Siemens announces voice and UC offering for SMBs
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OpenScape Office MX includes features such as UC capabilities for voice and conferencing services, presence, voice mail, messaging and mobility; and access to UC features directly from an Outlook window

Siemens Enterprise Communications has announced OpenScape Office MX, the successor to HiPath OpenOffice ME designed to meet the voice and unified communications applications of the small and medium business. The "all in one" solution provides pre-installed applications on a single server, and over 50 new features have been added since the HiPath OpenOffice ME version. Customers who want to upgrade from the predecessor to the OpenScape Office MX can do so with a software upgrade; no hardware changes are needed.

The latest version was developed with strong collaboration from Siemens Enterprise Communications' retail partners who helped with the requirements and then used and installed the system to enhance its functionality.

The system provides features typically found on UC solutions targeted to larger enterprise customers. Among the latest additions and upgrades: UC capabilities for voice and conferencing services, presence, voice mail, messaging and mobility; access to UC features directly from an Outlook window; and new presence-enabled multi-channel contact center capabilities.

Other features include, drag and drop conferencing, call recording and click-to-call from a user's Outlook window. The platform also supports Session Initiation Protocol trunks, presence management, mobility and instant messaging. List pricing for the system to support 50 users is $11,523 while support for 100 users is $21,278; list prices do not include desktop phones.

We were curious about how Siemens supported channel partners and their customers on establishing a business case ROI, so we followed up on the product announcement with Tricia Cooper who is the director for channel marketing in North America at Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEC). The company offers two different calculators to help with considering the OpenScape Office MX solution.

The first tool is the "hidden cost" calculator which SEC makes available directly to customers and prospective customers on the company's Web site found here. The second calculator is an ROI calculator provided to reseller partners through the company's partner portal SEBA.

Our observations: Service providers and infrastructure suppliers alike are moving UC features and support "down market" -- offering options to the SMB market that were once reserved for the larger enterprise and SEC is no exception with its latest upgrades, customer, and channel support.

And we offer this advice to all who seek success in the SMB market: while we believe the SMB needs the same communications options as a large business, it is also incumbent on those who supply the SMB with UC services and equipment to help the SMB with business case tools, training and business process support.


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