Siemens Enterprise Communications has come out with a unified communications suite so easy to use it’s like magic, at least according to Ross Sedgewick, the company’s senior director of marketing for Large Enterprise Solutions.

“I like to say technology, when properly implemented, looks like magic,” he said. “This is a solution that is accessible and easy to use, with the functionality of an enterprise-grade solution but with minimal IT prerequisites.”

The OpenScape UC Suite 2011, rolling out in December, incorporates existing but upgraded OpenScape components and a new web collaboration application that combines the power of an enterprise solution with the ease of use of consumer applications.

“Collaboration solutions typically have been adopted by companies with deep pockets and sophisticated IT strategy. With this offering, we have positioned the opportunity for mainstream enterprise and organizations to adopt ‘consumerized’ rich multimedia collaboration without the complexity and expense of higher-end systems,” he said.

OpenScape UC Suite 2011 includes an updated version of OpenScape UC, which now features a soft client with multiparty desktop videoconferencing and support for Polycom, Lifesize and Tandberg systems, and VMWare virtualization support. The video features also are included in the updated OpenScape Video application, which also supports conference room and telepresence solutions from multiple vendors.

OpenScape Mobility, the company’s mobile connectivity application, also has been updated to include support for iPhone and iPad, as well as existing fixed-mobile convergence, WLAN and mobile UC solutions.

But the flagship of the new offering is OpenScape Web Collaboration, an enterprise-grade web-conferencing solution that integrates with OpenScape UC to provide seamless integration with chat, multiparty desktop videoconferencing and other UC applications. OpenScape Web Collaboration installs quickly on a Windows-based server, reducing infrastructure costs, and can be up and running in about an hour, Sedgewick said.

Because it loads on a Windows-based server, it can be integrated into any existing communications environment, Sedgewick noted. The suite features plug-ins for Microsoft Exchange and Outlook and IBM Groupware environments, creating opportunities for resellers to add a UC component to their existing customers’ communications infrastructure without having to do a forklift upgrade.

Kathy Heilmann, director of UCC/Cloud Solutions Marketing at Siemens Enterprise Communications, noted that customers who before were shying away from any technology that didn’t produce immediate and measurable savings now are taking a second look at unified communications.

“If the technology is done right, a company will see improvements in operational efficiencies,” she said. “Coming out of a difficult economy we’ve been hearing a lot from customers about hard-dollar cost savings. If a technology can’t pay for itself in 12 months they just were not interested. But we’re starting to see customers that are more willing to look at the ‘softer’ areas such as productivity enhancement as also providing value. Companies are moving away from a purely tactical to a more balanced view.”

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