Yet Another UC Tool Hits The Enterprise

NEC joins what's becoming a crowded unified communications marketplace

NEC Unified Solutions is rolling several communications tools for its month-old UNIVERGE360 platform, offering up user customization options and a module that promises to make system management easier.

The new unified communication (UC) products include the SV8500 enterprise server, UC700 desktop client, UM8500 unified messaging system and the MC530 mobile client. NEC has also updated its SV700 VoIP communications server.

"This is fulfilling our UV360 vision as it enables business to realize the true value of communication," Paul Lopez, general manager for marketing and services, told InternetNews.com.

The Texas-based wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation of America is the latest in a growing list of vendors pushing out new UC tools. IBM (NYSE: IBM) just announced a $1 billion UC research and development push for facing off against competitors.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which along with partner Nortel Networks (NYSE:NT), rolled out a suite of applications for their UC offering. Avaya (NYSE: AV) is expected to announce new UC products early next week.

It was only last month NEC launched the UNIVERGE360, which takes what Lopez called a "unique" approach in communication tool capability.

"Typically users are given a menu of tools and they have to change their workflow to use them. We focus on the user's role and allow them to choose what communication technologies fit their needs," said Lopez.

For example a user could pull in email, instant messaging and click-to-call options but not video collaboration if it's something they rarely use. Users can also set "presence" options for indicating to others how they can be reached.

"These are flexible tools that give users control. And the management module helps make system management much easier for IT," added Lopez.

The UC system can be used as a standalone application or on top of other enterprise solutions, such as Microsoft's Outlook or Exchange system, and runs on the NEC SV7000 IP communications server or SV8500 enterprise server. NEC is also deploying new modular IP and digital terminals, the DT700 and DT300, aimed at the smaller-sized enterprise.

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