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NEC launches collaboration app

NEC Unified Solutions launched UC for Enterprise Collaboration last week, offering a video, Web conferencing and collaboration application. The company also launched its Hosted Collaboration as a Web-based service with the same features and functionality yet designed for the small and midsize business market.

Both the UCE Collaboration and Hosted Collaboration are designed to help businesses improve relationships with existing customers while maintaining a low total cost of ownership, according to NEC. The applications incorporate the audio, Web and video components for live online meetings, connecting PC users with a broadband Internet connection using a basic Webcam and microphone. UCE Collaboration resides behind the corporate firewall to offer enhanced security, while the Hosted Collaboration is a Web-based service.

Teleworking: Real Value for Virtual Workers: Download nowFeatures of both UCE and Hosted Collaboration include: video conferencing with one to 16 video windows open during a conference; VoIP that lets participants converse using standard PC speaker/microphones or headsets; a freeform whiteboard; desktop, applications, and computer sharing (provided users give other participants control); and polls/surveys.

“Businesses large and small are becoming more geographically dispersed and mobile than ever, driving a need to collaborate to stay competitive'” said Jay Krauser, general manager of core solutions and engineering at NECA. “As organizations look at their bottom line, applications that can help decrease costs, increase revenue or help attract and retain customers … help the overall business objectives.”

Our observations: collaboration tools, desktop video conferencing and PC-based VoIP are nothing new either as a premise-based or hosted service. However, when coupled with communications systems and support such as those NEC provides, we agree with NEC that these applications are useful for both the large and small business.

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