Siemens Enterprise: Giving Away the UC
SEN's latest release bundles UC applications into the price of the OpenScape UC Server for the enterprise.
Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEN) announced some upgrades and new packages for its flagship OpenScape Voice platform, as well as its former flagship, HiPath 4000, and the emphasis is clearly on driving adoption of these core platforms--even if it means giving away some basic Unified Communications applications to do it.
The new announcement has three main components:
* OpenScape UC Server Enterprise: Here's where SEN is following Avaya and other vendors into the realm of giving away much UC functionality and apps in order to get the customer on board with the core platform. OpenScape UC Server Enterprise bundles in licenses for the following UC applications when customers buy the VOIP:
--Ad hoc conferencing
--Voice mail/unified messaging
--Instant messaging support
--Desktop/mobile/voice portal UC clients
The list price for this version is 165 euros ($226 USD).
I was briefed on this announcement by Ross Sedgewick, VP of Global Solutions Marketing for SEN, and I asked him, straight-up, if the idea here is to give away UC apps to get the platform sale. He didn't exactly deny it, though he preferred to put it as, "Raising the bar in terms of the value proposition"--seems like potato/potahto to me, but you can decide for yourself.
The reason for doing this now, according to Ross, is threefold:
1.) Encourage customers & prospects to move more quickly to software-based voice--i.e., give them a more compelling value prop.
2. Differentiate siemens from competition.
3. Differentiate OpenScape UC Server relative to SEN's traditional HiPath legacy system (the 4000): Give a "reason for customers to move forward," Ross said.
Availability will be next month for all channels.
* OpenScape UC Server Xpress: This is a version of the core OpenScape UC Server platform aimed at the mid-market (350-1,000 users), according to Ross Sedgewick. SEN has a "huge installed base" in this mid-market segment, Ross told me, and the Xpress version will be offered to this customer base exclusively through SEN's channel (a large-scale shift in go-to-market, from direct to indirect, is in process at SEN).
The Xpress version is a pre-packaged solution including VOIP, conferencing, voice mail, unified messaging, device presence and contact center features, and it includes both server hardware and software. The idea is to cut installation time from days to hours, and to make the whole process simpler for the channel and the end user.
Availability is slated for March 2011 for the reseller channel
* HiPath 4000 Evolution: This release, based on V6 of HiPath 4000, offers new IT/datacenter deployment options, so that enterprises moving toward centralized voice can start with their legacy 4000 system, even if they're planning to hold off on upgrading to OpenScape UC Server. The release also offers license portability to OpenScape when the enterprise does decide to make the move, as well as providing unified user management and migration tools for making the transition to OpenScape UC Server.
Availability will be phased in through July of this year for all channels.