Video conferencing capabilities, greater scalability, a more open architecture, and an improved user interface are the highlights in the Mitel Unified Communicator (UC) Advanced 4.0 solution.The new release includes support for desktop video conferencing, which is becoming a more popular communications option among small and medium businesses. Users can also attach subject and priority messaging with each call, which may prod recipients to pick it up.
Traditionally, customers have found mixing and matching different UC solutions difficult. The Mitel system features server federation between UC Advanced and Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) or IBM Lotus Sametime clients. Consequently, users can work with non-Mitel instant messaging, presence, and chat functions.
The new release supports peering, so geographically dispersed servers can connect with one another. As a result, the UC Advanced system now supports up to 10,000 users. A refreshed user interface allows for a more intuitive user experience and eases navigation, according to the company. An UC Advanced Mobile for BlackBerry update helps users provision corporate locations and integrates the Mitel system with smartphone contacts.
For decades, Mitel has been a leading supplier of voice communications systems to small and medium suppliers. Like competitors, the company struggled to switch from traditional hardware based PBX solutions to modern software based IP PBX systems. In response, the vendor, which claims to have 65,000 customers, retooled its product portfolio. Mitel now finds itself in a highly volatile marketplace and facing a bevy of competitors. In its last fiscal quarter, the vendor reported minimal revenue growth and a loss of $4 million. While Mitel has taken many positive steps in trying to reshape its business, how it will fare long term remains an open question.