Alcatel-Lucent is putting unified communications onto mobile devices, starting with an iPad client for its OpenTouch communications platform that will enable users to seamlessly shift from device to device without interrupting a call, or change a call into a video conference without losing the other party.
Called OpenTouch Conversation, the new capability is still undergoing field testing, but Alcatel-Lucent said that enterprise customers should be able to begin deployments by June.
Support for other platforms is also planned, including Windows PCs, Macs, plus the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry smartphones.
Alcatel-Lucent said it is addressing the fast-growing bring your own device (BYOD) trend for employees to use personal devices for work applications, and will enable workers to access corporate-grade instant messaging, data sharing, voice calls and video collaboration services using such devices.
"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," said Alcatel-Lucent's vice president of enterprise communications, Eric Penisson.
Although the first release is targeting Apple's popular iPad platform, OpenTouch Conversation is intended to eventually support multiple platforms, and is claimed to have an intuitive user interface that makes it easy for users to ‘hand off' a conversation from platform to platform.
This will allow workers to start a voice call on an office desk phone, migrate the conversation to a video conference on a PC or tablet and then conclude it on a mobile phone, for example.
OpenTouch Conversation is intended to enable more effective communication and collaboration, while offering the security and ease of management that IT managers require, according to the firm.
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