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Emerging Technologies In Mobile Solutions

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DQC News Bureau
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Today, with customers’ work environment becoming increasingly complex, there is a great need to understand the present and future needs of businesses. It becomes imperative for the channel to know the communication applications that meet the user’s requirements.

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With increasing work pressures, employees are constantly on the move. There are mobiles and laptops among other Internet-enabled devices to communicate. Despite these, it is difficult to keep in touch with the company, clients or receive urgent calls, information, news and messages. It is at such times, the need for easy access and communication arises. 

Mobility, is and will be, one of the main concerns of enterprises in the coming months and years. According to the Gartner Group, by 2005, more than 30% of the employees worldwide will use some form of remote access technology in the performance of their jobs. In view of the increasing importance of ‘keeping-in-touch’, there is a necessity for partners to comprehend users´ work environment as well as mobility profiles. This will help them to offer customers the right type of products.

Employee mobility can be classified into three types–those who are ‘at the desk’, others who are ‘somewhere on the site’ and some who are ‘roaming’. These kind of users require specific applications and services. They have an increasing need for always-on communication and seamless access to information. While mobile telephony provides a solution for real-time voice communication, there is an emerging need for ‘anywhere, anytime’ contact. This has led to the development of many solutions and products for faster and easy interaction. One can expect to see new methods of communication, such as Instant Messaging (IM), video mail and Multimedia Messaging Systems (MMS) in the near future.

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NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO HIT THE MARKET



With many new technologies and products entering the market, partners need to acquaint themselves with it. Requisite knowledge and skill will allow them to provide their customers with applications and products to suit their work profile.

Session initiation protocol: A communication application for media-blending, it can be used to mix voices, message instantly and video conferencing during a call.

IN SEARCH OF TRUE MOBILITY
Mobility will become main concern of enterprises in coming years 
Gartner Group predicts by 2005, more than 30% of employees worldwide will use some form of remote access technology
Some new applications to help mobility: session initiation protocol, voice extensible markup language, J2EE application server,

XML, SOAP and web services
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Voice extensible markup language: Internet content and information can be accessed via voice with this language. Web applications are also accessible through a VXML browser running on a media server. It also controls audio output/input, presentation logic and control flow as well as event handling and telephony connections.

XML, SOAP and web services: The eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is a language for data exchange and description on the web. The Single Object Access Protocol (SOAP), also known as the Service Oriented Architecture Protocol, is used for exchanging structured information in a decentralized and distributed environment. It uses XML to format the transmitted data. Because SOAP invokes low level functions, the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) has been defined to make it easier to describe web services. WSDL is a complement to SOAP as it facilitates interoperability between web services. These enable heterogeneous remote systems and applications to communicate via standard technical communications objects.

J2EE application server: This is used to define the standard for developing multi-tier enterprise applications. It simplifies them by basing it on standard modular components. It also provides a complete set of services to these components and automatically handles many details of application behavior, without complex programming.

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USAGE OF APPLICATIONS



Merely knowing the latest applications in the market will not be of any help to the channel. Certain components are required for the usage of these tools. Partners have to know on what and how these technologies will work. 

Unified messaging: It is a solution that leverages existing mail servers for handling non-realtime communication tools with a single multimedia mail box. It enables the receiver to react to any message, at any time, regardless of the format in which it is sent. Customers can access and manage all messages using a PC, telephone, PDA or web browser. They can listen to e-mail messages over the phone via text-to-speech conversion and reply instantly. They can also send and receive fax messages with a PC. 

The solution allows users to generate voice mail messages as e-mail attachments. It also works with compound messages such as forwarding an e-mail or fax message with a voice introduction or embedding voice messages into e-mails. 

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PC telephony application: This application improves real-time communication flow with all types of associated devices–analog, digital, mobile phones and

VoIP.

Web and VXML-based applications: These can be run on any device, for which, the user sets and activates rules for routing and screening calls. It has to be based on time of the day, caller identification and meeting schedules. This can be a tool for mobile professionals helping them to stay in touch with their business world.

Media server: It can handle SIP access, interpret VXML scripts and request media resources from the resource server. Also, the server provides play/record functions, realtime protocol access, automatic speech recognition and text to speech resources.

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ADVANTAGES TO PARTNERS



In a market that will be flooded with new products and solutions, the channel has to keep track of these new developments.

Partners should try to constantly improve their communication abilities by enhancing contact tools for the workforce and customers. There are certain benefits that they can enjoy with the knowing and usage of these tools. 

To meet the changing needs of customers, improve internal and external communication flows and to face new challenges, the channel will need to implement major changes to its communication system.

Efficient communication will result in increased satisfaction, retention and loyalty for both, customers and employees. Employing these applications will boost responsiveness and optimize costs. It will help to leverage existing resources and investments for such solutions. 

Anand Bhatt is the Senior Technical Consultant, Allied Digital

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