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VoIP Software for the Enterprise

VoIP software takes all forms: conferencing software, peer-to-peer applications and mobile forwarding and transfer capabilities, among other feats. But the one thing all converged data programs have in common is that they allow end users to save bundles by making phone calls on an IP phones from an interface on a PC.

Many VoIP software programs give users complete flexibility to take calls at their desks or on their mobile phones, and to move within a facility or among multiple locations while maintaining just one main phone number. It also allows users to transfer cell phone calls by pressing their desktop phone line. Sound like the mobile worker's dream setup?

Keep reading for more information about essential VoIP software for your business from the best vendors in the industry.

Cisco Unified Call Manager

From Cisco: Cisco® Unified Communications improves operational efficiency and contributes to a consistent and superior customer experience by making communications more effective, secure, mobile, and personal. More than just a voice solution, Cisco Unified Communications is a strategic business investment that integrates voice, data, video, security, and mobility into a single, smart solution that works with existing business applications to make the organization more competitive. It transforms the business with advanced messaging; virtual contact centers; integrated voice, video, and Web conferencing; mobile IP soft phones; and voicemail. Employees can communicate how they want and when they want - from one easy-to-use interface.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly Cisco Unified CallManager) is the powerful call-processing component of the Cisco Unified Communications solution. It provides voice, video, mobility, and presence services for businesses with up to 60,000 users, Unified Communications Manager is a scalable, distributable, and highly available enterprise-class IP telephony call-processing system.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager creates a unified workspace that extends enterprise telephony features and capabilities to packet telephony network devices such as IP phones, media processing devices, voice over IP (VoIP) gateways, mobile devices, and multimedia applications. Additional services, such as unified messaging, multimedia conferencing, presence, collaborative contact centers, and interactive multimedia response systems, are made possible through open telephony APIs.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager hincludes the following features:

  • Highly scalable, supporting up to 60,000 lines per server cluster
  • Able to support a full range of communications features and applications, including SIP-based applications
  • Highly available for business continuity, supporting multiple levels of server redundancy and survivability
  • Support for a broad range of phones to suit varying user requirements
  • Choice of operating system environments: Windows server-based implementation or Linux-based appliance model implementation
  • Available in an easy-to-manage single-server solution, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition, that combines call processing and unified messaging

Cisco® Unified Communications is a comprehensive IP communications system of voice, video, data, and mobility products and applications. It enables more effective, more secure, more personal communications that directly affect both sales and profitability. It brings people together by enabling a new way of communicating-where your business moves with you, security is everywhere, and information is always available...whenever and wherever it is needed. Cisco Unified Communications is part of an integrated solution that includes network infrastructure, security, mobility, network management products, lifecycle services, flexible deployment and outsourced management options, end-user and partner financing packages, and third-party communications applications.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly known as Cisco Unified CallManager) is the powerful call-processing component of the Cisco Unified Communications system. It is a scalable, distributable, and highly available enterprise IP telephony call-processing solution. Customer needs are continually evolving, and Cisco Unified Communications Manager evolves to meet those needs. Version 6.0 of Cisco Unified Communications Manager includes features that will benefit enterprise-sized business customers as well as smaller businesses.

Microsoft Unified Communications Software

From Microsoft: Software-based VoIP solutions from Microsoft avoids expensive forklift replacements of your existing systems and work with your IPBX—and legacy PBX—with software that's compatible with your present infrastructure.

Microsoft's software-based VoIP solution integrates with Active Directory, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange Server, and your PBX. It maximizes your current PBX investment and gives your company the enterprise IM, VoIP, and conferencing solutions it needs without creating a lot of unnecessary complexity for your IT department. It's big change, without changing it all.

Software-based VoIP is the next generation of voice communications. And that's a good thing for you and your end users. Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 provides a streamlined experience that integrates into whatever your users are doing, at their desks or on the road. Office Communicator 2007 integrates with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office applications, letting you deliver VoIP, presence, enterprise IM, and Web conferencing with your existing PBX. It also provides the operational control you've always wanted, and can be implemented at a fraction of the time and cost it would take to put in new hardware solutions.

And thanks to the familiarity of a common user interface—whether on a PC, the Web, or a mobile device—Office Communicator 2007 allows your company's users to find and communicate with the right people, right now, without a steep learning curve.

You'll no longer be tied to one provider and a limited line of products. Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 lets you deploy the latest communications technologies. Features can be added together or deployed individually, based on the needs and preferences of your users.

Office Communications Server 2007 also can help with compliance with both internal and regulatory controls by allowing you to archive and manage multiple forms of communication. Integration with Microsoft Exchange Server and Active Directory can enable a single user directory for all communication, and the provisioning of presence, software-powered VoIP, Web conferencing, and enterprise IM from a single infrastructure.


Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

From Microsoft: Office Communicator 2007 is a unified communications client that helps people be more productive by enabling them to communicate easily with others in different locations or time zones using a range of different communication options, including instant messaging (IM), voice, and video. Integration with programs across the 2007 Microsoft Office system — including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Groove, and SharePoint Server — gives information workers many different ways to communicate with each other via a consistent and simple user experience.

Connect with others
Office Communicator 2007 provides easy access to rich presence, IM, and other real-time communications capabilities to enable information workers to communicate with each other more easily and quickly.

Integration with existing address books and corporate directories means that it's not necessary to maintain separate and disconnected contact lists just for real-time communications. You can find anyone in your contact lists, see information about their availability, and communicate with them right away.

Rich presence capabilities enable you to share information about your availability with other contacts, and to view their availability. Office Communicator 2007 integrates presence information from multiple sources — including your calendar and out of office message — to provide better information so people know if you're available to communicate, and if so, which method would be best.

Consistent experience
Office Communicator 2007 helps to keep things simple by integrating varying modes of communication into a single user experience, centered on the person who the communication is being conducted with.

A communication might start with a simple IM. With Office Communicator 2007 you can add other modes of communication. If voice or video would be more effective, you can add those modes without opening new windows or starting another program.

Office Communicator 2007 focuses on the people in a conversation and provides a consistent experience regardless of whether the conversation is using IM, voice, video, or other modes.

Communicate contextually
Office Communicator 2007 is part of the Microsoft Office system and is closely integrated with other Microsoft Office programs. This integration helps ensure that communications can occur in the context of the program being used, without having to switch to a different program for a different form of communication.

From an e-mail message received in Office Outlook 2007, users can view presence information about other users and initiate real-time communication from within the message, avoiding the need to switch applications and search for users.

When working on a document in Office Word 2007, users can see a list of the people associated with the document along with availability information for those users. From this contextual list and based on this availability information, users can initiate a conversation directly with the appropriate people.

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