Lucent Announces Interactive Communications Suite

LOS ANGELES (03/08/2000) - Lucent Technologies Inc. at the Computer Telephony Expo here yesterday unveiled a suite of communications-based applications that use technologies such as IP telephony, speech recognition, and wireless to deepen the level of interaction between users.

Called iCosm, the applications can work separately or together on customer premises and traditional telephony and IP networks. For example, the applications permit users to set preferences that allow calls to follow them, reach them, or be routed to another person depending on variables such as location, time of day, and the identity and priority of the caller, according to Lucent.

The suite consists of the following four applications.

-- iCosm Interaction Manager uses filtering technology to respond to customers regardless of whether the medium is Web callback, text chat, e-mail, or phone.

For small and midsize enterprises, the software works on Lucent's IP Exchange Systems, Merlin Magix, and Nortel's Norstar telephony systems. Available now, Interaction Manager is priced between $450 and $800 per user for a five-person installation.

-- iCosm Collaborative Video is a PC application that allows multipoint videoconferences over the Internet without using a centralized videoconferencing server. Available now, the Collaborative Video is priced from $100 to $495 per desktop.

-- iCosm Liaison leverages routing technology to let users control how and when they are reached by inbound communications. For example, using a Web interface a mobile user can direct whether a call is put through or filed in an inbox.

Availability is expected this spring, priced at $400 per user.

-- iCosm Messaging offers unified messaging features such as a single multimedia inbox, text-to-speech, and e-mail by phone. The application supports IMAP4 and LDAP. Availability is set for the second quarter, priced at $5,000 per system for unlimited users.

Later in the year Lucent officials plan to release other iCosm applications for the SoftSwitch platform.

Responding to questions about the viability of videoconferencing applications in enterprise environments, Steven Glapa, vice president and general manager for Lucent's Internet Applications Group, pointed to the need for integration.

"The impediments in the past to the success of [videoconferencing] involved integration with the enterprise environment," Glapa said. "The key is to pre-integrate the applications as much as possible; to make them as easy to deploy as a printer."

"The notion of integration of applications is something that is different in this [product], and will break down barriers to acceptance," Glapa said.

Lucent Technologies Inc., in Murray Hill, N.J., is at

Cathleen Moore is an InfoWorld reporter.

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