MUNICH, Germany, and REDMOND, Wash., January 11, 2005 — The Siemens Communications Group and Microsoft Corp. today announced a new global sales and marketing alliance, a multi-year agreement that will deliver a comprehensive family of enterprise-grade, presence-enhanced calling, video and Web conferencing, and collaboration solutions to customers throughout the world.
The alliance leverages a successful strategic product relationship the companies have built over the last two years. Siemens and Microsoft share a common vision of presence-enabled communication that integrates voice, video, instant messaging and Web conferencing into a comprehensive tool suite to improve worker productivity and team collaboration.
The two companies will align market development and sales activities to deliver:
Office Live Meeting, a Web conferencing service that enables employees to participate in interactive meetings and share documents with just a phone, a PC and an Internet connection.
Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, Microsoft’s enterprise instant-messaging and presence-enabling platform, which improves business efficiencies by enabling information workers to find and communicate with people in real time via an enterprise-grade environment that is integrated with the Microsoft Office System.
The newest member of the Microsoft Office System, code-named “Istanbul,” an integrated communications client that provides real-time collaboration capabilities. Designed as the preferred client for Live Communications Server 2005, the product will bring instant messaging, extensible presence, PC-based voice and video, and telephony integration together in a single desktop experience.
OpenScape (TM) , a complete presence-enabled collaboration portal built on Live Communications Server 2005 and “Istanbul.” OpenScape improves enterprise connectivity and empowers workers with both device and user presence controls across multiple communication media (instant messaging, e-mail, work phone, mobile phone or home phone, for example).
Other real-time communication and collaboration products as they are developed.
“The alliance of Siemens and Microsoft demonstrates forward thinking on behalf of each company about the future of converged voice and data leadership,” said Dr. Brent Kelly, a senior partner at Boston-based Wainhouse Research. “While Live Communications Server allows voice and presence collaboration to be integrated with existing workflow tools — all interfacing with legacy switches — this is a smart move that can help a very broad customer base transition smoothly to next generation Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions.”
“Siemens and Microsoft have agreed on an aligned roadmap of presence-based, real-time communication objectives to help erase the communication gaps that remain between the personal computer and the office telephone,” said Bernd Kuhlin, president of Enterprise Networks Systems at Siemens Communications. “Together we’ve aligned Live Communications Server 2005, ‘Istanbul’ and the HiPath OpenScape product family to deliver a shared vision of communication tools that are standards-based and presence-enabled so that enterprises can gain strategic advantages from real-time collaboration. Now we’re cooperating closely in the field to bring the benefits of that shared vision to customers.”
“Our customers tell us they need to find and communicate with people in real time, and they need to successfully work together without having to be in the same place. Microsoft and Siemens are dedicated to delivering to our customers the industry’s most enhanced presence and collaboration solutions. We’re both building on a broader industry commitment to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards,” said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president for Real-Time Collaboration at Microsoft.
Demonstrating the value each company sees in this approach, Microsoft’s Real-Time Collaboration Business Group is deploying the HiPath OpenScape solution on top of Live Communications Server 2005 in its Redmond headquarters. And Siemens is deploying Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and Microsoft Office Live Meeting within its enterprise.
The companies also confirmed that plans are already underway for a new enterprise solution that will allow users of Microsoft’s “Istanbul” to perform tasks such as click-to-call, control functions of Siemens and other vendors’ PBX or IP-PBX connected desktop phones, and receive notification of calls coming to their desktop phones, empowering them to decide how best to take calls. As with instant messaging, presence technology will be built into the solution to let users see phone status as part of overall user presence.
The new PC and IP-PBX/PBX phone interface — the Siemens HiPath OpenScape Telephony Control Link (TCL) — will integrate with the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and the “Istanbul” integrated communications client, and is scheduled to be available during the first half of 2005. The HiPath OpenScape solution will extend the value of “Istanbul” with PC-based control of office phones — including Siemens and other vendor telephones.
About HiPath OpenScape
The Siemens HiPath OpenScape collaboration portal is the company’s most advanced solution to help enterprises speed up communication efficiencies and remove business productivity snags. In addition to user-based presence that delivers aggregated media and device availability and support for instant messaging and any telephone device, the HiPath OpenScape collaboration portal:
Improves enterprise connectivity and empowers workers with both device and user presence controls across multiple communication media (instant messaging, e-mail, work phone, mobile phone or home phone, for example).
Provides group presence and single-click initiation of multi-party voice and video collaborations.
Gives mobile workers device access to HiPath OpenScape tools via natural speech recognition.
Allows workers to filter out unwanted communication.
Provides a “Tell Me When” feature that alerts a worker when a previously unavailable colleague changes status and becomes available via instant messaging or phone.
Integrates with Microsoft Office Live Meeting.
Interoperates with Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) is one of the largest global electronics and engineering companies with reported worldwide sales of $91.3 billion in fiscal 2004. Founded more than 150 years ago, the company is a leader in the areas of Automation and Control, Information and Communications, Lighting, Medical, Power and Transportation. With its U.S. corporate headquarters in New York City, Siemens in the USA has sales of $16.6 billion and employs 70,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Eleven of Siemens’ worldwide businesses are based in the United States. With its global headquarters in Munich, Siemens AG and its subsidiaries employ 430,000 people in 192 countries. For more information on Siemens in the United States: www.usa.siemens.com/communications .
About Siemens Communications, Inc.
Siemens Communications, Inc., offers its customers a broad portfolio of communication products and services and is a leader in convergent technologies, products and services for wireless, fixed and enterprise networks. The company’s portfolio ranges from devices for end users to complex network infrastructures and complementary services for enterprises, carriers and service providers. Siemens Communications, Inc., is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. For more information, visit www.usa.siemens.com/communications .
Note: HiPath and OpenScape are trademarks or registered trademarks of Siemens AG or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All other company, brand, product and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
This release contains forward-looking statements based on beliefs of Siemens management. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “should,” and “project” are used to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the company’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause the actual results to be materially different, including, among others, changes in general economic and business conditions, changes in currency exchange rates and interest rates, introduction of competing products, lack of acceptance of new products or services and changes in business strategy. Actual results may vary materially from those projected here. Siemens does not intend or assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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