Siemens improves scalability as communication moves to the cloud

The company offers products and services for unified communications in both public and private clouds

The next version of the OpenScape Unified Communications (UC) Suite can handle five times as many users, Siemens Enterprise Communications said Tuesday at the Cebit trade show.

So far, the suite has been able to handle up to 100,000 users, but with the release of version 7 that number has gone up to half a million users, according to Chris Hummel, chief marketing officer and president of North America at Siemens Enterprise Communications.

"Most systems will be less than that, but especially with the drive towards cloud and a lot of private cloud offerings that kind of scalability becomes important," said Hummel.

Besides improving the scalability of the UC Suite, Siemens earlier this month also launched its own public cloud service for unified communications.

The OpenScape Cloud Solution -- which first will be available in Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. -- allows Siemens to sell its products packaged as a cloud offering to smaller companies.

"Small businesses can have the same advantages on cost, flexibility and also functionality without making the up-front investments or having the technical expertise," said company CEO Hamid Akhavan.

Unified communication combines voice, instant messaging and video, along with the ability to see how colleagues want to communicate -- so-called presence.

Other improvements in OpenScape UC Suite 7 include centralized management of environments that still use a mixture of Internet Protocol and traditional telephony.

"We have always assumed that our customers have heterogeneous environments and are making the move to IP and unified communications in a phased approach, rather than doing a full rip-and-replace," said Hummel.

The company has also unified the user interface on its clients across desktops, smartphones and tablets, according Hummel.

OpenScape UC Suite will start shipping in June, according to Siemens. The company did not provide pricing.

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