Mitel, a well known name in unified communications, has partnered with VMware to offer a way to marry telephony with desktop virtualization (VDI). The goal is making it more easily possible to bring call management functions directly to virtual desktops and then deliver the combination of computing workloads with telephony and call management directly to staff members regardless of where they are.
Here's what Mitel has to say
Mitel announced the availability of Mitel’s virtualized Unified Communicator® (UC) Advanced client software for VMware View. This solution gives contact center employees access to a cloud-based unified, desktop and communications device (soft phone or desk phone) wherever they may be.
Desktop virtualization using VMware View decouples desktop components from physical devices and delivers them as a managed service from a centralized location, such as the data center or from the cloud. By centrally managing the desktops, applications and user data in the data center, organizations can benefit from improved manageability and control. When used in conjunction with Mitel’s Contact Center Solution, contact center and communications applications can be deployed as a single unified solution in a virtual desktop environment, enabling IT departments to reduce costs, while also extending their desktop and mobile environment to anywhere an end- user has an Internet connection.
For the contact center manager, this can allow for greater flexibility when bringing on additional agents during times of peak capacity, while maintaining centralized control over each agent. IT managers can reap similar cost and control benefits, while delivering their end-users a rich, consistent and high-performance desktop experience to any qualified device – including tablets and smartphones – whether in the office or on the go.
Snapshot AnalysisI was introduced to the idea of computer integrated telephony (CIT) years ago while working at Digital Equipment Corporation (now part of HP).
The idea, at the time, was making it possible for applications to directly communicate with and control telephone switching systems. This made it possible for a call-center management program to recognize when the telephone was ringing, route the call to an available agent, and then provide that agent with the information necessary to help the customer.
The computer was able to learn about the customer call directly from the telephone switching system. This combination of computer and telephone technology allowed call center staff members to quickly have access to a callers account information.
If we fast forward to today, call center staff may not be located in a single facility. They may housed in many different facilities and the computerized telephone system has to be able to route calls and support applications to staff members throughout the world.
As desktop virtualization technology emerged, it became clear that it would be possible for staff members to work from home offices, local offices or large regional facilities. The key challenge was delivering the managed telephone access to these staff members.
Mitel saw an opportunity to take its expertise in unified telephone communications and partner with VMware so that CIT could be married with VDI.
The combination of these two technologies would make it possible for organizations to better automate and distribute call center activities. Staff members would be able to work regardless of where they were. The organization would be in a position to centrally manage both the applications that supported call center staff and the telephone technology that delivered the call directly to the staff member's computer.
Although there are other ways to deliver applications and soft telephone communications to distributed staff members, Mitel's approach would make it possible for current Mitel customers to move to a new generation of virtualized desktop systems.