NEC Unified's UC Solution Targets SMBs

NEC Unified Solutions launched today its unified communications solution for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). UC for Business (UCB) combines contact center functions with unified messaging and desktop telephony features. While these features are certainly expected with any UC package, UCB is designed to work within the budgetary and logistical constraints of an SMB. While SMBs have the same productivity-raising needs as larger enterprises—which they outnumber—they’re often handicapped by limited resources.

Analysts have already noted increased IT spending in SMBs recently; they expect over the next few years that market to account for roughly half of all IT spending. Thus, while NEC Unified normally focuses on larger companies, their release of UCB can be seen as the underscoring of a rapidly-growing trend. "Coupling NEC’s enterprisewide UC capability with its robust contact center functionality, UCB provides mid-sized business with comprehensive communications capabilities for enhanced collaboration and productivity," said Jay Krauser, NEC Unified’s general manager of product management, in a press release.

UCB functions through a customizable desktop feature that can integrate with Microsoft Outlook. This option siphons landline and cellular calls, voice messages, emails, faxes, and chats directly into the program’s inbox. These disparate communications are managed on-screen. An auto-attendant identifies incoming callers and provides other preset information; additionally, those calls can be routed to better manage incoming communication.

With this potential for increased productivity, scalability is particularly important. Incoming messages are organized through integrated inbound and outbound queuing. All overflow is prioritized and sent to an agent; these agents can view the queues either in real-time or via preset, customizable reports.  

"It’s a really cool product," says Blair Pleasant, president and principal analyst at COMMfusion. "It combines both the contact center capabilities along with some very impressive unified communications capabilities. They do some very interesting things with presence." For example, UCB provides its own presence capabilities, fully tied into its contact center offering.

This capability stems from the fact that SMBs often lack the resources on staff for a smooth, large-scale integration. UCB is designed to circumvent that problem. "(SMBs) really need a product that’s preintegrated and easy to get up and running," Pleasant says.





SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues