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UCStrategies founder Jim Burton is joined by Kathy Heilmann, Director of Unified Communications and Cloud for Siemens Enterprise Communications, to discuss the new release of OpenScape UC Suite 2011 Edition. This is the follow-on to the UC Servier 2010 Edition, which won the Best of VoiceCon award in March, 2010. In this podcast, Kathy discusses the five primary components of the 2011 Edition announcement which focus on UC and collaboration applications.
For more information on UCStrategies.com about Siemens:
Jim Burton: Welcome to UCStrategies Executive Insights. This is Jim Burton and I am joined today by Kathy Heilmann, Director of Unified Communications and Cloud for Siemens Enterprise Communications. Kathy, welcome.
Kathy Heilmann: Thank you, Jim.
Jim Burton: I see that you have an announcement and you are talking about a new suite of applications. Can you give us a little idea about what this announcement is all about?
Kathy Heilmann: Sure, thanks. We’re are announcing on December 7, 2010, OpenScape UC Suite 2011 Edition, and this is the follow-on to the OpenScape Server 2010 Edition announcement that we made in March. We made that in March at VoiceCon. We won the Best of VoiceCon at that event for this announcement. The UC Server announcement is really about the foundation—the software foundation for our large enterprise communication solutions. And with OpenScape UC Suite, we are essentially moving up the technology stack to the applications layer and talking about the applications that support the communications environment. And this announcement in particular, focuses on our UC and collaboration applications, so we’ve got five different applications that are part of this announcement.
Jim Burton: Well great–why don’t we just jump right in and tell me a little bit about these five different components that are part of the announcement.
Kathy Heilmann: There are five applications as part of OpenScape UC Suite 2011. The first one I am going to talk about is a brand new OpenScape Web Collaboration application. This is a multi-party, multi-media collaboration application that supports web conferencing, video, text, chat, file boarding, multiple applications to support collaboration within your enterprise. OpenScape Web Collaboration can run integrated with OpenScape UC Application or as a standalone solution—that’s fully enterprise grade, scalable, reliable, and secure, but it's also very simple and easy to use.
What’s also unique about it is that there is no client installation required, it's a footprint-less solution for web collaboration, so that makes it very easy when you want to roll out web collaboration. You don’t have to have any client installation on the end user side. It's very easy to use, just a simple click and you can add multiple media, video, text, and chat—a very easy-to-use user interface. It also can be installed in your data center very simply; it's a fast install of about an hour.
The next thing I want to highlight here is our new version of OpenScape UC Application. This is our award-winning unified communications and collaboration application. We have the integration with our OpenScape Web Collaboration that is new, as well as virtualization capabilities with VMware. We have updates to our OpenScape Mobility portfolio, which includes particular emphasis on mobile clients. We’ve got new clients for the iPhone and the iPad supporting both UC Application and also Web Collaboration. We’ve got an iPhone and iPad client for OpenScape Web Collaboration, which supports video capabilities as well. You can receive video on your mobile client.
Looking along to OpenScape Video, this is our portfolio of high definition video conferencing equipment. We have a multi-vendor ecosystem in partnerships with Polycom, Tandberg, and LifeSize. And we have full interoperability between those video systems, as well as with the desktop video capabilities of the OpenScape UC Application and that is all high definition video, fully interoperable between those systems.
And last, but certainly not least, is our OpenScape Phone-Apps application. This is also brand new. This a set of productivity and collaboration applications that run on the Siemens OpenStage telephones. So we have about 20 out-of-the-box applications that are used for productivity, collaboration, social media, and integration to our UC Application. Those can be installed on the server side in about an hour and deployed to users in a matter of minutes.
In addition to the prebuilt applications, we also have a application builder that uses a building blocks analogy to allow you to put together those pre-built applications into custom solutions very easily and a software developer kit that allows you to develop truly custom applications running on the server.
Jim Burton: Wow that’s a lot. Are these all available now?
Kathy Heilmann: As a matter of fact, all except Phone Apps will be available in December of this year, December 2010. And Phone Apps is coming out in February of 2011.
Jim Burton: Right, well thanks for that. One of the things that is part of my job is to kind of keep up with the rumors in the industry and where the vendors are headed. So while there is a lot of information and a lot of products that you’re coming out with as part of this announcement, there’s rumblings that you’ve got announcements coming out in the springtime, as well. Can you give us any insight as to what we might be hearing about at that time?
Kathy Heilmann: We will actually be coming out with announcements in other parts of the UC Suite, our voice systems, as well as some other things related to the call center and some other pretty exciting things that I am working on now that—well, some things are best left for future discovery.
Jim Burton: Well, we will look forward to having another conversation at that time. One of the things—we certainly see the UC market heating up where all the vendors are evolving their products and you made an important point that last year you won the Best of Show at VoiceCon, soon to be Enterprise Connect, so how do you see your product stacking up against your competition?
Kathy Heilmann: That’s a good question. When we look at the competitive landscape, with particular emphasis on UC and collaboration, we saw that collaboration solutions are widely available, but a lot of enterprises have not adopted them yet, and the reason we believe is because a lot of times they are complex, expensive, proprietary, and difficult to adopt. So what we wanted to do to distinguish ourselves and to make collaboration that is really attractive to implement is to make collaboration that is affordable and open, while still being enterprise grade, which means being comprehensive, secure, scalable, and reliable. And to put this in a competitive context, if you look at consumer grade solutions, there are certainly a lot of them out there from vendors like Google, Skype, Apple...and those are definitely fast, easy, affordable, and open, but they are also siloed, non-secure...they are consumer grade, they are point solutions and they are not really meeting the needs of the enterprise. Now there are enterprise vendors out there—Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft—that do offers solutions that are comprehensive, secure, scalable, and reliable, but they are often complex, expensive, and proprietary. A lot of the time there is lots of technology that you have to implement before you can even implement the collaboration solution and so there’s expensive and complex technology prerequisites. So what we wanted to do was to make sure that we delivered with OpenScape UC Suite, everything that was the best of both of these worlds. It's fast, easy, affordable and open like the consumer grade solutions, but also comprehensive, secure, scalable, and reliable, i.e. enterprise grade, like the Enterprise Solutions and that’s what we’ve got with OpenScape UC Suite 2011.
Jim Burton: Well Kathy, this is all very exciting. As you pointed out, you won the Best of Show at VoiceCon last year—it looks like you’ve got yourselves well positioned to win again this year. I wish you luck with that. And I’m also looking forward to hearing about your announcements coming in the future. Thank you for your time today and I look forward to talking to you at the next announcement.
Kathy Heilmann: Thanks Jim.
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