Vertical Communications Unleashes On-the-Go UC


As BYOD and other mobility trends continue to make enterprise-grade mobile communications indispensable, a number of unified communications companies have sought to bring business UC features out to mobile devices in ways that go beyond mere PBX extensions or mobile voice connectivity.

Vertical Communications' new stake in this conversation is ViewPoint Mobile, which launched a few weeks ago. It's a mobile application tied into Vertical's flagship Wave IP PBX platform through which business users can access all of their premise-based enterprise communications services -- including specific on-premise business applications -- via Apple iOS devices and, later this year, Android devices.

Among ViewPoint Mobile's functions are embedded presence management, access to iOS contacts, one-touch call transfer, hold and conferencing, call log, embedded call recording, instant messaging via an embedded IM server, and specific inbound/outbound DID numbers for business use. All of the app's communications are managed from the server side of the network.

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The hooks are robustness and efficiency: Vertical not only can offer those mobile features but also provides ViewPoint Mobile through what it calls an "inclusive licensing" program, meaning enterprises can add new mobility features to their platform whenever they feel like but don't have to buy or install any new hardware or software to do so.

"You get your applications and all your feature functionality," said Steven De Korne, Vertical vice president of marketing. "The mobility application is part of our bundle and you're not paying for anything extra."

Vertical, Santa Clara, Calif., doesn't enjoy the marquee brand status of some of its larger, better-known competitors such as Cisco, Avaya and ShoreTel, but its roots in UC and the PBX channel run quite deep.

The former Artisoft merged with the former Vertical Networks in September 2004, becoming Vertical Communications in 2005. Vertical then acquired Comdial in September 2005 and Vodavi in October 2006 -- moves that dramatically expanded its customer installed bases and channel ecosystems, according to De Korne. It now has more than 3,000 authorized resellers in North America and Europe and sells almost exclusively through the channel.

The Wave IP system itself generally runs about $75 per station, including all IP telephony and UC functions. ViewPoint Mobile comes as a free mobile application for customers using Wave IP 3.0 or have upgrade subscriptions for older versions of Wave.

"Some vendors give you just twinning, basic providing of call forwarding for the mobile device," De Korne said. "The difference is in how robust it is, and that it's all embedded into the Wave IP platform."

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