Genesys and Microsoft Announce a Collaboration Technology Alliance
Alcatel's Genesys Telecommunications unit and Microsoft have announced a plan to further extend live collaboration through the enterprise, both through conventional Internet channels and legacy telephony devices. Genesys will develop and provide to joint resellers an integration platform making it easier for companies to take advantage of Microsoft's next-generation collaboration client.
The announcement represents Genesys' first major partnership agreement of the new year. One month ago, Genesys announced a reseller relationship with PeopleSoft. Amid rumors that PeopleSoft's new parent Oracle may lay off the bulk of PeopleSoft's sales force at week's end, the strength of that relationship is in question, but Wes Hayden, Genesys CEO, says has not heard of any plans to abandon the deal.
Code-named Istanbul and expected to be released in the first half of the year, the client is expected to provide text instant message, voice, and video chat and collaboration capabilitis through Microsoft's Live Communication Server. The agreement with Genesys represents a shared plan to extend the range of integrated collaboration tools, beyond traditional desktop clients or Internet-enabled devices. "It gives us an opportunity to take some of the technology we have developed for the contact center and apply it into the enterprise," Hayden says.
Genesys plans to capitalize on its existing technology to connect traditional phones and call distribution equipment with cutting-edge, online clients. "With the integration of what Microsoft is doing and what we're doing to broaden the concept of presence beyond what you have on your [instant messaging] screen...what we're essentially doing is providing click-to-talk, as opposed to click-to-chat, on cell phones, home phones, or office phones," Hayden says.
For example, the integration would make it possible for an executive on a conventional cell phone to remotely monitor the presence and activity status of a team in his collaboration space. Such capabilities are normally reserved for desktop instant messaging clients or custom-purpose workalikes developed for handheld computers. "When everybody in the world is 100 percent operating in an IP telephony environment, what we're doing [today] is not so exciting, but because we have all of the links to the PBXes in place today, we can enable [collaboration] today, and not make people wait until they are fully enabled under IP."
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