IBM's plans to ship next year telephony integration technology as a foundation for its Sametime unified communications client highlights the company's approach to the emerging UC market, along with its key differences with rival Microsoft.
Mike Rhodin, Lotus' general manager for IBM, on Wednesday unveiled Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony at the VoiceCon show in San Francisco. Along with the new product, which is expected to be released in beta in the first quarter of next year, Rhodin also introduced a new version of Sametime that starts to ship in the fall, and announced the acquisition of Web-conferencing company WebDialogs.
Unified Telephony, in general, would provide a software platform that IBM customers could use to leverage PBX or IP PBX systems from multiple vendors within the Sametime UC and collaboration client. PBXs interconnect telephone extensions to each other as well as to the outside telephone network. Unified communications enable the real-time redirection of voice, text, or e-mail to the device closest to the user at any given time.