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Hang Loose with Tight Mobile Integration

Apr 25, 2019, by Ben Fineman
Tags: Internet2 NET+, Mitel/Level 3 SIP Services

On today's college and university campuses, mobile devices have become the primary means of communication, increasing the need for user features typically offered by a desktop application or a SIP desk phone. Moreover, there is a growing demand for "synced" devices that allow for seamless transitions from one device to another, requiring new levels of system integration.

The Internet2 NET+ SIP Service

The Internet2 community tracks important technological advances in the evaluation of services available to members. Through Internet2 NET+, members and carefully evaluated cloud service providers drive secure, easily deployed and integrated commercial cloud applications that help maximize efficiencies and minimize the business and legal challenges, financial costs, and technology risks of using cloud-based solutions.

Mitel Clearspan is a centralized platform for higher education call center applications and other high-demand organizations. At its core is a powerful processing architecture capable of serving over 100,000 users without sacrificing ease of management or reliability.

Meeting the need for "follow me" capabilities.
In a modern college or university environment, a "conversation" is rarely based on a single channel. Instead, a conversation may begin with a chat interaction, evolve into a one-on-one voice call, and conclude as a collaborative session that involves multiple participants. Users may begin this dialogue with a desktop app, then move to their mobile app as needed, requiring a seamless transition that does not interrupt the conversational flow. This sequence means that the mobile app must support "follow-me" capabilities, in which call history is synced on every supported device, providing an optimized user experience that allows for wherever, whenever connectivity.

Providing users with "one-number" reachability.
With intelligent call routing capabilities, mobile users can be reached on any of their devices through a single phone number. Supporting both cellular connection and VoIP over Wi‐Fi, one-number reachability allows you to configure the route of the call to the most appropriate device or devices—eliminating the need to ring on multiple devices. 
 
Achieving an optimized mobile user experience.
As mobile device usage expands and more of the educational experience happens off campus, colleges and universities must meet the needs of a growing mobile user population with com-munications system capabilities that provide:

  • One-number reach that is fully integrated with the central campus communications solution, enabling efficient reachability and enhanced user experience
     
  • Easy access to multiple-user collaboration capabilities on mobile devices and tablets of choice, regardless of make, model and network
     
  • Real-time exchange of information and ideas among staff members, faculty and students
     
  • An interactive and collaborative work environment that increases productivity and facilitates assignment and project completion

Reducing the cost of the communications infrastructure.
In the past, mobile phones were only used to receive and make calls when you were outside the office environment. The main reasons being: 

  • lack of access to the organization's address book,
  • inability to see the presence of co-workers, and;
  • no easy ability to transfer calls, set up a conference call, or collaborate via chat with colleagues.

Today, softclient enabled mobile phones replace the need for SIP deskphones in most cases. With the usage of a Wifi connection or modern cellular networks, mobile voice quality compares favorably to the old deskphone with standard narrowband quality. Today mobile apps also provide collaborative sessions, with content sharing and video communication.

Key Considerations

  • Advanced mobile functionality can replicate traditional desktop and SIP applications
  • Mobile users increasingly demand the convenience of seamless "follow-me" capabilities
  • Synced mobile and desktop platforms offer enhanced user experience and cost savings