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Avaya Gives iPhone an Enterprise Extension

Avaya today is set to extend the reach of Apple's popular iPhone in the workplace via its one-X Mobile unified communications client.

The one-X Mobile software will allow iPhone users to access the services of corporate IP telephony systems from either Avaya or Cisco, going back several generations, with a single corporate phone number that rings through to their desks or mobile phones.

The software is based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and runs through the iPhone's Safari browser. It is also available for RIM and Palm devices, as well as mobile phone architectures that support Java.

"The integration itself is not done directly on the iPhone," said Robert Wieczerzynski, the product manager for Avaya one-X Mobile. "The product is server based, so we didn't have to work with the SDK specifically. So that's why we have a jump on some of our competitors. We've done this development as standards-based."

Wieczerzynski says future development could include a Java-based rich client running on the iPhone.

Through integration with corporate directories via the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) on the server, the software gives mobile users detailed information on who has called and who has left voice messages. And it allows them to set policies on how to handle calls from specific sets of people.

The mobile phone client gives users a visual log of calls and voice messages, which they use to either access messages or return calls through the corporate phone system. There's also support for call transfer between corporate, mobile and external landlines, so a user can move a call from one to the other mid-call.

For mobile devices with embedded positioning services such as GPS, one-X offers location-based dialing policies, said Wieczerzynski, "so, for example, if I set my home as a GPS waypoint, when I get close to home, [the system can] send all my calls to my home number."

Because one-X is a server-based product, Wieczerzynski said, "we can just continue to add UC integration features and serve that out the the phone. In the future, we'll be offering expanded capabilities, adding things like conferencing and presence from industry leaders like IBM and Microsoft."

Sean Ryan, research analyst of mobile enterprise device solutions at IDC, noted the reality of the enterprise mobile workforce running a variety of devices from a variety of vendors. "Enterprise solutions that support multiple mobile operating systems and reference designs for both smartphones and features phones have a distinct advantage in becoming pervasive productivity tools.

"While organizations are keen to reign in the numbers and types of enterprise-ready devices, mobile workers and business decision-makers are moving in the opposite direction."

The software is available as part of Avaya Unified Communications Standard Edition, or as a separate product. It can integrate directly with Avaya Communications Manager and Avaya Modular Messaging, as well as Cisco CallManager and Unity messaging systems.