Citrix Systems has introduced software that allows end-users to make phone calls on an IP phone from an interface on a PC.
The software, Citrix Application Gateway 6.0, now includes a Smart Agent client application that lets end-users click on a phone number in any application or Web page and dial the number from a desktop IP phone. Citrix said the software could help end-users be more productive with computer telephony integration (CTI), without the expensive and complicated configuration required for CTI in the past.
To use the software, uses would download and install the Smart Agent software from an internal corporate server. This software interacts with the Citrix Application Gateway, an appliance that allows corporate applications to be converted for use on IP telephone interfaces. This could include data input applications or calendar software, with interfaces that are shrunken for viewing on an IP phone's LCD, with dial pad-based controls.
When end-users click on a phone number in any Web page, Web-based application or email program, the number is dialled through the desktop IP phone. This eliminated the inefficient process of flipping back and forth between your PC and telephone, group vice-president and general manager of the Citrix Gateways Group, Murli Thirumale, said.
The Citrix Application Gateway 6.0 with Smart Agent works with IP phones from Avaya, Cisco and Nortel. Each of these IP telephony vendors also offer the ability to interface their respective IP phones with desktop software for such features as click-to-dial; however, end-users must have both the IP handset and IP softphone software to do this.
Avaya and Nortel also offer softphone software that allows digital desktop phones to interface with PC client software for CTI control.
The Citrix gateway product will be available in the fourth quarter.