Takeaway: Mitel (News - Alert) stresses freedom of choice for customers who may not want to ‘lock into’ a single vendor for their communications needs, but have the freedom to choose best-in-class mobile devices, applications and infrastructure. With Mitel’s new Freedom Architecture, customers can choose how they want to deploy Mitel UC software – on an industry standard server, as a virtualized solution or take advantage of a hosted service. Mitel also aims to make its UC functionality accessible on any device, including mobile devices, adapting to user needs without mandating particular deployments or devices for their communications. In support of this concept, Mitel is initially introducing three new products based on the Mitel Communications Director (MCD) software: the Mitel AnyWare hosted or cloud-based service, VMware View desktop virtualization and the UC Advanced Web and Mobile portal for Google (News - Alert) Android (followed by Apple iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets). Read more below.
In support of the Freedom Architecture, Mitel offers three new solutions:
UC Advanced Mobile for Android (News - Alert) and tablets - Mitel’s UC Advanced Web and Mobile portal enables remote access to a subset of the company’s UC Advanced features via an Internet-connected PC or a mobile smartphone device; users can view contacts, presence information, call history and voice mail (view and play). Several mobile devices are already supported, including RIM BlackBerry and devices with Windows Mobile or Symbian (News - Alert) operating systems. Now, Mitel is designing the UC Advanced Mobile client for Google Android (due out in the first half of 2011) which will have an added capability for location-based presence via GPS or Bluetooth. Clients for the Apple iPad and BlackBerry (News - Alert) PlayBook tablets will follow.
Mitel AnyWare - Cloud-based or hosted telephony solutions are gaining popularity among businesses as a way to reduce equipment costs and ensure reliability, redundancy and disaster recovery. Also, the security of a fixed-rate, low-cost, quickly deployable hosted solution is an appealing alternative to traditional premises-based deployments. With the Mitel AnyWare hosted data center solution, MCD software is available as a hosted service (U.S. only) for $35 per month per user, including training, support, features (i.e. voicemail, Mitel’s UC Express, conferencing, etc.) and a Mitel 5330 IP phone (a softphone only option is available for $20 per month per user). Mitel AnyWare has a 10-seat minimum and comes with a 3-year contract. This flexible offer is sold directly by Mitel, or channel partners can resell the service or rebrand the service as their own offer. Service Providers can purchase a kit and resell the service.
Desktop virtualization – Last spring, Mitel announced its advancements in the voice virtualization market with the Virtual Mitel Communications Director (Virtual MCD), a real-time call control application designed for the VMware vSphere 4 platform. Now, Mitel further expands its virtualization strategy to include desktop virtualization, combining Mitel’s UC applications with VMware View to simplify the infrastructure and management associated with desktop deployments, but also to improve the user experience with capabilities such as a single sign-on for both their communications and computing session and the ability to login anywhere by porting their communications service to any desktop, or to re-establish an earlier computing session upon login.
Availability/Compatibility: Mitel will introduce the UC Advanced Mobile client for Google Android in the first half of 2011, followed by clients for the Apple iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. The Mitel AnyWare hosted service is available in the U.S. only; Mitel has not yet announced plans for regional expansion. Desktop virtualization with VMware View is expected in 2011. The new product offers are based on the Mitel Communications Director (MCD) software.