The FINANCIAL — Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) on April 26 announced BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 (BlackBerry MVS 5) with voice over Wi-Fi calling.
BlackBerry MVS 5 works with Cisco Unified Communications Manager to provide a business user with the ability to use their regular desk phone number and extension from their BlackBerry smartphone. With the new version 5, an employee will be able to use a single work phone number shared between their desk phone and BlackBerry smartphone and make and receive enterprise calls on their BlackBerry smartphone over a Wi-Fi connection, adding to the existing capability available over cellular networks.
"An increasingly mobile workforce and the growing number of employees working from home present challenges for businesses to keep their staff accessible through their work phone number and keep calling costs under control. With BlackBerry MVS 5, calls made through BlackBerry MVS are routed through the corporate phone system/Private Branch Exchange (PBX)*, which helps with adherence to company policies and enables potential savings on long-distance and international roaming charges. Employees also benefit from the convenience of a single work phone number shared between their desk phone and BlackBerry smartphone. Employees can be more reachable through their work phone number and can even enjoy the convenience of extension dialing from their BlackBerry smartphone as well as the flexibility to move calls from their BlackBerry smartphone to their desk phone. It’s also easy to use since incoming calls ring simultaneously on the employee’s desk phone and BlackBerry smartphone and employees access BlackBerry MVS using the same phone interface that they are already familiar with on their BlackBerry smartphone," BlackBerry informs.
“BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 effectively provides a wireless extension of the corporate phone system to allow voice over Wi-Fi calling at work, public hotspots and home. It presents a great opportunity for companies to enhance the productivity of employees who are often away from their desks or working from home, such as workers in construction, hospitality, sales and professional services,” said Alan Panezic, VP, Platform Product Management at Research In Motion. “This latest release enables businesses to better leverage their investment in the corporate phone system, adapt to the growing demand by employees for more flexible work arrangements, improve workforce productivity and save costs on long-distance and international roaming charges.”
RIM and Cisco have worked closely to integrate BlackBerry MVS 5 with Cisco Unified Communications Manager to deliver an enhanced user experience. The solution has been tested for interoperability and will be supported by both RIM and Cisco.
Laurent Philonenko, vice president and general manager, Unified Communications Business Unit at Cisco: “BlackBerry Mobile Voice System and Cisco Unified Communications Manager provide and extend Cisco’s IP telephony features to BlackBerry smartphone users at companies of any size. With an integrated Cisco Unified Wireless Network, our customers will be able to have highly secure voice over Wi-Fi experiences and high quality phone calls with their BlackBerry smartphones while roaming across the wireless network.”
Advanced IT features built into BlackBerry MVS 5 will help to provide controlled, managed and secure use of BlackBerry smartphones with the corporate phone system. Key features include:
Wi-Fi network access controls to set which Wi-Fi networks employees can access
Network preference settings with the option of prioritizing the use of Wi-Fi or cellular for making phone calls
Authentication to help ensure that only authorized BlackBerry smartphones have access to the corporate phone system
Incoming call filtering based on allowed and blocked caller lists
A new interoperability platform has also been added to BlackBerry MVS 5 to enable telecommunications companies to offer BlackBerry MVS 5 as part of their corporate phone system offerings. RIM is working with leading companies to make BlackBerry MVS available for a range of PBX systems.
BlackBerry MVS 5 is expected to be available later this year.