The Unified Communications (UC) market continues to heat up, particularly in the SMB space. Greater functionality, tighter integration between messaging technologies, and simpler implementations are all important features that are increasingly coming to the fore.
Take Siemens Enterprise Communications' new OpenScape Office MX, for example. The UC system is designed with the SMB market’s main requirements in mind, supporting greater employee productivity and enhanced customer collaboration while reducing overall communication costs. It’s also aimed at Siemens' channel partners, who receive special promotion terms, as well as special upgrade and training options under the company’s aggressive on-board partner program, Go Forward!. Additional incentives include a six-month credit advance at ten percent to help cove costs during the sales cycle.
Built as the successor to Siemens' popular HiPath OpenOffice ME, the MX combines voice, UC and data messaging network in a single unit that the company says is easily installed. HiPath customers can upgrade to MX without any hardware swap-out, just a software upgrade; no need for a separate server. It’s a channel-friendly approach that gives partners a well-differentiated product that is easy to deploy, install and service, requiring little integration. Software upgrades can be automated, and the MX features enhanced remote vendor support, courtesy of its Smart Services Delivery Platform.
The MX is also notable for its incorporation of channel partner and customer feedback on how to improve the product over HiPath for businesses with 32 to 150 employees. Its key enhancements include: UC functionality normally only found in large enterprise products, tying together voice and conferencing services, presence, voice mail, messaging and mobility; access to all voice and UC features directly from an Microsoft Outlook window, including access to drag-and-drop conferencing, call recoding and click-to-call; and new presence-enabled multi-channel contact center to speed up business communications and customer response times.
Siemens says its commitment to the channel is more than just about listening hard to partner requests. The company is selling OpenScape Office MX exclusively through resellers supplied by distributor Sotel Systems, which was the first customer to trial, test, then launch the product for its own use. Other distributors may be tapped down the line, but no word on that yet.