It is official, June 30 is the release date for the new version of Mitel’s UCC suite of applications, UCC v3.0. This is a big release by Mitel standards with a lot of changes. We are excited about a few key elements.
As previously noted, Hyper-V support is here, as is VMware vSphere v5.5 support. This is a great solution for companies that are used to the way our competitors deploy their phone systems and applications: with a menagerie of servers or multiple virtual applications to manage and keep running. This solution consolidates messaging, user deployment and unified communications applications, as well as off-site TeleWorking and security, to a single virtual instance.
Speaking of user deployment, the UCC v3 allows for a simple user rollout by linking to Active Directory. This greatly speeds up deployments and makes it simple to manage your Mitel system.
Multimedia capabilities have also been extended to the smartphone, with peer to peer video available via the Mitel smartphone app. I expect personal grooming to be improved across all of my customer base once video calling becomes a standard part of business communications.
Integrations across the enterprise are expanded with this release as well. Lync deployments will benefit from enhanced Mitel integration. Google, Office 365 and Salesforce users will also find that there are a number of enhancements on the Mitel platform for their use, including calendar integration with presence, email integration, as well as click-to-call, presence and IM integrations. We see more and more adoption of these platforms and less traditional integration to on-site CRM software.
With the initial UCC release, Mitel did a great job of fixing the most irritating part of their platform for vendors and customers: their licensing. The old alphabet soup of confusing licenses and license dependencies was poured into the trash, and replaced with 3 super simple license bundles: Entry, Standard and Premium. Now, a 4th tier (Basic) has been added, for users that just want a phone, while Entry users can see coworker presence on the bundled PC and web app. Right out of the gate, customers with a single UCC Standard or Premium license get a 10-port conference bridge license at no charge, too. This makes it very difficult for Shoretel, Cisco, Avaya and NEC to compete. Each of these manufacturers needs to add an external server or, in Avaya’s case, a sorta-virtual-sorta-dedicated-server-image, to provide secure dial-in conferencing. But then again, these manufacturers really are in love with the miniature server farm model.