In the race to provide the best Unified Communications solution, there are just so many approaches. The various ways to achieve UC are staggering in fact. Companies like Microsoft have partnered with many companies to achieve seamless UC – with special emphasis on Nortel and Aspect. IBM has partnered with virtually all UC players – including Aspect and Nortel while companies like Avaya are thriving by not only offering their own solutions but a bewildering assortment of integration options.
But is it fair for only the largest players to get a seat at the UC table? Of course not… That is why it is worth mentioning I recently met with Jeffrey Cavins, Richard Roberts and Michael Buday from Callwave, the company that makes a variety of UC solutions.
The company has a service called Fuze which is a browser-based UC platform with a nice-looking GUI. The solution has differentiated itself in a number of ways by ensuring their service works on a variety of devices. Just one of these is the Nokia N800 and N810 internet tablets.
So what does the service do? Aside from the usual merging of e-mail, voicemail, etc… There is also high quality videoconferencing and Skype-based conferencing allowing up to about 1,000 people to be on a call at the same time. Furthermore, there is internet fax, media sharing, Outlook synchronization, voicemail transcription, support for Yahoo and Google mail, find me/follow me functionality, and more.
Perhaps one of the more interesting features is the ability to schedule conferences where participants are called when it is time for the conference to begin. Yes my friends, Fuze could be responsible for retiring the conference call in number and PIN code.
Boy I hope they are successful in this last area as I would be thrilled to never have to dial into one of these calls again.
But I digress… Fuze service is worth considering if you are a small business, service provider or a mobile professional – always on the go.
A Blackberry version is coming soon and the service will soon benefit from offline capability similar to Google Gears. This will allow you to work on the airplane or subway.
In fact Roberts told me, "Accounts will be able to edit/delete contacts, listen to messages, view faxes and text and access their media locker when offline. When they go online, we will sync these changes. The user will need to use the [Adobe] AIR client for this (PC & Mac compatible), but we may be able to take care of this from the web site as well."