March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 03.31.05

Mobilizing the Phone System

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By Rita Kushnir




Although pretty much everyone has a cell phone by now, corporations are only beginning to unwire their phone systems. Ford Motor Company is currently working to replace its employees’ desktop phones with mobile handsets, and many other companies are expected to follow suit in the near future. The challenge of such mobilization is the lack of an integrated system that wired phone systems currently provide.

Orative, a California-based software provider, is one of the companies working on solving this problem. Their recently developed Orative Enterprise Software promises to improve communications within large organizations by enabling employees to use their cell phones to coordinate conversations, collaborate, screen unwanted calls and access personal and corporate contact information. The new solution promises to make communications within companies more efficient and eliminate commonplace problems associated with the traditional phone system, such as missed phone calls, lost voicemails and unresponsiveness. This is especially useful for mobile workers, such as those in sales and service organizations.

Orative phonebook, the central component of the system, is controlled by Orative Enterprise Server, operated securely behind a firewall in the enterprise data center. The data center provides employees with access to corporate contact information. The users no longer have to worry about entering new information or updating old contacts since this occurs automatically. When someone’s contact information changes, everyone in the company is provided with new information. End-user software runs on a variety of popular handsets and supports multiple providers. Orative software is simply layered on top of existing mobile phone technology.

One of the most notable features of this system is the ability of a caller to send requests for a phone call that include information such as name, urgency and subject matter. The recipient of a request, based on this data, can chose to accept the call right away or to return it later, at a more convenient time. Users can even send requests and messages to people who don’t have Orative software on their phones. In addition, the caller can see, next to the intended contact in the phonebook, whether the person they wish to call is available before placing the call. The phonebook may display that the user is busy or in a meeting. Users can also set priorities on calls if they are busy but are waiting for an important call.
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