New software from Alcatel-Lucent is to give businesses the ability to make it as easy for their employees to shift between different types of business communications services – instant messaging, data sharing, voice calls and video collaboration – without interrupting their conversations.
With the fast-growing ‘bring your own device’ trend of employees using personal devices for work applications, Alcatel-Lucent’s OpenTouch Conversation software will deliver all of these services to employees’ personal devices, including smart phones and tablets. A recent study from IDG Connect indicated that 91% of business and IT professionals worldwide were using their iPad in some capacity for work communication.
By ‘handing off’ a conversation from platform to platform, OpenTouch Conversation (OTC) will enable enterprises to give employees the freedom to seamlessly start a voice call on an office phone, move the conversation to a video conference on a PC or tablet and then conclude it on a mobile phone.
Employees will no longer have to hang up and redial as they switch between devices coming into or out of the office or make special arrangements to have a video call. OTC also makes it possible to quickly and easily add participants to the conversation or collaboration session. The end result is more efficient, more effective and more collaborative conversations across the enterprise.
OTC is an interactive software application, or interface, which builds upon the company’s leading-edge OpenTouch communications platform. Designed for multiple platforms, the first release of OTC supports iPad, runs over Wi-Fi and 3G networks. A simple-to-use user interface is intuitive and engaging for employees, while offering the levels of security and ease of management that IT managers expect.
Brian Riggs, research director at Current Analysis: “IT departments are under increasing pressure to let end users access corporate resources from the mobile devices of their choosing. When it comes to unified communications (UC) and collaboration software, this means making telephony, video conferencing and other UC features available on personal, rather than company-issued, devices. OpenTouch Conversation will help Alcatel-Lucent’s OpenTouch architecture become a catalyst for UC adoption.”
Alcatel-Lucent has worked to make OpenTouch Conversation a user-friendly interface that looks and acts the same across all device screens. On screen an employee can see a graphical timeline of recent, current and future conversations, pictures of their current key contacts and a “stage” where their current conversation(s) takes place. Real-time rich presence information about availability of other people that can be added to conversations is displayed so the status of all concerned is immediately visible.
Eric Penisson, vice president and general manager of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Communications business said: “The genius behind OpenTouch Conversation is that it leverages the power of smart devices and reconciles all the modes of communication in one place in an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. This new communications breakthrough pushes the evolution of unified communications and ‘bring your own device’. With OpenTouch Conversation’s outstanding approach, employees will be able to get much more out of their tablet or smart phone.”
While the first iteration of OTC will support iPad, the most popular tablet device being used in enterprises today, OTC will soon support multiple platforms including Windows and MacOS, Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Microsoft smartphones.