In its continuing effort to mobilize fixed-line enterprise communications, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Agito Networks scored a win this week, with today’s announcement that its solution is now commercially available on Samsung mobile phones.
Agito’s ability to take unified communications mobile will now apply to Samsung Propel Pro, Jack, Epix, Saga, and Omnia models—as well as the recently announced Intrepid. According to the company, this brings to about 45 the number of handsets now capable of running Agito software, including models from RIM BlackBerry and Nokia.
Agito executives say the Samsung relationship is of special significance to their business strategy:
“The Samsung devices are notable for us because they have a very large footprint in the world of CDMA—with the Verizon and Sprint customer base,” commented Agito Networks chief marketing officer Pejman Roshan.
“It is a very strategic partnership for us,” he said. “From a market share perspective, in North America CDMA is about 50 percent of the market, so not being able to support CDMA cuts your potential available market by half.” (The company already has the GSM space well covered through its BlackBerry and Nokia relationships.)
The new pairing also could help Samsung achieve its ambitions in the enterprise marketplace. Agito’s average deployment size is over 500 seats, with the largest customers bringing roughly 3,000 users to the table. Accordingly, Agito could help Samsung extend its reach into those higher altitudes, Roshan said.
“When you think about Windows Mobile devices, they are designed for the enterprise, but they are never marketed aggressively to the enterprise,” he said. “Samsung conversely has opened its arms and is looking aggressively at pushing into the enterprise space.”
Agito’s most visible competitor DiVitas announced in August that it too was collaborating with Samsung to enable enterprise-class fixed mobile convergence and unified communication on Samsung phones using the Microsoft Windows Mobile platform. Roshan claims Agito has gained the edge by actually shipping product before the competition.
Samsung users should have access to a range of new functionalities with the Agito client on their phones, including improved voice quality; desk phone capabilities such as hold, transfer,r and conference; and seamless automatic handoffs between cellular and Wi-Fi signals. By migrating international calls onto Wi-Fi and tapping existing PBX least-cost routing capabilities, Agito should be a big cost-saver, Roshan said.
Agito is promising its customary ease of use and ease of implementation to enterprise users looking to Agito-enable their Samsung devices (or smartphone-enable their existing Agito deployments).
Engineers have left the user interface alone, Roshan said. “People already know how to use their devices a certain way, so there is no real ‘Agito’ user interface at all. You will just use the phone the same way you have always used it, with a few added buttons for things like transfer and conference.”
In terms of implementation, CDMA once again becomes a selling point. “It means they can continue to work with their existing carrier contracts and relationships. They can go directly from a Nokia feature phone directly to a smartphone without any hassle. From a pragmatic standpoint that is very attractive to an enterprise,” Roshan said.
Because Agito integrates natively with existing PBXs, configuration can take less than half a day. “You can roll this out to multiple thousands of users, scale-ably, quickly, and efficiently without having to tamper with the PBX,” Roshan said.
For existing customers, Samsung support will be available as a free component of Agito’s RoamAnywhere Mobility Router.
The pairing with Samsung was not without its challenges, particularly in regard to the technical complexities inherent in inserting Agito seamlessly into the existing user interface. “Samsung was very responsive in providing help where we needed it, in getting us any patches and bug fixes and generally being a resource to answer questions and point us in the right direction,” Roshan said.
Looking ahead, the company is betting the Samsung capability will help open new doors in Asia—especially in Korea.
“Samsung is huge in Asia and CDMA is prevalent in a number of countries there, so this opens the door to new markets that have already been aggressive in adopting Samsung as a product and a brand,” Roshan said.