Mitel & Sun Deliver Converged Voice and Data Applications

Sun Microsystems and Mitel Networks have announced they have entered into a global OEM agreement that will help drive the use of converged voice and data applications in multi-tenant environments.

Mitel’s unified communications call control software will be integrated into industry-standard Sun Microsystems servers for enterprise and carrier hosted and customer premise environments. Sun and Mitel have also created a unified solution offering with Mitel’s contact centre software on Sun Ray ultra-thin client hardware.

The Multi-Instance Call Server (MICS) allows as many as 200 compartmentalised instances of the Mitel 3300 IP call control software to run simultaneously within Sun Fire X4200 and X4600 servers. The MICS allows multiple businesses, departments and offices to share the same server, but use a specific version of call control software and use the features and functions that meet their particular needs.

For example, tenanted on the same server, one customer can run version 8.0 of Mitel Call Control with Mitel Customer Interaction Solutions applications, while a second customer can run version 7.1 of Mitel Call Control with Mitel Your Assistant and Mitel Mobile Extension unified communications applications.

“Customers are looking for applications that enable people to work smarter, faster, better and more collaboratively to drive business performance improvements,” said Stephen Beamish, vice president, business development and strategic alliances at Mitel. “By working with Sun, we have been able to introduce unique new solutions that allow businesses to upgrade at their own pace to protect their existing infrastructure investments including servers, data and voice systems, not because the multi-tenant softswitch is being upgraded.”

Current and traditional multi-tenanting softswitches or PBXs force all tenants to use the same software version, meaning that IT managers must think of how their integrated business applications will be impacted by an upgrade to the multi-tenant softswitch. In today’s environment, as IT managers seek to integrate with their business applications they also seek to control software versions and implementations with more rigor than ever before while also considering security related issues. In addition to providing a new means of addressing tenanting and hosting, this multi-instance approach opens the opportunity for new business continuity / disaster recovery services, while simplifying the management of the solution by having one management system for multiple call controls / customers.

“Our work with Mitel blends proven technologies to create a unique value proposition that, since lifting the veil on the solution at VoiceCon in March, has received tremendous interest from customers and partners,” said Peter Ewens, VP, OEM Group, Sun Microsystems Inc. “Through Sun’s integrated services, Mitel is now in a position to source the entire solution package for the end customer. This presents a great professional service opportunity for systems integration partners to configure and install the solution package.”

Sun and Mitel have also announced the planned integration of the Sun Ray IP Phone Bundle. This solution allows for a single hot desk sign-on for both the Sun Ray ultra-thin client terminal and the Mitel IP phone. The Mitel stand, portable to any Mitel set, has a Java CardTM technology slot to allow for Sun Ray and Mitel IP phone hotdesking. This small footprint device delivers all of the traditional Sun Ray features with lower power consumption than a separate phone and thin client, delivered at an attractive price. The Sun Ray IP Phone Bundle is particularly well-suited for cost and security-sensitive environments such as contact centres, education, healthcare, service providers, and financial services.

The companies are also collaborating to deliver the Sun Ray VoIP solution whereby the Mitel Contact Center application will reside on the server, allowing contact centre agents to securely “hot desk” into the phone at any available terminal using their personal profile Java Card. The Sun Ray VoIP application can be easily adapted to other vertical markets, including healthcare. As doctors conduct their rounds, the accessibility offered by the hot desk feature ensures they can be quickly and easily reached on the phone in any room, in case of emergency.

“One of the keys to increasing the proportion of enterprises that choose managed and hosted services is delivering management tools for both the service provider and the end user company,” said Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics, L.L.C. “With this announcement, Sun and Mitel are easing the management burden for service providers, enabling them to more easily support hundreds of customers, as well as providing enterprises that use their services application flexibility and improved business continuity.”

Sun and Mitel partners will source the entire solution package (Sun Fire servers, Sun software, the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS), and Mitel software) and deliver to the end customer as a starter kit. All software application / telephony licenses will be acquired by channels through standard practices from Mitel and from the Sun Customer Ready Program that will activate the solution. Product will be generally available in the fourth quarter 2007.