Aastra Announces a New Era in Enterprise Communications

Aastra says their BluStar video conferencing solution, announced last week at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, marks a new era in enterprise communications. The BluStar 8000i desktop media phone combines true HD video conferencing quality with unified communications and business applications into a powerful collaboration and easy to use device.

With its 13 inch touch screen, the company says BluStar 8000i provides broadcast quality video and audio, resulting in a totally ‘natural collaboration’ experience. The product delivers HD 720p video conferencing at a rate of 30 frames per second. The video quality is matched by HD sound quality, delivered via four voice tracking microphones and three speakers.

The company adds that this quality desktop media phone enhances productivity by helping teams to work better together – whether for peer to peer communication or for up to 100 way video conferencing. At the touch of a button, and without the need to book meeting rooms, teams can gather together to share documents and review and discuss project developments for improved productivity and reactivity. Sharing content from a desktop PC to the Aastra BluStar 8000i is easy, and the Bluetooth interface facilitates the simple transfer of data from mobile phones and Bluetooth enabled devices.

In addition to the strong collaboration features, Aastra BluStar 8000i provides a range of built-in business productivity applications, which can run at the same time as the live video. Half of the display can be allocated to user defined applications to create a powerful business dashboard. The product integrates Aastra’s unified communications applications as well as built in applications from third parties. Whether incorporating Solidus eCare for contact centres or CMG for contact managers, the BluStar 8000i delivers information and business intelligence easily and in real time.

The BluStar 8000i is intuitive and easy to use, with a familiar phone interface and clear touch screen controls. Biometric fingerprint reading identifies users and makes hot desking simple and secure. Commands can be communicated via voice recognition and the product works in multiple regions, with country specific languages and tones.

According to Simon Beebe, Vice President of Product Line Management at Aastra, “Video conferencing is becoming increasingly important in the enterprise environment. We combined the latest available technology with Aastra’s innovative R&D to deliver a new video collaboration solution that resets the quality and functionality standards available in today’s market. With the exceptional audio and visual quality of the Aastra BluStar 8000i, it really is like having the person or people you are communicating with in the same room as you – and that offers powerful benefits in terms of improved collaboration.”

“True to our commitments to leveraging open standards, we believe the Aastra BluStar 8000i is a leading product in its field, offering the highest possible quality and widest range of features in a desktop media phone. This new product from Aastra reinforces our position as a leading company at the forefront of Unified Communications and a key global player in the enterprise telephony market.”

The BluStar desktop media phone can easily be deployed on Aastra call managers as a SIP endpoint incorporating all call manager features, as well as two or three-way video conferencing. Alternatively, the BluStar 8000i media phones and BluStar Application Server can operate as a standalone product or can be used to complement an existing Aastra ViPr video conferencing system.

Simon Beebe continues, “The Aastra BluStar 8000i is a video conference device, a desk phone, a collaboration device, an application platform and a natural collaboration tool. When combined with the BluStar application server, the product architecture eliminates the need for a costly MCU server and software, reducing costs and latency, making this an affordable and simple solution for improving communication for businesses of all sizes.”

Dominic Dodd, Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan adds, “BluStar is a great example of how Aastra is successfully leveraging the technologies it gains through acquisition and developing these further to meet the demand for desktop-based video collaboration, which is growing at over 17 per cent annually. With BluStar, Aastra has built on the ViPr platform to create a product that offers a fully integrated collaboration capability – combining voice, video and real-timing sharing of information – in a single package designed within a familiar user experience.”

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