Extending UC Capabilities At The Desktop

SpliceCom have commenced shipping Navigate UC v2.5, the latest version of their powerful desktop productivity solution. Navigate UC allows businesses to benefit from the unification of their key IT apps with SpliceCom voice solutions.

"We've witnessed the uptake of Navigate UC take a steep trajectory in recent months, with voice enablement of existing CRM apps being by far the biggest driver," says Robin Hayman, SpliceCom's Director of Marketing & Product Management. "Salesforce appears to the almost ubiquitous in the organisations we're dealing with at the point of sale, with almost all rating telephony integration in their top three feature requirements when it comes to selecting a new voice system. For most businesses, voice enablement of their CRM system, won't be rolled out on a company-wide basis and sometimes it will required by less than 5% of the workforce. But if you can't meet the needs of the 5%, you'll lose 100% of the overall solution sale. It's become so business critical its an overall deal breaker," continues Hayman.

It's the deployment of voice as a IT app that makes true Unified Communications easier, not to mention more cost-effective, to achieve. This in turn has led to the voice enablement of business critical IT apps moving centre-stage, in the quest to streamline businesses, make the workforce more efficient and differentiate customer service offering. SpliceCom's address these needs through Navigate UC.

Presence and State/Activity mapping form the main focus for the advancements made in Navigate UC v2.5. The Presence window can now pop-up or be permanently docked on the right hand side in a Windows 8 desktop environment. Maximising the windows of other apps on the desktop now allows them to fill the left hand portion of the screen, up to the left edge of the docked Presence window, eliminating the constant need to re-size windows for other applications to prevent overlap. User interaction via email has been added to Presence, augmenting telephony and instant messaging, alongside the ability to pick-up calls, provided the appropriate access rights are set.

In addition to five user selectable availability states - In the office, in a meeting, off-site, at lunch or on holiday - there are now three automatically sensed states - online meeting, away from desk and outside working hours. These are triggered by use of on-line meeting apps, computer inactivity/locking and calendar entries. And whilst we're on the subject, Outlook Calendar states can also be used to automatically synchronise your Navigate UC availability. An icon relating to your current availability state and any features you might have set now appears as a Windows system tray menu icon.

All these availability states can be mapped to actions, including; change preferred device, forward to another number, set Do Not Disturb, send a Feature Code to a handset, set Absence text, send a message, change the ringer volume. For example, you could automatically set Do Not Disturb on your phone when involved in a webinar, or turn your ringer volume down low when on holiday.

Microsoft's migration from Lync 365 to Skype for Business Online is also catered for in Navigate UC v2.5, with the ability to instigate telephone calls directly from the Skype for Business client. Other notable features include the ability to perform blind and assisted transfers directly from the Navigate UC Address Book, along with support for Kuando's Busy Light. This is a physical multi-state led device that clips on to your laptop or PC screen, making your "presence" state clearly visible to everyone in the office.

"If there were any lingering doubts over voice being just another IT app, albeit still a time sensitive and critical one, you have to look no further than the criteria being employed to chose voice solutions. IT strategies, in the form of virtualisation or native OS, in the cloud or on site, purchased through capital budget or operational expenses are equally relevant for business telephony. The approach taken for IT tends to dictate on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of the two when it comes to where the voice service will be located - and how it is paid for. Navigate UC can be deployed across all three of theses deployment architectures, like all SpliceCom solutions," concludes Hayman.