The key decision is whether to adopt a PBX-centric approach (for companies where most of the staff involved are office based, and where improvements in responsiveness are mainly in fixed locations, e.g. call centers, HQ); or a mobile carrier-oriented approach, which can often be hosted by a mobile operator and is optimized for staff who are usually on the road or remote. A third option is centered on Wi-Fi and is strong for companies with significant WLANs in their offices and/or large numbers of home-based or on-the-road employees. They will require dual model cellular/Wi-Fi handsets and good access to Wi-Fi. These solutions are less tested than the other two approaches but are easy to set up, relatively low-cost and scalable. Fixed and mobile messaging and mail systems are seamlessly integrated using Wi-Fi and Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) though without integration with the PBX some enterprise features are lost.
Strong contenders for mobile UC include:• PBX-oriented Aastra (teamed with Ericsson), Avaya, Cisco, Shoretel
• Carrier-hosted: AT&T, BT, T-Mobile, Orange
• Wi-Fi: Aruba and Meru
• PBX Adjunct: Agito, RIM, Divitas (add functionality but only to certain PBXs)
• Mobile operator Adjunct: Kineto, Tango (add functionality but only to certain mobile systems)
• Others: Nokia, Nokia/Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, DME
This was first published in March 2009