Siemens Launches Dedicated Unified Communications Appliance for SMEs

HiPath OpenOffice ME designed to boost productivity, efficiency and responsiveness

Siemens Enterprise Communications today announces the launch of the HiPath OpenOffice ME, an IP-based, unified communications toolset designed specifically for enterprises of 20-150 users. Productivity and collaboration features, such as intuitive presence-aware management and ‘drag-and-drop’ conferencing, provide SMEs with the tools to optimise both internal and external communications.

Siemens say they have avoided the pitfalls inherent in downsizing enterprise class products by designing the HiPath OpenOffice ME exclusively for SMEs, their users and the sales channels that serve them. Equally, the system has been engineered to be installed in just a few hours, with no additional devices, applications or accessories for channel partners to stock, purchase and install.

For SMEs and their users, HiPath OpenOffice ME unifies communications to solve problems of inefficient communication like ‘phone-tag’ and the efforts needed to set up multi-part conference calls. Its extensive range of mobility options further supports the varying demands of the modern workforce. Its features include:

Presence capabilities:

Combined with an Attendant Console, users can control their availability and indicate the best ways to reach them, reducing time wasted on fruitless communications
With permission, users can also check others’ voicemail for important messages or change presence status. Instant messaging to reduce superfluous email traffic

Conference management:

‘Drag-and-drop’ conference management leverages presence, so users can select available persons to initiate multi-party conference calls quickly. Alternatively, conference calls can be set up and it can be selected whether the system dials out to participants, or whether participants dial in. ‘Call Me!’ scheduling for each party to receive an automated call bringing them into the conference at the agreed time. File sharing capabilities to work in tandem with calls

Microsoft Outlook plug-in:

Allows users to access the features of HiPath OpenOffice without leaving their Outlook inbox. Provides a single mailbox for managing not only emails, but voicemails and faxes. Pop-up screens to alert users to calls they may want to take – from their laptops, if they wish.

Call functionality:

‘Call Me!’ reverse dialling feature allows users take advantage of their home office calling plans, to save hotel or international roaming charges over mobile phones, eliminating the need for a softclient. Call journal allows managers to track calls to customers, vendors and other contacts.

These features offer SMEs new levels of productivity, efficiency and collaboration that will allow them to more effectively utilise current resources of time, people and expertise. Advanced presence aware functionality delivers flexibility and agility to the workforce, improving responsiveness to all concerned parties.

The HiPath OpenOffice ME platform is available exclusively through Siemens channel partners. To encourage their support and to broaden its base of channel partners, Siemens intentionally designed the appliance with the following qualities:

Siemens say their appliance is easy to sell, with a compelling business case based on just 30 pence per day savings per user for 50 users. They add that installation taked just a few hours with no extra inventory required thus providing the ability to generate healthy margins and help grow channel partner profits.

“Siemens is launching a winning product in the HiPath OpenOffice ME,” said Jim Robertson, Commercial director, MTV Telecom “Not only did they design and engineer it for the needs of the small and medium-sized businesses we serve, but also for our needs to sell, service and support our customers efficiently and effectively. It’s a pre-installed and end-to-end solution for our customers as well as for us.”

“To bring HiPath OpenOffice ME to market, we took a new and open approach to meet the needs of smaller businesses and the channels serving them,” said Martin Northend, director of SME Portfolio Marketing, Siemens Enterprise Communications. “We are eager to bring the Siemens Open Communications architecture to this significant segment of the marketplace, as well as further enable growth, profitability and business success for SMBs.”

The HiPath OpenOffice ME platform is available in the UK from January 2008.