RIM Weds BlackBerry Smartphones, Cisco IP Phones


Kicking off its Wireless Enterprise Symposium with a bang, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd. has unveiled a new version of its Mobile Voice System (MVS) Server optimized for Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

According to RIM, the new version of MVS Server works with Cisco Unified Communications manager version 6.1 or later.

The integration can make employees more accessible and productive in and out of the office, while also offering management and control of corporate voice services on BlackBerry smartphones. Essentially, the solution marries BlackBerry smartphones and Cisco IP desk phones.

"We are extending Cisco Unified Communications Manager to BlackBerry smartphones to satisfy the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce," Alan Panezic, RIM's vice president of platform product management, said in a statement. "The deep integration between BlackBerry MVS Server, BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the Cisco phone system can provide mobile workers with a complete mobile office that includes secure email, corporate applications and enterprise voice services on their BlackBerry smartphones."

Features unlocked through BlackBerry MVS with Cisco Unified Communications Manager includes one "reach me anywhere" corporate phone number, one caller ID and one voicemail box for both Cisco Unified IP desk phones and BlackBerry smartphones; simultaneous or sequential ringing on up to four devices including BlackBerrys and Cisco IP phones; and access to Cisco Unified Communications Manager telephony functions like call transfer and extension dialing. Additional features include the ability to make calls from a BlackBerry using either the smartphone number or enterprise line and the ability to switch an in-session call from a BlackBerry smartphone to a Cisco Unified IP Phone.

RIM said the solution as developed by RIM as part of Cisco's Technology Developer Program. It offers deeper integration with BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and direct SIP integration between Cisco Unified Communications Manager and BlackBerry MVS Server for manageability, scalability and ease of deployment.

Using the solution, all outbound calls from BlackBerrys can automatically authenticate and route through BES and Cisco UC Manager for added security and functionality. According to RIM, the solution offers BlackBerry smartphone authentication, which ensures only authorized users are accessing Cisco UC Manager to make calls.

It also offers IT policies and controls for fixed and mobile voice services. For example, policies and controls can be applied to individuals or groups to prevent incoming or outgoing international or long-distance calls, 411 calls, or calls based on certain area codes, meaning IT has better cost-control. The policies can be the same as those applied to desktop calls, or different. Other features include call logging, least call routing and centralized management.

"BlackBerry MVS Server and Cisco Unified Communications Manager together with BlackBerry Enterprise Server is a powerful combination for unified communications," said Laurent Philonenko, vice president and general manager, Cisco Unified Communications business unit, in a statement. "The integrated solution now enables IT professionals to manage mobile costs by extending corporate voice policy to their mobile devices, while offering BlackBerry smartphone users a rich set of familiar enterprise features through the same elegant, user interface of the BlackBerry smartphone."

RIM said BlackBerry MVS Server for Cisco Unified Communications Manager will be available in North America in the third quarter. It requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1.5 or later, Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 or later, and a BlackBerry MVS Client installed on BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry MVS Client installed on BlackBerry Smartphones running Device Software 4.5 or later.