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Mobile Phones Meet Enterprise Infrastructure

Orative, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of enterprise mobile telephony software, today announced Enterprise Software version 2.0. The company's client-server software is designed to run on standard mobile phones and combines presence technology, directory synchronization, collaboration tools, secure messaging, voice mail notification and playback and calendar alerts.

The software works with more than 30 handset models and operates across multiple mobile networks simultaneously, according to the company.

Orative works by layering software over mobile phone technology, said Paul Fulton, Orative's president and CEO. "It ties mobile phones in with the back-office."

The capability to take advantage of the prevalence of mobile phones (Orative says there are 200 million subscribers in the U.S. alone) can help today's on-the-go workforce stay connected. The company points to Forrester Research to highlight the problem. According to a recent Forrester survey, 78 percent of respondents reported regular business delays due to the inability to reach others in a timely manner.

Fulton said the Orative Enterprise Software is aimed what he describes as "voice-centric workers" — those in sales, field service and operations who typically rely heavily on mobile phones.

Because those workers often find they don't have the numbers they need when they need them, Fulton said, Orative's software puts the corporate directory on a mobile phone by using information stored in Microsoft Outlook and Exchange.

The software also uses its integration with Outlook to take advantage of presence capabilities. For example, people who often forget to set their presence status, Fulton said, can set their mobile phone to go silent whenever they have a meeting scheduled in Outlook. They can also, of course, set their presence status manually.

Building on its existing platform, Orative Enterprise Software version 2.0 is designed to add further integration with existing telephony and messaging products.


Orative Enterprise Server
Orative Enterprise Software ties mobile devices in with data on the enterprise server, so you can see who's online and available.

For example, the new features in Orative Enterprise Software version 2.0 includes corporate voice mail integration. The capability notifies mobile workers when new voice mail messages arrive and allows them to play back the messages, which eliminates the need to periodically dial in to office systems to check for new messages. A visual interface on the phone matches incoming phone numbers with existing contact names and groups messages by person.

The resource finder is designed to let mobile users request assistance from experts according to skill set or group, Fulton said. The agent-based technology uses a set of customer-defined business rules and roles to route requests to key employees based upon their expertise and current availability status. The information on roles and groups can be set up by the user or can it use active directory as the data store, Fulton said. "Some companies have more robust [telephony] systems, and those work with Orative."

Price for Orative Enterprise Server for Exchange is $4,999. The Orative Client Access License (for 100 users) is $15,000. The Orative Resource Finder option is $20,000 and the Orative Voicemail Integration option for Cisco Unity is $4,999. Fulton said, Orative will adding integration with other telephony systems in the coming months.

Will Orative Enterprise Server eventually tie in with real-time communications systems such as Live Communications Server. Fulton was careful to not pre-announce a product, but he did say, "we partner with Microsoft, and pulling this into LCS makes a lot of sense."

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.