Unison Desktop

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2008-10-15 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Unified communications software vendor Unison looks to outdo Microsoft's Office Communications Server in features, price and channel support.


The real meat and potatoes of Unison’s solution comes from the fat client, aptly named the Unison Desktop. The Desktop runs on multiple versions of Windows and under the Ubuntu distribution of Linux.

What users will initially notice about the Unison Desktop is how much it resembles Outlook. Unison went with the look and feel of Microsoft’s Outlook to ease user adoption and reduce training needs.

Looking a little closer at the desktop, users will notice some additional panels (or panes) that provide the information for unified communications. There is a panel that indicates the status of other users, such as "on the phone" or "busy." That panel helps when transferring calls or when collaborating internally.

As far as scheduling and e-mail are concerned, the desktop faithfully mimics Outlook.

Where users will notice a big difference is with telephone communications. Here, the desktop offers multiple avenues to call others, forward calls or set up conference calls. The telephone option features the ability to forward all incoming calls to a POTS line, VOIP line or cell phone. That could potentially eliminate the need for a VOIP phone at the desktop. What’s more, the Desktop can "forward" and "initiate" calls to another extension or number. In other words, when a user clicks on a phone number, the Unison Server PBX will dial that number and the user’s cell phone (or POTS line) concurrently and then auto-conference the call.


 
 
 
 
Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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