Technology Leaders Band Together For Unified Communications

Alliance aims to deliver simplified video, voice, data communications to customers.

Five leading technology companies—Hewlett-Packard Co., Juniper Networks Inc., Microsoft Corp., Polycom Inc. and LifeSize/Logitech International SA--have banded together to form the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF), a non-profit alliance aimed at erasing barriers to unified communications.

Founders said, collectively and individually, that the organization is intent upon addressing issues that hinder connecting systems from UC vendors worldwide. Its goal is to provide customers with multi-vendor, open interoperability standards to allow organizations to seamlessly communicate and collaborate.

Officials also said that the UCIF will work together to expand UC adoption and to deliver a rich UC experience irrespective of platform, including mobile, desktop and telepresence. Accordingly, the group said it will develop verifiable interoperability testing and certification of UC scenarios, and provide best practices.

“Unified communications needs a scalable network architecture that removes unnecessary cost while ensuring the convergence of data, voice and video by simplifying network design, automating network orchestration and delivering open APIs upon which partners can develop," said Mark Bauhaus, Juniper executive vice president and general manager, Service Layer Technology Business Group.

"UCIF's charter to enable interoperability will pave the way to an optimized user experience and is well aligned with Juniper's 'new network' mission," said Bauhaus.

“Customers want UC deployments that provide a consistent user experience across multiple devices and platforms, which can bring new productivity to their teams,” said Rob Scott, HP worldwide general manager, Halo Visual Collaboration Business.

“The forum’s members will work together to enable interoperability across the UC stack, including voice, instant messaging and presence,” he said.

Polycom said that interoperable communications platforms will enable it to realize its goal to bring HD video to anyone on any screen.

“The UCIF sole purpose is to drive open, standards-based solutions, and to squelch any efforts to promote proprietary solutions against the interests of our customers,” said Andy Miller, Polycom president and chief executive.

The organization is open to hardware and software vendors, service providers and network operators. Additional members include Acme Packet, Aspect, AudioCodes, Broadcom, BroadSoft, Brocade, ClearOne, Jabra, Plantronics, Radvision, Siemens and Teliris.

TAGS: Microsoft,HP,unified communications,Juniper,Polycom

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