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
New to this release is visual voicemail, in which your voice messages, their lengths, and who they're from -- along with icons showing the caller's presence information -- are displayed in a quick list, providing for fast voicemail triage. Today, the DiVitas client shows voice and IM status separately. Someday, if unified communications standards fall into place, DiVitas might incorporate third-party IM solutions and display all presence information in a single place. Meanwhile, DiVitas' IM implementation, which is based on Jabber, remains strictly proprietary -- that is, closed.
FMC to MUC
This new version of DiVitas has made leaps beyond the FMC (fixed to mobile convergence) system we tested two years ago. It now offers a mobile workforce a unified communications handset that could possibly eliminate the need for a full deskset. Currently the options are limited to Nokia and Windows Mobile smartphones, and that may not change soon. According to DiVitas, Wi-Fi-to-cellular roaming on a BlackBerry requires system services that are not currently available to RIM development partners. The iPhone, which allows only one communication app to run at a time, is also a nonstarter. DiVitas sees possibilities in Google Android but is waiting to see how Android fares in the market.
Other noteworthy new features in this edition include automatic FTP-based backups of system and configuration files; RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) stream monitoring for call quality troubleshooting; tighter PBX integration in terms of "call forking" (simultaneous ring in multiple locations); dial plan integration (rules to interpret calling number patterns); and presence forwarding to the deskset (though only some PBXs have opened this feature to third parties).
Ultimately, organizations will want more from unified communications than the ability for users to click "do not disturb" buttons for voice and IM communications. They'll want to apply rules based on time, location, group membership, identity, and status across all communications channels -- voice, IM, and e-mail. Much of this will have to wait until standards in the unified communications marketplace come together. Even so, the current capabilities make this Jetsons-style communication system a great candidate for organizations with a mobile workforce. DiVitas' leap into mobile unified communications is a leap in the right direction.