Dual-system handsets will link Wi-Fi, cellular networks The ability to communicate reliably and effectively with customers, partners, and employees has always been an essential business requirement.What is different today is the constant, rapid development of new communications technologies, and how organizations must evolve their business processes to adapt to the myriad of ways key stakeholders are connecting to company information, products, and services. Communications technologies are now matured, and have the capability of transforming a business and pushing it ahead of the competition. With the development of mobile solutions based on IP telephony, enterprise communications are extended from the desktop to mobile workers, delivering these capabilities through cellular extension, wireless access, speech, modular messaging, and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). Mobile workers can be reached on their preferred device through one-number services, reducing the opportunity for missed calls. Productivity GainsThis technology translates into time and cost savings. According to Avaya research, businesses can achieve a 15% increase in personal productivity through smarter communication. As these technologies are introduced into the businesses environment, employees are no longer tethered to their desks. With "presence-based" communications, individuals can notify colleagues of their availability or presence on the network, and smart software can route communications to them according to predefined rules. For example, such a solution could track you down, check your availability, and conference you into an urgent sales call. Better yet, it will be able to reach you on virtually any device. A recent Avaya survey of IT professionals revealed that over 60% of respondents have, on at least one occasion, missed an important communication from someone because that person did not know the right medium to use at the time. Mobility solutions based on universal communications reduces missed opportunities, letting people connect in their preferred way through the available tools. Providing employees with advanced wireless connectivity is essential to ensuring that the mobile worker on the go can stay connected to important business information. Incorporating wireless voice technology into business processes and IT infrastructure may give many organizations the competitive edge they need. It’s no longer simply about installing access points for device connectivity, but incorporating all the mobile benefits into anywhere, anytime access. With the advent of voice over WLAN, businesses are realizing ROI and productivity increases that are changing business models and work environments. Dual-System HandsetsThanks to new technology now in development, it will soon be possible for mobile workers to use a handset that connects through their corporate LAN, a cellular network, and public Wi-Fi hotspots. The convergence of these technologies will allow businesses to gain new cost savings, user efficiencies, and enhanced communications capabilities. Avaya, Motorola, and Proxim Corporation have created a converged cellular, WLAN, and IP telephony solution to deliver connectivity through both enterprise Wi-Fi and public networks. The dual-system handsets will be available in Canada later this year. Cost savings can be achieved through reduced network management expenses, lower usage charges, and device consolidation. Dual-network devices will provide wireless conversations that will not fade or drop as they move to various locations throughout a work campus, or away from their office building. Users of such enterprise mobility solutions also have seamless access to advanced IP capabilities, such as listening to e-mail, accessing corporate directories, and overseeing multi-party teleconferences as they move across a WLAN and onto public cellular networks. For example, highly mobile employees who switch between office phones, cellphones or other devices for communications can now use one dual-network device to make VoIP-based calls as they travel within an enterprise or to an outside destination. Enterprise mobility is transforming business paradigms, and changing the way we exchange, access, and share information. It’s not just SIP or IP telephony applications or devices that create this scenario. It is also the ability to access any or all of these benefits on any device, any time. By eliminating the barriers between data and voice, organizations are able to draw out efficiencies and productivity that were previously unattainable. Mario Belanger is President of Avaya Canada.