Siemens Adds SOA to Telephony

Siemens Communications Enterprise, the communications subsidiary of Siemens AG, has begun enabling SOA in some of its major telephony applications.

More applications will be enabled in 2006.

In addition, the company will add Web services interfaces to any applications that won’t have service-oriented architecture capabilities, or to applications to which SOA cannot be added.

The company has already delivered some SOA-enabled applications, including its HiPath 8000 Assistant, a management tool for the company’s HiPath 8000 IP PBX; and the HiPath Media Server, which provides conferencing, voice recording, presence, administration and dial tone to the company’s PBX products.

Siemens has also created a software development kit to allow customers to take advantage of SOA and Web services on Siemens products.

According to Scott Washburn, Global Portfolio Manager for Siemens Communications Enterprise, the company started working on SOA for its applications about two years ago because it needed the capability for its own development.

Washburn said that customers were already telling the company that they needed that capability as well.

“One of the things we’ve found, as have our large customers, is the need for remaining flexible within the corporate structure,” Washburn said.

He said that in the past, companies essentially hard-coded their applications, including their voice applications, and that made it difficult if not impossible to adapt to changing needs.

“Those that are the most nimble will win the race,” Washburn said. “Business agility is important.”

Washburn said that IBM is already at work with Siemens on some 30 projects that use Siemens applications and an SOA framework.

Siemens is also partnering with other companies, including Microsoft and SAP, on similar efforts.

He said that this change will be vital to customers, whether they’re from Siemens, IBM or other companies.

“This makes it easier to develop code that can interface with Siemens components in the enterprise,” Washburn said.

“Companies can use this to significantly improve operations of call centers or give more powerful tools to operators,” he said.

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