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GENBAND Steals Unify's WebRTC Thunder With Smart Office 2.0

By Kelly Teal
January 28, 2014 - News

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GENBAND appears to have beaten Unify (the former Siemens Enterprise Communications) to the WebRTC punch.

Texas-based GENBAND on Tuesday debuted Smart Office 2.0, which features native WebRTC integration, and is built with tablets and smartphones in mind, although it works on laptops and computers as well. WebRTC is all the rage among conferencing and collaboration geeks as it promises to connect potentially billions of people via browsers and endpoints, thanks to the HTML5 standard.

As such, vendors are racing to debut their WebRTC products. Unify says it will launch its Project Ansible platform this summer with WebRTC integration and widely was expected to be the first supplier to do so.

But GENBAND seems to have stolen Unify's thunder.

That's because open-source Smart Office 2.0 was designed in HTML5 and its soft client is WebRTC-compliant. Enterprise users collaborate via chat, call, video conference or screen share from devices of their choice. And workers get to rely on just one phone number, no matter the gadget they use.

Further, users may add, remove and switch collaboration tools in mid-conversation. In other words, they may start a conversation in chat, add others, move to an audio call, add video conference and screen share. This all happens within Smart Office 2.0 and does not require users to launch separate applications, download plug ins or load software for basic collaboration.

Smart Office 2.0 is powered by GENBAND’s application server, its WebRTC gateway, the company's session border controller and its call session controllers. Buyers have to install those components, but they do not necessarily need new endpoints.

"Since we don’t make phones, GENBAND doesn’t have a hidden hardware agenda and our customers can always leverage ... SIP endpoints alongside our WebRTC client, without sacrificing experience or paying hidden licensing fees," said BG Kumar, president of GENBAND’s Multimedia Business Unit.

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