Siemens expands OpenScape line

Siemens Communications is expanding its OpenScape platform into a three-product line, including a less expensive one.

As unified communications moves from the bleeding edge to the mainstream, Siemens Communications is set to expand its OpenScape platform into a line of three products, including a less expensive one with a focused set of features.

Systems that combine voice, text-messaging, videoconferencing and other forms of communication over IP (Internet Protocol) networks are being tuned by vendors as they gain traction with actual enterprises. Both Microsoft and Cisco Systems have rebranded and upgraded their unified communications lineups within the past 18 months. OpenScape, which came out in 2003 as a tool for large enterprises, is being tailored to different types of needs.

On Tuesday, Siemens introduced OpenScape VoiceLink, which leaves out some of the broad functionality of the original OpenScape to focus on integrating a desktop phone with the Microsoft Office Communicator client on a user's PC. The vendor will also roll out OpenScape Enterprise -- a new version of the original OpenScape product -- and OpenScape Enterprise Hosted, a relatively quick-to-start system that carriers can use to provide a subscription service.

VoiceLink is designed for employees who take a lot of calls but spend most of their time at their desks, said David Leach, presence solutions evangelist at the Siemens subsidiary. It works with the Siemens HiPath 8000 IP PBX (private branch exchange) or with analog phones, letting users receive pop-ups on the PC when a call comes in and pick up the call by clicking on an icon.

With OpenScape Enterprise Hosted, Siemens will provide carriers with server hardware and a provisioning platform from Ensim so they can deliver OpenScape as a hosted service. Siemens previously had sold its software and left much of the other work to carriers, but the service providers found it took too long to set up -- nearly two years in the case of Telstra, according to Leach. A group of partner companies could sign up with one carrier's service in order to ease collaboration among themselves, he said.

For its main OpenScape product, now called OpenScape Enterprise, Siemens is adding a toolbar that sits on the Windows desktop so users can get to the communication tools of OpenScape without their IT staff having to integrate those tools into applications. The company also made its software development kit easier to use so more developers can do integration work, and introduced special add-ons for putting communication functions into certain applications. Among them are's Salesforce and Microsoft's SharePoint, and more of these "accelerators" are coming later, Leach said.

A hosted service might play a role in an enterprise's unified communications system, said IDC analyst Nora Freedman. Many companies will piece together those systems from the features of their PBX, a hosted service and a collaboration environment such as Microsoft Exchange or IBM's Lotus Notes, she said. But having to synch up with one carrier's hosted service might not work for a fast-growing group of small partners, she said. Siemens has a relatively low profile in the unified communications world, she added, going up against giants such as Microsoft and Cisco.

OpenScape VoiceLink costs US$65 per user. Siemens expects service providers to charge between US$30 and US$50 per user per month for services based on OpenScape Enterprise Hosted. Pricing for OpenScape Enterprise begins at US$75 per user plus an US$8,000 server license. All are available immediately.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?