CommuniGate Beefs Up Unified Communications Offering�Again

CommuniGate Systems recently announced the addition of mobile over-the-air data synchronization capabilities to version 5.2 of its CommuniGate Pro unified communications solution.

The CommuniGate Pro Mobility Suite now supports AirSync (ActiveSync over the air) for everything from push e-mail delivery to software updates. The suite integrates with a number of different client applications including Microsoft Outlook, ComuniGate’s Pronto! framework and CommuniGate Pro Webmail—as well as a wide range of standards-based clients.

Jon Doyle, the company’s vice president of business development, says the new over-the-air functionality is crucial for CommuniGate’s target market of operators and ISPs. “They typically want to deliver their messaging as a Software as a Service (SaaS) or a hosted option,” he says. “So over-the-air is key, because the servers are inside the data center at the ISP.”

And the fact that there’s broad industry support for ActiveSync and AirSync, Doyle says, enables CommuniGate’s customers to use a wide variety of different handsets with the solution, including Windows Mobile devices as well as handsets from Nokia, Motorola and Palm—and even RIM BlackBerry devices—through a partnership with Notify Technology. “What AirSync does is allow us to offer to our customers a whole new ecosystem of handsets,” Doyle says.

The BlackBerry, Doyle says, isn’t as popular in other countries as it is in the U.S., so there’s a real need to support a complete range of handset options. “The growth of the Windows Mobile PDAs is actually quite significant outside the U.S.,” he says. “So what we want to do as a company that provides a unified communications platform is to have compatibility with as many handsets as possible.”

Doyle says the announcement of the Mobility Suite is one of a series of announcements leading up to the full release of CommuniGate Pro v.5.2 within the next month or so. It’s the follow-up, logically enough, to v5.1, which was released in June of 2006. “We have the mobility suite, a voice over IP suite, a messaging suite and so on—and it’ll expand over time,” he says.

Future plans for the offering, Doyle says, include reaching beyond AirSync to add support for SyncML, Lemonade and similar mobile standards. “It’s about being as pervasive as possible, having as many handsets as possible supported with our platform,” he says. “So if a business is getting it for their iPhones, or if they’re getting it for their Nokia handsets, or they’re getting it for their Windows Mobile handsets, we want to support all the options out there.”

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