IBM and Microsoft are both launching unified communications bundles - software which will allow management of email, VoIP calls, instant messaging, and video conferencing.
IBM's is called UC2 - for unified communication and collaboration - it is an extension of Lotus Sametime software to include telephony products. It is partly based on Siemens OpenScape technology.
The software will let you deal with incoming calls - send them to voicemail, to a mobile, or answer them using VoIP. It will also show you who is available on Instant Messenger and who is on the phone. You can also set rules to deal with calls - so if your calendar shows you are in a meeting, calls will go straight to voicemail.
The software should be available in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Microsoft also announced the launch date for its unified communications product bundle of Office Communications Server, Office Communicator and Office Live Meeting, and Exchange Server. Microsoft's offering will include a quality of service monitoring server for comms managers to keep an eye on call quality.
According to PC World, Microsoft will also offer these products as a service to smaller business without the ability to manage it themselves.
Details will be webcast 16 October.
In other comms news, IBM this week bought web conferencing company WebDialog for an undisclosed amount. The company claims half a million worldwide users. WebDialog offers web meeting and collaboration products as a service.
Press release here. ®