Test Center: DiVitas' mobile desk phone
DiVitas Mobile Unified Communications taps Wi-Fi and VoIP to marry the mobile smartphone with the company PBXFollow @infoworld
The DiVitas system talks to your PBX over SIP trunks. Call features specific to the mobile device are handled in the DiVitas server, while functions native to the PBX continue to be handled there. For instance, if you're trying to conference three DiVitas handsets, that's all handled in the DiVitas server. If you're on a DiVitas mobile trying to conference another DiVitas handset and a deskset on the PBX, then the DiVitas server conferences the two mobile handsets and then adds the deskset as a device through the SIP trunk. If your PBX is open to third-party control of SIP sessions, then DiVitas can work with it. Nearly a dozen of the leading PBX vendors are supported.
The magic of the DiVitas solution, of course, is the seamless roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Here's how the roaming process works: The handset will always attempt to join one of your preferred Wi-Fi networks as defined in the DiVitas client. Once on the Wi-Fi network, it will try to get a stable connection to the DiVitas server and start transferring test data in order to judge the overall link quality. If and only if the link is stable will the handset attempt to shift the voice stream over to Wi-Fi. During the conversation, the DiVitas client will continuously monitor audio quality; if quality should drop below an acceptable limit, the conversation will automatically shift back to cellular. Over our AirPort Express network, VoIP calls worked like a charm. The only times our calls jumped from VoIP to cellular were when we left the range of the wireless LAN.
The mobile desk phone
What makes the DiVitas mobile "deskset" so much different from that el cheapo handset I got from RadioShack? Let's look at the components of the DiVitas client: Message waiting indicator, corporate directories, personal directories, conferencing, and easy call transfer all wrapped up in a simple-to-use UI that includes essential presence options. DiVitas has started with the functionality one would expect from a corporate desk phone and not only made those functions available on a mobile platform but also integrated the handset with the enterprise PBX.
Although the concept of a mobile desk phone might sound trivial, take a good hard look at just how many extra entries you've put into your mobile's address book just to call people in your organization. These extra entries are especially irritating when you realize that you've already memorized their five-digit office extensions, and of course the stock mobile phone has no concept of an internal call. The DiVitas system brings PBX features to the mobile handset, allowing users to make "internal" calls over any Wi-Fi connection -- even if the hotspot is half a world away.
Users have four presence states to work with, allowing them to be reached by voice or text, voice only, text only, or not at all. Presence will also indicate when users are on a call. When users are unavailable, their instant messages are queued up and voice calls go directly into voicemail. So far, presence states are applied globally -- you can't be available to some co-workers and not for others. Naturally, I also have the ability to play a different away message for folks inside my organization (the University of Hawaii) versus those outside, and if I'm on the phone, yet another away message plays.