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RIM MVS 5 Ties BlackBerry to Avaya PBX

BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 launches Wednesday, bringing compatibility with a wider range of enterprise communications systems.

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Research In Motion on Wednesday announced the availability of BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 (MVS 5). The latest update to MVS brings with it compatibility with more enterprise communications systems, including Avaya Aura 6.1, Avaya Communications Manager, Avaya CS1000 Communication Server, Cisco Unified Communications Manager, and Mitel Communications Director.

Previously, MVS only worked with Cisco's PBX, Unified Communications Manager, and Call Manager Express products. This significant expansion means businesses that have invested in Avaya's tools will have access to the benefits that MVS provides as an enterprise communication system.

BlackBerry MVS 5 ties together enterprise PBX phone systems with BlackBerry smartphones, allowing employees to have a single number that rings both their desk phone and BlackBerry. Employees also can use what would otherwise be PBX-only features, such as extension dialing, hold, transfer, and ad-hoc conferencing.

Along with support for more corporate PBX systems, it also adds voice over Wi-Fi capabilities. This is a huge new feature that promises to help enterprises reduce telecom costs. With MVS 5, employees can make and take calls from their office phone no matter where they are. Calls can be made over both cellular and Wi-Fi networks, and both admins and the employee can determine how calls are handed off between the different network types. For example, IT can determine that all calls placed from a BlackBerry within the office should use the corporate Wi-Fi network instead of the cellular network. If an employee walks outside and out of Wi-Fi coverage, the call can be switched to the cellular network seamlessly.

For the international traveler, Wi-Fi calling will be a boon.

Roaming costs while abroad can be expensive. U.S. wireless network operators often charge $1.50 per minute or more for calls made from other countries. Those high per-minute costs can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a business trip. With MVS 5's Wi-Fi support, IT can set up employee BlackBerrys to make calls only through Wi-Fi in such instances to save on cellular voice costs.

In addition to saving on cellular voice costs overseas, organizations can route all calls via the internet to its internal PBX system. Doing this provides another avenue toward reducing the expense of long distance calls.

RIM envisions that MVS 5 will be exactly what many businesses need. It points out that MVS 5 can be used to create separate bills for personal calls and business calls made from company-issued BlackBerrys. It can also be used to power on-campus Wi-Fi-only desk phone extensions, which RIM believes would be ideal for environments such as hotel staff, manufacturing staff, and medical staff in a hospital or other healthcare facility.

RIM hasn't disclosed pricing on the MVS 5 and its new services. You can learn more here.

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