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Avaya Links iPhone To Enterprise Communications With One-X Mobile

One-X Mobile lets businesses access features on their mobile devices, such as multi-party conference calling, call transfer, and abbreviated dialing.

IP telephony provider Avaya on Monday rolled out a version of one-X Mobile -- software that transforms a mobile device into an office desk phone -- for Apple's iPhone, in addition to software for BlackBerrys, Treos, and Java and WAP-based feature phones.

One-X Mobile is Avaya's client software that lets businesses access features on their mobile devices, such as multi-party conference calling, call transfer, and abbreviated dialing. The software unites enterprise and mobile networks, and enables unified communications -- an emerging technology that links business processes with presence information, e-mail, voice mail, instant messaging, and videoconferencing to facilitate efficient communications.

The software is compatible with unified communications technologies offered by both Avaya and Cisco. It supports Avaya Communication Manager and Modular Messaging, as well as Cisco CallManager and Unity messaging, which is especially beneficial to businesses that use mobile devices in mixed environments, according to Avaya.

Avaya claims it's the first company introduce an app for accessing enterprise communications from the iPhone. It previously offered a version of one-X Mobile for Windows Mobile and Symbian smartphones, but is now able to extend it to other smartphones and even feature phones (without an operating system) as a result of its recent acquisition of Traverse Networks, a provider of unified communications technologies.

"The goal is to provide support for all mobile phones. In the past we were able to support only the call control layer and now we can support the data layer, so users can fully leverage unified communications. That became possible with our Traverse acquisition," said Humphrey Chen, director of product management for unified clients at Avaya, in an interview.

Earlier this year, Avaya rolled out a dual-mode version of one-X Mobile, designed to hand off calls between corporate Wi-Fi networks and cellular networks on Nokia Eseries business smartphones, including the E60, E61, and E70 models.

Businesses using one-X Mobile get a single number where employees can be reached, whether they're at their desks at the office or on their mobile devices working remotely. They also get a visual voicemail capability where voice messages can be viewed and selected from a list without dialing into the corporate voicemail system.

Apple's iPhone comes with a visual voicemail capability built-in, whereas BlackBerrys, Treos, and many other smartphones don't. One-X Mobile, however, cannot be downloaded as software on the iPhone and has to be accessed through the Safari Web browser, so enterprise visual voicemail and the iPhone's visual voicemail function as two separate applications. For other smartphones and cell phones, Avaya has created a downloadable interface, which serves up visual voicemail in an application that resides on the phones.

"We realize that the iPhone today is still a consumer phone, but there are so many opportunities to enterprise-enable it. One-X Mobile will first come as a Web-based application that looks like any other iPhone application. Once Apple releases its [Software Development Kit], we'll be able to create a richer application," said Chen.

Avaya plans to collaborate more closely with phone makers to integrate one-X Mobile with mobile platforms. For example, the company sees an opportunity to create an icon on the iPhone that presents visual voicemail in one application, which can display a work-related call routed through a corporate network versus a personal call routed through a wireless carrier's network.

One-X Mobile is currently available for mobile devices based on the BlackBerry, Palm OS, Symbian, and Windows Mobile operating systems, in addition to Java and WAP-based feature phones. One-X Mobile for iPhone will be available in the U.S. early next year.

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