Unified Communications Featured Article

Siemens Unveils OpenScape Office V3, Addresses Virtualization and Mobility


April 04, 2011

Takeaway: With Version 3, Siemens updates its positioning for the OpenScape Office product for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), now offering the product in two versions that address different capacities: the OpenScape Office MX for up to 150 users and the OpenScape Office LX for up to 500 users. The MX hardware appliance was previously introduced, but the new LX is a software-only version with software running on Linux-based industry standard server hardware or on a single virtualized server using virtualization technology from VMware (vSphere). With V3, Siemens also introduces the myPortal for Mobile browser-based application and myPortal OpenStage XML application and adds support for third party SIP phones. In addition, Siemens introduces the OpenScape Office HX Unified Communications (UC) software application server, adding UC features for the company’s earlier HiPath 3000 converged PBX for SMBs. Read more below and visit www.telecomtactics.com for more on IP PBX solutions from Siemens and other vendors.

Siemens focuseson small and mid-size businesses (SMBs), introducing OpenScape Office Version 3 (V3) with new deployment models and enhancing the associated MyPortal UC Client family.

OpenScape Office MX

To recap, Siemens introduced Version 2 (V2) of its OpenScape Office product in spring of 2010, renaming the HiPath OpenOffice ME as OpenScape Office MX, an all-in-one hardware/software appliance for SMBs that targets businesses with 20-150 workers. MX incorporates a suite of pre-loaded basic and advanced applications that eliminates the need for separate software or hardware typical with traditional telephone systems. The system comes pre-configured with built-in voice and conferencing services, voicemail, messaging (Microsoft Outlook integration), mobility (built-in controller for integrated Wireless LAN Solution 802.11 b/g) and presence. The pre-loaded software is activated using license keys so customers unlock only the software capacities they need to optimize their business. Basic call distribution is included, or a full ACD and UC-based Contact Center can be license activated.

MX remains the same in the portfolio as a native IP communication hardware appliance that is Linux-based and supports standard interfaces such as SIP, CSTA and XML, but also has slots for TDM Gateway Modules that connect traditional analog and digital trunks. OpenScape Office MX can be configured with one, two or three rack-mountable 19-inch units (connected via cable) for 50, 100 or 150 user configurations, all managed as a single system using a Web-based browser.

OpenScape Office LX

With V3, Siemens adds the new software-based LX version for up to 500 users, with software running on a Linux-based industry standard server or on a single virtualized server (VMware’s vSphere 4 platform). Virtualization technology is a layer of software that decouples or breaks the bond between the operating system and the physical hardware, thus allowing multiple operating systems and multiple software applications to run simultaneously and share the resources of a single physical computer. So, for example, an IT organization can run both Windows and Linux, or multiple versions of an operating system, along with multiple applications, on the same server.

OpenScape Office LX is an IP-only solution that utilizes SIP trunking connections, but the system can also utilize the OpenScape Office MX or HiPath 3000 as a trunk gateway for analog and digital (TDM) connections. Up to eight LX and MX systems can be centrally managed as a single network (1,000 users total) with full voice and UC network-wide features that include presence, mobility, social media federation, voicemail, conferencing and attendant services, plus popular voice features such as callback, override and forwarding. Siemens includes 10 free licenses. Customers can extend beyond eight sites on a project-specific basis. Networking with OpenScape HX will become available later in 2011 (fall 2011 timeframe). OpenScape LX and MX can also network with earlier HiPath 3000 systems for traditional voice features.

OpenScape Office HX

Siemens introduces OpenScape Office HX, a UC software application which runs on a Linux-based standard industry server that supports virtualization. HiPath HX does not replace the earlier HiPath 3000, rather it is OpenScape Office software running on a Linux-based industry standard server that is dedicated specifically for the HiPath 3000 platform. Customers that have deployed the HiPath 3000 can use HX as a UC application server. This allows the Siemens installed HiPath 3000 customer base to retain their current PBX infrastructure, but also benefit from UC features.

V3 Enhancements

V3 adds two new myPortal UC Clients:

--myPortal for Mobile – This browser-based application is accessible from a smartphone device so no software needs to be downloaded to the device. Apple iPhone, Google Android, Symbian and BlackBerry operating systems have been tested. The myPortal for Mobile application has some of the myPortal desktop client features that make sense for a mobile user such as presence, favorites list, journal, voice messages and directories. Conferencing, chat, fax, screen pops are not part of the current implementation, though some mobile-related features are available such as optimal rate utilization for optimizing communication charges and the CallMe feature that routes calls to available voice devices.

--myPortal for OpenStage – This new XML application is available for the OpenStage 60/80 telephones and enables access to presence status information and visual voicemail via the OpenStage telephone display.

V3 enhances the earlier myPortal UC Clients:

--myPortal for Desktop - New features for the desktop/laptop UC client include click-to-dial, Instant Messaging with multi-user chat and external connectivity (across OpenScape Office and Google users via an XMPP interface) and new fax features (serial fax, journals and API).

--myPortal for Outlook - For those who use Microsoft Outlook as their primary tool, myPortal for Desktop functions are integrated in Microsoft Office Outlook, allowing users to access all communications from a single screen, including e-mail, voicemail, fax and IM with multi-user chat. New features include click-to-dial, Instant Messaging with multi-user chat and external connectivity (across OpenScape Office and Google users via an XMPP interface) and new fax features (serial fax, journals and API).

Siemens myAgent and myAttendant client software continue to be available for contact center agents and office receptionists (no new V3 enhancements).

With V3, OpenScape Office supports third party SIP phones that implement the 3PCC protocol. Additional user devices include the entire OpenStage desktop family (OpenStage 15, 20 E, 20, 20 G, 40, 40 G, 60, 60 G, 80 and 80 G), as well as the earlier OptiPoint 410/420 phones. WLAN and DECT handsets are also available, and the myPortal client can be used with SIP telephones that support RFC 3725.  MX also accommodates analog telephones and fax devices, ISDN telephones and add-on devices such as door intercoms.

Availability/Compatibility: OpenScape Office V3 for the MX and new LX deployments is currently in field trials and expected to be available in April or May 2011 and will be sold through Siemens Enterprise Communications’ channel partners. Current HiPath 3000 customers can add the OpenScape Office HX application server for UC features, or for growth, these customers can deploy the OpenScape Office LX solution, utilizing their current HiPath 3000 equipment as a gateway for TDM connections. (Siemens offers two TDM-based PBXs outside of North America, the HiPath 500 and HiPath 1100.)www.siemens-enterprise.com


Sandra M. Gustavsen, business VoIP analyst, contributes her Business VoIP column to unified communications. To read more of Sandra�s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee




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