Orange Business Services believes convergence is key

Orange Business Services is setting its sights on the overlap of business and consumer solutions for the future.

  • E-Mail
By  Sean Robson Published  August 16, 2008

Orange Business Services is setting its sights on the overlap of business and consumer solutions for the future.

Convergence is the encompassing umbrella under which the growing call for mobility is being heard. And as it takes its place in the global market, vendors and users alike are finding new mobile convergence applications and solutions to be critical to their immediate and indeed their future success.

"We are seeing a growing convergence between business and consumer products as they cross-pollinate. This in turn is helping us to achieve our aims of assisting our customers to leverage IT and telecoms to create new business opportunities by implementing communication-critical applications.

This not only improves business efficiency, but also allow organisations to harness data to create new revenue-generating services or to enter new markets," said Barbara Dallibard, CEO of Orange Business Services.

Orange has identified the need for a range of mobility solutions and is taking efforts to address this.

Dallibard was addressing a group of business and IT journalists at a recent press event held at the Orange Innovation Labs in Paris, France.

Under the theme of convergence, Dalibard presented a range of products that Orange is positioning across various verticals to address the needs of enterprises and consumers alike.

With these new product lines Orange is setting its focus on both offering its users an enriched IP VPN, which will enable new business applications, and also building a basis for real time business needs to take advantage of a full IP architecture.

The French company's addition to its UNIK range of solutions is a good example of the above.

The latest product is known as Unik for corporate. This fixed mobile convergence solution allows organisations to combine mobile and fixed line phones.

The solution is aimed at businesses with more than 200 employees and users will be able to move not only from desk phone to mobile seamlessly but will also only need to access a single mailbox. International call charges can now be reduced as a result of the mobile calls being routed through the firm's IP PBX to the global voice network.

According to the company, Unik boosts productivity by enabling the employee to work from any remote location while still having access to traditionally deskbound features like call conferencing and transfer. Unik has also been designed to improve responsiveness and simplify life
for organisations.

Among the other products and solutions unveiled was Orange's first workstation virtualisation package, known as IT Plan. It is designed to allow the user secure access to his workstation from any computer regardless of the type of connection, and is operated on a simple monthly payment plan tailored to each individual user.

All the information, both personal and shared, is stored in Orange datacentres, as are the applications, such as office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), e-mail programs and those business applications specific to the particular company.

According to Dallibard, Orange has identified the need for a range of mobility solutions which enable employees to access necessary information anywhere ,at any time, with any type of connection.

Business Everywhere, which was introduced at the event, is intended to address this need. According to the firm, it is a secure, managed solution, which includes necessary software, access network, VPN connection, authentication and interconnection to the related corporate network.

The healthcare sector is a space in which mobile solutions and convergence are expected to play an important part. Keeping this in mind the company has brought out a set of solutions intended for the vertical.

A telephone bracelet known as Columba has been designed for Alzheimer patients, especially for those with severe cases of disorientation and memory loss. It has been designed to perform as a cognitive stimulation treatment aid. A combination of a hands-free cell phone, a GPS and an intelligent warning system, the wristwatch can be used to alert a control centre should the patient leave a preset authorised area. The Columba can also be used to communicate with the patient.

The solution's equipment includes an NEC TCM 180 terminal, CPS card reader, scanner, and wireless card. The dedicated terminal uses Business Everywhere and has secure internet access.

Another medical application is the Connected Hospital at Home solution. It was launched in France during April and offers home-based users the ability to access a patient's medical records up-to-the-minute. This in turn leads to improved coordination and undertanding between the users and medical professionals.

An online diary was also launched whereby patients who have been provided passwords by doctors can book their appointments online.

When they do so, the concerned doctor's appointment book is automatically updated by the solution. The patient receives confirmation by e-mail and is sent, if he or she wishes, a reminder by SMS on his cell phone the day before the appointment. Colleagues and assistants can also consult the doctor's schedule, which can be accessed through other mobile devices such as smartphones and PDAs.

With distance and location becoming more challenging when it comes to business and personal applications, the solutions offered by Orange are focused on providing innovative answers.

Armed with these solutions Orange intends to take the world of convergence to the next level. As all the speakers attested, the current range of solutions and products are just the beginning. Research and development are a key focus for the company and so more and more products are set to follow.

As Laurent Kocher, senior vice president of global services at Orange Business Services points out: "Orange Business Services is capable of providing a much more competitive solution than a single player in any market that is just an integrator or just an operator."

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code