Networking At Interop

With an eye toward 2006, vendors exhibiting at the conference said they are banking on a growing number of mobile and remote workers to help drive sales of technologies such as VoIP, videoconferencing and the mobilization of applications.

Avaya targeted remote and mobile workers with new built-in VPN capabilities for its IP phones and expanded a partnership with Polycom to further integrate VoIP with videoconferencing. Avaya VPNremote is available now via a software upgrade for the Avaya 4600 family of IP phones. Users need only plug into a broadband connection and enter their log-on information to tie into the corporate VPN vs. the multibox solution Avaya now offers for its softphones.

Avaya also added integration between its Communication Manager VoIP platform and Polycom's lineup of VSX group videoconferencing systems and MGC multimedia bridges. In addition, the new Avaya Desktop Video Edition 2.0 embeds Polycom's PVX PC conferencing software with Avaya's IP Softphone.

Hoping to add reseller partners, PowerDsine launched a Power over Ethernet system that does a more secure job of operating as a managed service. Larry Altman, major account manager at ePlus Technology, a solution provider in Herndon, Va., said ePlus has reaped a 5 percent increase in revenue by introducing customers to PoE solutions.

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Another key trend in 2006 will be the mobilization of back-office applications, driven by push e-mail and the advance of smartphone technology, said executives in a panel discussion. The U.S. mobile e-mail market will reach 10 million users within a year and 25 million in two years, predicted Rick Hartwig, director of product management at Good Technology, Santa Clara, Calif.

KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN contributed to this story.