Mitel has been at the forefront of presence-enabled Unified Communications with the Mitel Unified Communicator® client and server that combine PC and telephony presence and availability, secure instant messaging, audio conferencing, video and data collaboration, and softphone with Mitel 3300 ICP call control for a complete, business-grade UC solution. Mitel has also led the marketplace by integrating PC presence information from Microsoft® presence engines with telephony status and extending it across a variety of communications applications. Currently Mitel has enhanced its communications applications by delivering presence information to the display of IP desktop phones, IP attendant consoles and IP contact center agent clients to enable more successful communications outcomes. Similarly, presence information can be used by Mitel NuPoint unified messaging systems to provide customized call treatment based on called party availability.
Many IT departments are currently implementing a corporate presence infrastructure associated with instant messaging and "presence-enabling" various office productivity applications. At this stage, there are few standards for presence information but all architectures have the concept of a "presence engine" in common. Vendors like Microsoft® and IBM® offer presence engines as part of their corporate directory and office productivity solutions. Mitel also offers a presence engine as part of its Unified Communicator server. In fact, it is expected that many enterprises will find themselves with multiple presence engines based on different vendor topologies. The challenge for IT departments will be to ensure interworking between diverse presence infrastructures, IP telephony systems and Unified Communications applications to create a cohesive user environment.
Some IT departments may feel pressured to take the risk of committing to a single-vendor Unified Communications deployment to mitigate the challenges of managing a multi-vendor environment. As a compelling alternative, Mitel has introduced the concept of a presence proxy server to bridge diverse presence topologies. The Mitel presence proxy server is integrated into the Mitel Applications Suite (Release 1.2) to mediate between Mitel IP Telephony and Unified Communications applications and the evolving presence infrastructure in the typical enterprise IT network. The proxy server ensures: