VoiceCon — Siemens Enterprise Communications has announced its latest OpenScape UC server, expanding on a line of open standards-based unified communications platforms for the enterprise.
The latest version emphasizes virtualization and cloud-based services, and features a cross-portfolio virtualization foundation for real-time communications as well as enhanced migration options for customers moving to software-based solutions.
“We’re taking all elements of applications that run on OpenScape and supporting virtualized versions of those elements,” said Paul McMillan, director for technical UC vision and strategy, office of the CTO at Siemens Enterprise Communications. “This has come from a number of requests and some natural progression of the market. In telecom, for example, vendors orient toward software, but if they put their software into the data center, the software still would be walled off — it would be mated to a physical server and didn’t always get efficiencies with that approach. Depending on the vendor, the technology could have significant number of servers. The next evolution point was to deliver those software elements in common fashion — via virtualization. We’ve made a huge investment to migrate data center architectures to this next-generation technology.”
With the enhancements in the application virtualization, Siemens has expanded OpenScape to include a virtual appliance version and app bundles.
“This has all the elements of the platform packaged and delivered as single appliance,” McMillan said. “This is especially good for the channel — with a virtual appliance we can deliver a model that our partners can design, manage and consume and make available to their customers.
“It also makes installation capabilities much easier to manage. With multiple software, you have multiple software provisions for installation. But with an appliance, you’re just installing the appliance. That makes it easy and quick for channel,” he noted.
OpenScape UC Server 2010 also features a new hosted edition/subscription licensing model for new deployment options such as managed services.
“The hosted environment is a big focus area for us,” McMillan said. “In the hosted edition we are packaging elements to allow hosting providers to onboard applications and take to market. There are a number of different packages that will be available, and the licensing addresses the day-to-day operational use of the customers rather than a broad license. In other words, it’s ‘pay for what you use.’ That gives the service provider a way to manage its OpEx cost.”
Finally, OpenScape offers packaged integrations highlighting social media applications for a seamless user experience.
“We have demonstrated our ability to integrate business applications, and now we’re extending that into the social media realm,” McMillan said. “Twitter was the first application, and now demonstrating that with the contact center platform.”
Other social media applications will be added over time, McMillan added. “Most platforms extend a common set of APIs so we can very easily replicate what doing with Twitter into other areas.”
OpenScape UC Server 2010 was designed to enable a seamless migration of HiPath 2000 customers to unified communications, McMillan said. “We are going with a fairly broad set of enhancements that address innovative areas of the market and key requests by installed base of customers that are on older technology such as the HiPath 2000,” he said. “We tried to address wide variety of customer and market requirements.”
Elements of the OpenScape UC Server 2010 are available immediately, with others trickling out over the course of the year. Pricing is based on a packaged license model.