Siemens Enterprise Communications Partners with Digium® to Deliver Integrated, Open IP Communications Solution for German Insurance Group

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Siemens Enterprise Communications Partners with Digium® to Deliver Integrated, Open IP Communications Solution for German Insurance Group Siemens Enterprise Communications Partners with Digium® to Deliver Integrated, Open IP Communications Solution for German Insurance GroupSiemens Enterprise Communications Partners with Digium® to Deliver Integrated, Open IP Communications Solution for German Insurance Group

3 November 2009

Huntsville, Ala., and MUNICH, Germany-November 3rd, 2009-Digium®, creator and primary developer of Asterisk®, the most widely adopted and flexible open source telephony platform, and Siemens Enterprise Communications Group (SEN Group), a premier provider of enterprise communications solutions, today announced that the two companies have entered into a partnership agreement that will allow organizations to tightly integrate enterprise needs with the SMB flexibility of open source in one communications ecosystem. This will give organizations the benefits of Asterisk along with SEN Group's Open Communications approach and award-winning product portfolio which includes Enterasys networking, OpenScape Voice and UC, and OpenStage Session Initiation Protocal (SIP) phones.

The two companies partnered to create a tailored solution for LVM Landwirtschaftlicher Versicherungsverein M?nster a.G. (LVM), a large German insurance group that wanted to give their agents, local SMBs, a solution that could fit their unique needs, while tightly integrating with the company's corporate SEN Group telephony system. LVM is one of Germany's largest direct insurance groups with over three million customers across the country serviced by a network of 2,100 local agents. The company understands that it is the local presence that allows them to provide great service. They constantly look for ways to leverage advanced technologies and to give their agents the tools they need to provide an optimal service experience. As an open source pioneer with considerable application integration experience, the company looked at systems and devices that could support open communication. The LVM project is being deployed through Datus AG, a Digium Select Partner with nearly four decades of experience designing and implementing communications networks in Germany.

"We understand the value of IT and that your IP phone system is not just another application running on the network, it is the backbone of your business," said Werner Schmidt, CIO of LVM. "We are also an organization that has been using open source for almost ten years and have a lot of internal expertise in developing applications on open platforms, which is why we looked for a system and devices that could support a tailored open source solution, connecting our agents from the phone to the datacenter."

LVM ultimately decided to extend its existing SEN Group system with the open architecture of the Enterasys network infrastructure, including N-Series and C-Series switches, as well as the Network Management Suite (NMS), ensuring that voice traffic is prioritized and secure. Then, working with Datus AG and Digium, they decided to combine Asterisk onto the Datus indali appliance with Digium telephony interface cards and connected it with the SEN Group's OpenStage 60 phones for the agent offices.

Said Danny Windham, CEO of Digium, "Organizations worldwide are benefiting from the flexibility, low cost and extensibility of open source telephony. We're fortunate to be partnering with SEN Group and working with integration partners such as Datus to bring advanced communication technologies to market and we're pleased that LVM saw the value in this type of solution."

True to their name, the OpenStage family of phones is open, based on industry standards that allow them to be integrated with third-party business applications via technologies such as XML. They can be integrated with corporate LDAP directories, custom phone books, and even provide web access to public phone books. In addition, the phones offer BlueTooth technology that can synchronize phone books with mobile phones. For organizations that want to create their own custom applications, software developer kits (SDKs) are available to further tailor the phone to business needs. The OpenStage family of phones from the SEN Group offer sleek designs, superior sound quality with High Definition (HD) voice and audio conferencing and intuitive, user-friendly menus that provide easy access to the most used features on the phone such as push-to-conference, desktop call management, and presence-based calling.

SEN Group and Digium share a commitment to providing customers with standards- and software-based business communications solutions. This premise can provide companies with a way to expand their options while mitigating risk and maintaining a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), when deploying unified communications. They also allow organizations like LVM to integrate the desktop device with their chosen IP ecosystem, connecting corporate with their network of agents. In addition, the partnership provides Asterisk dealers and developers with access to the OpenStage product lines which offer a wide variety of new SIP and DECT SIP telephones to meet customer needs.

"Our work with Digium and LVM is a true testament to our Open Communications approach, allowing us to integrate our products into any environment, including open source," said Eve Aretakis, executive vice president voice solutions and applications, at SEN Group. "Not only are OpenStage phones designed to help organizations improve productivity and streamline workflows, they can integrate popular open source telephony solutions, such as those based on Asterisk into the most-used office tool, the telephone itself. From data to the device, working with Digium, we have ensured that LVM has the security and flexibility to unify their chosen ecosystem."

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