A Click and a Call

IBM and Avaya today announced an agreement to integrate Avaya audio-based communication into IBM's enterprise collaboration products. The two companies plan to add click-to-call capabilities to IBM Lotus Notes, Domino and Sametime that will enable enterprise users to place telephone calls to instant messaging and e-mail contacts while remaining in their inbox or instant messaging client. They will also be able to click-to-conference by selecting multiple names from their contact lists.

IBM will also be integrating Avaya Meeting Exchange, an audio conferencing app, with Lotus' Web conferencing solutions, giving Web conference participants a visual indication of who is speaking and the ability to dial out to new participants, mute lines and control volume, among other capabilities.

The click-to-call and integrated audio capabilities are built on a common telephony service provider interface established by IBM. The TSPI allows telephony providers, such as Avaya, and developers to build on this framework to add communication services and features.

Steve Mills, senior VP and group executive, IBM Software says: "Businesses are asking for ways to leverage the value of audio integration within the context of the work they are doing, without having to replace their existing IT infrastructure. Now, organizations can seamlessly transition between e-mail, instant messaging and a phone call, extending the value of their existing infrastructure while enabling faster and more efficient responses to marketplace dynamics."

The click-to-call functionality and Web conferencing integration is scheduled to be available with Lotus Sametime in the fourth quarter of 2005 and with Lotus Notes and Domino in the first quarter of 2006. Integration with IBM Workplace Collaboration Services “is expected in the future,” IBM says.