M'sian IP tech provider to support Microsoft UC

Malaysian Internet telephony technology provider QubeConnect signs deal to develop and offer interoperability on Microsoft Office Communications Server.

KUALA LUMPUR--Local Internet Protocol (IP) telephony technology provider QubeConnect and Microsoft have signed an agreement to develop and deliver interoperability for the latter's unified communications tools.

Under the deal, QubeConnect will establish a collaborative framework that will link Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) with other non-Microsoft-based unified communications platforms.

Dinesh Nair, co-founder and CTO of QubeConnect, said Wednesday Microsoft OCS runs on the Windows platform and as such, its reach is limited to users and organizations on the same platform.

"Using our solution, users on either open source or other proprietary communications platforms will be able to communicate with Microsoft's OCS seamlessly," Nair said, during the deal-signing on the sidelines of the World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT) held in Malaysia this week.

Microsoft OCS is a communication suite that offers voice over IP (VoIP) applications, instant and unified messaging, conferencing and other collaborative applications when tied to its Exchange Server 2007.

Dinesh noted that the collaboration between the software giant and QubeConnect is the first of its kind outside the United States.

The application, he added, will allow companies on different platforms to link their communications systems to OCS without the need to invest in huge capital expenditure.

According to Dinesh, QubeConnect's offering is already deployed in China by mobile operator, China Mobile. In Malaysia, the tool has been implemented by UEM, Putrajaya Holdings and Bandaraya Developments.

He added that the company plans to bring the application to Indonesia, Thailand and the Indo-China region this year.

"We expect to tap the Thai market in two to three months," he said. "We also plan to enter the European and U.S. market, but I can't say when that will happen."

Meanwhile, QubeConnect has also inked an agreement with China Mobile to design and develop value-added services for its subscribers in the Northern region.

Valued at US$1 million, the deal will provide services to 12 million China Mobile subscribers in this region, and will be extended to other parts of China at a later stage.

Under the agreement, QubeConnect will build two services: a weather forecast application, and eFax, which will be rolled out by the Chinese operator in the next six months.

"The introduction of these innovative and inexpensive value-added services is part of China Mobile's customer retention programme," QubeConnect CEO and co-founder, Sin Hock Kian, said in a statement. "This is expected to boost China Mobile's revenue during the nine-month trial period."

China Mobile has some 350 million subscribers. QubeConnect was formed in 2006 with a start-up capital injection of 8 million ringgit (US$2.5 million) by government-owned venture capitalist Malaysian Venture Capital (Mavcap), and aluminium extrusion player, LB Aluminium.

Edwin Yapp is a freelance IT writer based in Malaysia.