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SmartPhone Moves For Avaya

Enterprise-class communications are heading for smaller form factors in a big way on a lot more phones, now that Avaya has teamed up with Nokia on its Series 60 Platform.

During the big CeBIT technology trade show in Germany, the communications software and VoIP system provider unveiled plans to deliver advanced mobility capabilities with IP-based based software to the Nokia-developed Series 60 Platform for developing smartphone applications. In addition, Avaya become a Symbian Platinum Program member, which means Avaya gets to seed its mobility software and systems into the Symbian OS ecosystem.

David LeClair, director of partnerships in Avaya's communications appliances division, said Avaya would develop advanced enterprise telephony and collaboration applications for Symbian OS smartphones, including phones manufactured by Nokia, Samsung and Panasonic.

Avaya's Communication Manager functions will be accessible as a menu option on a cellular mobile device as a result of the deal, which means users will be able to route calls from their office and add more collaboration and conferencing functions from a cellular device.

For example, a customer calling a salesperson's office number can instantly reach him on his Series 60-based mobile device, even as he travels in a different country. In addition, LeClair said, calls that are made and received from the mobile device appear as if the salesperson is at his desktop phone extension.

"You can set up multi-party conferences, and, after, you can transfer that customer to another colleague as though you were in the office," he added. "If somebody leaves the company, the contact stays with the company. It also brings some advanced capabilities that weren't available, like call recording simply at the touch of a button.

"You get all the capabilities of your powerful office phone, but now being delivered to your mobile phone," he said. "It's extending phone capabilities and the power of the enterprise software out to mobile devices for the first time and doing it in an easy-to-use manner via a simple interface."

Gerard Bruen, director of Nokia's enterprise voice solutions division, said fixed-to-mobile convergence is an important step for improving business mobility.

LeClair said Avaya would be looking at similar deals with other smartphone platforms. But for now, it is going with what two of the leading smartphone platforms. Nokia and Symbian both have millions of devices already on the market.

According to research firm IDC, close to 14.4 million Symbian OS smartphones were sold worldwide and close to 25 million have been sold to date. By 2008, IDC predicts that more than 130 million smartphones will be selling worldwide each year, representing 15 percent of the overall mobile phone market.