BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) 5.1: Three New Features for Enterprises
RIM announced a new version of its BlackBerry Mobile Voice System at its annual BlackBerry World Conference. CIO.com's Al Sacco spotlights the three most notable new business features in BlackBerry MVS 5.1.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Research In Motion (RIM) made a number of significant announcements last week, for both its consumer and enterprise customers, at the first annual BlackBerry World Conference in Orlando, Fla.–formerly known as the Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES).
BlackBerry MVS connects with RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to let corporate users securely employ their BlackBerrys to answer calls placed to their organizations’ desk-phones and smartphones, as well as make calls via BlackBerry that appear to originate from those desk-phones, among other things. (Read more details about MVS.)
In other words, BlackBerry MVS merges enterprise users’ smartphones and desk phones, and lets them access corporate-phone-system features like hold, transfer, conferencing and extension dialing, all via BlackBerry. And BlackBerry MVS 5.1 adds a few new features that enterprises are sure to appreciate.
Most significantly, BlackBerry MVS 5.1 now supports voice-over-Wi-Fi calling via both Avaya and Nortel corporate phone systems or PBXs. Jeff McDowell, RIM’s senior VP of business and platform marketing, says this is notable because Avaya and Nortel are among the most popular enterprise phone system providers, and MVS features will now be available to a much wider user base thanks to v5.1.
BlackBerry MVS 5.1 also packs cool new Wi-Fi features that notify users’ when Wi-Fi signal is weakening, so they’re aware if a call is about to be transferred to a cellular network or they’re about to lose Wi-Fi coverage, according to RIM’s Tom Goguen, RIM VP of collaboration and social networking. And on the flipside, MVS 5.1 notifies BlackBerry users on cellular networks when they’re in range of a compatible Wi-Fi network, so they can choose to seamless switch to Wi-Fi calling.
Finally, the upcoming version of BlackBerry MVS has been rebuilt for higher compatibility with third party applications and phone systems via new support for SIP and VoIP gateways. A “Universal SIP connector” has been added to MVS to enable other phone-system makers to tailor their specific VoIP offerings and applications to MVS, according to RIM.
Vendors Mitel and Vocera Communications have already employed this new direct SIP connection to MVS to enable both Mitel Mobility for BlackBerry MVS 5 and the Vocera Connect Wi-Fi client for BlackBerry, RIM says.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.