Siemens launches secure unified communications platform

In an effort to help organizations transition from analog-based communication technology to new IP and cloud-based solutions, Siemens is rolling out a new unified communications platform for enterprises later this year called OpenScape UC Suite.

Adopting secure communications technology has become a priority for many organizations as researchers have recently exploited critical vulnerabilities in corporate communications. In late January, a security analyst with network vulnerability testing firm Rapid7 was able to easily tap into videoconferencing equipment and just last month, researchers at the University of Minnesota discovered a flaw that would allow hackers to track the physical location of a cell phone user.

In addition to cost-savings, the OpenScape platform, which can support up to 500,000 users per system, also provides the level of security that businesses need with an ever increasing mobile and remote workforce.

"One really big trend is that four out of five endpoints are no longer at a headquarters location," said Jan Hickisch, vice president of UCC suites at Siemens. "Mobility is not just a case where someone has a mobile (phone) in their hand or a tablet, but it's really a distributed workforce and a different communications behavior. One in three call center operators are working from home. Having that in mind and understanding the deployments you need, there are a lot of challenges with regards to security. When people are working from home, you have to ensure with your solution that there are no security gaps that data doesn't get lost and so on."

Hickisch said that switching to a completely IP-based system such as OpenScape will also eliminate the security gaps that exist within enterprises that utilize a hybrid communication solution. According to the "2012 State of Enterprise Communications Survey" conducted by Siemens, 91 percent of respondents reported using IP communications next to legacy PBX (analog) technologies.

"(Companies need to) be sensible about the mixing of all the new technologies, especially with regards to security," he said. There are old technologies that cannot support the new security standards, which keeps gaps open in your solution."

The OpenScape UC Suite will be available beginning in June.