Unified Communications Featured Article

UC Week in Review: Partners are the Name of the Game

February 05, 2010

Most businesses know that to succeed, partnerships are essential. That’s the message companies in the unified communications sector are learning as a result of some new partnerships.
For example, Fujitsu and Cisco have created a large-scale unified communications environment for JGC Corporation. Meant to offer a more robust communications platform for JGC, the new environment will utilize 5,400 Cisco IP telephones, unified communications reported this week.

JGC is developing energy plant construction projects, primarily in the hydrocarbon areas of petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemicals, in Japan and other parts of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America. While employees will work from the company's headquarters in Yokohama City, project participants need to carrying out their activities from engineering sites around the world. So, to enhance internal and external communications and to help project operations run more efficiently, JGC wanted to install a unified communications platform based on IP telephony, officials said.
This isn’t the first time Fujitsu and Cisco have partnered. The companies in 2009 formed a strategic alliance to work together on unified communications, and developed solutions and conducted joint promotions for the market in Japan.
In another philanthropic partnership, Business Mobility Systems, a firm that delivers integrated mobile unified communications solutions for service providers and enterprise customers, teamed up with Ingate Systems, a SIP-based security solutions provider, aid a group of American doctors in Haiti.
The two firms brought new equipment and solutions to the island devastated last month by an earthquake to help aid workers reconnect with the rest of the world. Specifically, Business Mobility Systems is helping doctors from Advantage Health Physician Network, a network of doctors in Michigan, make voice over IP calls and have texting capability and Internet access while they help Haitian victims. The company set up an end-to-end UC solution using a solution from Ingate to give the team a stable communications system upon their arrival.
Doctors from Advantage Health Network are using Nokia E-71 smartphones equipped with Business Mobility Systems’ bMC client, the Hosted Business Mobility 1 Service. To help complete VoIP calls, Ingate installed its Ingate SIParator at the edge of the network to provide far-end Network Address Translation traversal. The solution, in turn, helps doctors make voice calls and gives the ability to send text messages and surf the Internet.
In other news, Polycom recently announced it broadened its relationships with BroadSoft, IBM and Siemens Enterprise Communication Group.
The company said that it has teamed up with UC vendors to support its Open Collaboration Network strategy. This helps Polycom offer open and interoperable conferencing and collaboration solutions giving customers greater flexibility and investment protection.  
Polycom can also offer productivity-enhancing and cost-saving telepresence, video and voice collaboration products as an integrated part of core UC environments.
And speaking of conferencing, the technology, is one rise. A   recent survey of more than 1,200 business professionals in the United States, Japan, South Korea and China found  that video chat/conferencing is rapidly growing worldwide, for both business and personal use.

The survey, by Research Now and sponsored by Global IP Solutions, concluded that business professionals across multiple industries are using video to communicate and collaborate more clearly and effectively. 

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for unified communications, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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