Interop: Fixed/Mobile Convergence Coming to Your Company? - InformationWeek

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4/30/2008
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Interop: Fixed/Mobile Convergence Coming to Your Company?

Employees no longer sit in their cubicles all day. Instead, executives move from place to place, visiting customers and clients. Figuring out how to reach these individuals has been a problem: Do you try their office number or their cell?

Employees no longer sit in their cubicles all day. Instead, executives move from place to place, visiting customers and clients. Figuring out how to reach these individuals has been a problem: Do you try their office number or their cell?Well, vendors have been working to try and make that decision, a non-choice. Suppliers have been building products that connect a small and medium enterprises voice system to the cellular network. With that capability, employees carry one phone, rather than a couple, and telephone tag becomes less prevalent.

Agito Networks is one in a growing number of vendors trying wedge their way into this emerging space. At Interop, the vendor announced a new version of its RoamAnywhere Mobility Router. The product can be integrated with small and medium enterprises existing PBXes and supports features, such as consolidated desktop and cell phones phone numbers and voicemail systems. RoamAnywhere features automated location-aware handovers between enterprise, Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This version of the companys product features integration with Cisco Systems Unified Wireless Network family and enhanced connectivity with Microsofts Active Directory as well as LDAP compliant directories, which enables centralized user and group management of company phones. Pricing for the RoamAnywhere Mobility Router starts at approximately $10,000 for the 2000 Series, which work with up to 100 simultaneous users and about $28,000 for the 4000 Series, which supports up to 1,000 simultaneous users.

Agito has chosen to enter a market that has been gaining a lot of attention and seems to possess a great deal of potential. However, the company faces a few challenges. While the integrated enterprise/cellular market has potential, no one is sure how big it will be or when it will ripen. Also, the start up faces competition from larger established suppliers, many of whom are in the Wi-Fi space and looking for ways to extend their businesses. The vendor also needs to demonstrate that its products have the reliability and scalability that enterprises demand in their network equipment. Consequently, purchasing the companys products represents a risk, and how significant that risk may be will not be clear for another 12 to 18 months.

How often do you carry two phones? What do you see as the benefits of converged communications? How much would your company be willing to pay to use such products?

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