The Toshiba Strata CIX-family of IP Telephony systems like many IP PBX vendors, bring a broad approach to enterprise mobility. In order to serve the unique needs of many segments of the business communications market, Toshiba offers a wide array of capabilities to address the needs, which aligns its positioning relative to other better-known IP PBX brands.
The company’s portfolio of enterprise mobility-specific options include delivering popular enterprise telephony features to mobile devices, through a variety of means including:
- Wi-Fi IP telephone handsets that are ruggedized for demanding enterprise environments and optimized for long battery life with support for the Wi-Fi Alliances’ power management features, simple applications (including an SMS-like text service) and small monochromatic screens suitable for dialing number visual confirmation, simple context-sensitive user prompts and caller ID. Toshiba supports and resells the Polycom 8002, 8020, 8030 SIP Wi-Fi phones for these demanding applications.
- Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) digital cordless telephones/base stations that operate in the 1920-1930 MHz band. DECT in the US, is a relatively new offering since the Federal Communications Commissions only set aside the spectrum for this application in 2005. Although much more popular in Europe and Asia where the technology and spectrum have been in use for the better part of the past two decades, the application of a voice-only campus service or in-home has been gaining credence and market demand, especially in environments where user satisfaction with Wi-Fi network performance in VoIP applications are likely suspect. These products, rebadged from Uniden are meant for single station support such as a manager’s phone in a contact center ‘cubicle farm’ where the manager is constantly about and hardly ever at their desk. This way they can be reached and can make outbound calls without affecting agents.
- The Toshiba user experience of their desktop IP and digital phones are replicated in software for PC users as softphone functionality called SoftIPT that engages users’ PCs with the Strata CIX platform. PC microphones and speakers or ear buds are appropriately engaged.
- The softphone functionality runs on select PDAs too.
- Toshiba recently concluded an agreement with Varaha Systems to deliver a dual-mode client application for select models of smart phones capable of Wi-Fi and cellular services. The solution, called Toshiba uMobility extends the Strata CIX functionality to certain classes of smart phone mobile devices readily available from popular mobile operators around the world. Users can make and receive calls as if in the office, and can manage calls remotely through mid-call services and client-Strata CIX interactions.
This broad portfolio-oriented approach to mobile UC gives Toshiba customers capabilities that go beyond the simple simultaneous ring or find-me-follow-me features generally available with any IP PBX or unified communications system, and places Toshiba at a mobile UC feature-parity position with leading solutions from other IP PBX vendors. Customers can then view the range of their mobile UC needs in terms of the enterprise infrastructure necessary, the mobile operator services available or negotiated and / or appropriate for their business footprint and user profiles. Aligning different mobile UC offerings to different employee work styles and profiles is not only wise, but highly recommended, since the basic infrastructure to support one or more of these capabilities typically involves a lot more investment of capital and engineering support to even present a practical communications service to the user.
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