Nigel Jones, business development manager at Alcatel says fixed/mobile convergence is now a reality for many organisations, with convergence at the device level for GSM/WiFi/Bluetooth/PDA devices giving users seamless access to services and lower connectivity costs, thanks to the ability to switch networks automatically.
“You can use smart routing to ‘least cost route’ normally expensive international calls, overcoming the headache for organisations when employees use their mobile phone in the office, despite the fact that their landline phone (sometimes only two metres from where they are standing) is capable of a cheaper call with higher levels of service.
“Businesses are now bringing in mobile networks/devices as part of the whole communications network. For example, Alcatel’s OmniPCX Enterprise supports ‘cellular extensions’, which literally makes mobile phones appear as extensions off the PBX system. This gives companies the ability to centralise call costs and use central communications links for expensive calls, while from a user perspective it provides features such as conferencing and call divert, all from a soft user option menu on any GSM phone screen. Users can be reached anytime anywhere by one unique number – so you don’t need multiple numbers on your business card either.
“Alcatel’s OmniTouch Unified Communications suite is also allowing organisations to integrate mobile users much more effectively. It’s possible to provide business grade telephony and applications on PDA devices through soft phone clients, whilst the My Phone application even allows a mobile user to transfer call control to a PC, leaving only speech on the phone itself. You can then use your mobile as part of a web conference through My Teamwork, which provides full conferencing and applications sharing wherever you are – on a simple browser, with no need to download anything on your PC.
So even though you are in Starbucks with an internet terminal, if you armed with your mobile, you can log on and participate as if you were in the office. You don’t need a Blackberry to retrieve your emails either, since you can listen to your emails on your mobile using Alcatel My Messaging via Text to Speech, and send a voice reply to an email user if it’s urgent.”