Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dean Bubley: Enterprise VoWLAN and SMS

Dean Bubley blogs at Disruptive Wireless his thoughts on Informa's Multimode Handset conference last week. He first mentions Cisco's enterprise telephony presentation and reference to their upcoming Cisco dual-mode solutions. Bubley thinks one thing stood out:

In general, the idea seems to be to tie all corporate comms back via the enterprise-adminstered IP-PBX, and to encourage employees to use the fixed-line # rather than their "native" mobile number where possible. This makes sense for a few reasons, but depending on how it's implemented, has one major potential flaw - poor integration with SMS, and possibly other cellular applications.
Bubley points out that in Europe, SMS is widely used in business as well as email. He notes that:
SMS needs to work "nicely" when the dual-mode device is in VoWLAN/IP-PBX mode. This is especially true if the solution aims to "cloak" the phone; mobile number and pass off the call as a purely PBX-based call with a fixed-line #, tie in with conferencing systems etc etc. But if the employee texts his client, then caller ID will reveal the "real" mobile number - which the client / supplier / colleague will then just enter in his or her mobile's address book and use by default.
Bubley believes it's not a complex problem to solve in theory, "but the messaging functions on IP-PBXs tend to be very voicemail/email/IM-centric, with poor (if any) SMS integration." In the end he advises: A
suggestion to Cisco, Avaya, Ericsson, Nortel, Alcatel, Siemens & assorted other IP-PBX and VoWLAN people - sort your SMS integration ASAP, and don't let your North American R&D, and product marketing people tell you it's a low priority.