Enterprise-oriented UC features include streamlined messaging, full-screen video calling and screen sharing

Vancouver-based CounterPath Corp. is hoping that the latest versions of its Bria 4 softphone client will appeal to enterprise customers and help to launch a new category that the company calls “Enterprise over-the-top,” where unified communications features migrate from the desktop to mobile devices.

This week CounterPath announced new Bria 4 Windows and Mac versions for the desktop. The company says they represent a further step toward unifying design and features across platforms and devices.

Bria for Windows integrates Microsoft Outlook and supports single-click screen sharing, features that CounterPath says will enhance enterprise communications.

CounterPath says that the desktop release of Bria 4 provides “a superior and consistent UC experience for Bria users” by providing uniform look and feel across all major platforms: Windows and Mac desktops, iPad and Android tablets and iOS, Android and BlackBerry mobile devices.

The Windows and Mac versions of Bria 4 have redesigned interfaces that allow users to view and manage all instant messages – IM, SMS, group chats and more – in a single window. Conversations can be started from one contact, multiple contacts or the messages window.

CounterPath says that the full-screen video calling feature is optimized for video calls into conference rooms, “connecting with remote workers on a more personal level,” or getting a better assessment of real-time reactions of customers during calls. The feature is available now for Windows and will be added to the Mac version soon, CounterPath says.

Users can now launch a hosted screen sharing session with up to 100 participants with a single click. Participants are automatically presented with a “join” button and don’t require additional software downloads. The screen sharing session can be viewed from any device with a browser, including desktops, tablets and smart phones. The screen sharing is an optional subscription purchase for Windows users.

With the Bria Add-in for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Outlook, business users can open an email in Outlook and immediately see if recipients are busy or available, initiate a call or send an instant message using Bria, directly from the Outlook window. The Add-in is also an optional add-on purchase for Windows users.

The screen sharing and Outlook Add-In capabilities are available for branded customers now and will will be available for retail in the CounterPath store this summer 2014.

“Consumers and business users are increasingly dependent on several devices during their day to stay connected, and are often switching not only among devices but platforms and networks,” said Todd Carothers, executive vice president, marketing and products for CounterPath.

“We continue to innovate and have forged the emerging category of Enterprise OTT [over-the-top] which is all about moving communications from the tethered desktop to other devices such as tablets and mobiles-we are putting the PBX in your pocket.”

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