Their open, foundational approach lets them do that--customers can add on capabilities as they see fit and their budgets allow."

Competition has been heating up in the UC market, she adds, with many announcements of late. The most notable is perhaps from Microsoft, with Lync, but there has also been news in the past few weeks from Cisco, Mitel and now Siemens. "A lot of those new products feature advanced, and often very cool, capabilities. But it's really important to keep in mind where users are at in their deployments, rather than where the market wants them to be. The market needs to think ahead and show that it is always innovating; users, or, rather, buyers, are usually years behind."

According to Gartner's Oct. 15 update to its Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, UC "remains a daunting and confusing topic" to many enterprises.

Despite the emergence of complete UC portfolios, these are still in an early stage, and no vendor product adequately addresses all of an enterprise's UC needs. Gartner says Cisco and Microsoft have maintained their lead from a product perspective, while Avaya continues to strengthen its portfolio.

As for Siemens, it says the company "is wholly focused on the provision of enterprise-class UC ... [and its UC solution should be considered if organizations] are looking for a full-featured, software-based solution, intend to integrate UC with business applications or are an existing customer.'

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