Agito router uses Wi-Fi over cellular to shave costs

The newest version of an enterprise mobility offering by Agito Networks Inc. provides features that should make accessibility and responsiveness a relatively inexpensive affair, the vendor said.

Due to the cost, most company employees don’t enjoy the benefit of a corporate mobile phone, but the Santa Clara-based company said version 2.0 of its RoamAnywhere Mobile Router has a Dynamic Least Cost Routing capability that uses algorithms to determine when best to route calls through the Wi-Fi network instead of the more costly cellular network.

“So I can either pocket the money that I saved and enhance my bottom line or I can invest that in mobilizing more of my team… in effect increasing my top line,” said Pej Roshan, Agito co-founder and vice-president of marketing.

Another capability in version 2.0 that supports worker mobility is Secure Remote Voice, which Roshan said uses an application-layer SSL connection to secure voice over wireless LAN from non-enterprise networks, say in hotels, homes and public hotspots.

And the Dual Persona feature converges the mobile experience to address the issue of users having to abandon a cellular number in favour of an enterprise number, said Roshan. Contacts can be marked as personal or business so that calls are routed over the appropriate network.

The updated offering, said Roshan, combines the advantages of worker mobility and unified communications to improve the traditional time-wasting approaches surrounding the communications process which usually entails “running down the laundry list of telephone numbers that you have for a person.”

Peer communications aside, responsiveness around client-facing calls can render a business agile and competitive, said Roshan, “if you can get that phone call first, that’s a call that doesn’t go to your competitor.”

According to research firm Gartner Inc., as “Wi-Fi was implemented into the enterprise, and Wi-Fi on phones began to appear, the idea of mobile unified communications grew, using Wi-Fi for voice to fill in where cellular lacked coverage.”

The technology supports all cellular carriers, and therefore both GSM and CDMA networks, according to Roshan. Currently, it supports Nokia E and N-series devices and a wide range of Windows Mobile devices, he said, but support for the iPhone and Blackberry devices is still pending.

The technology integrates natively with PBX and unified communications vendor systems like those of Microsoft, Cisco, and Nortel to name some, so, said Roshan, “it’s a very simple and well understood deployment process.”

An upgrade appliance is available for customers who are already using the previous version of the Mobile Router, which when applied, will prompt users to install the upgrade.

Agito’s Canadian channel community has been expanding from earlier this year and currently counts six resellers, said Roshan, but is expected to have its North American channels “rounded out” by the end of the calendar year.

Pierre Lemay, director of Montreal-based reseller Avance Network Services , said he expects that customers interested in the offering won’t be vertical specific given all businesses have cell phone demands, be it manufacturing, health care, or retail.

Customer system requirements, he said, are a solid wireless infrastructure for the best return on investment (because most wireless infrastructures are based on data), and a Cisco IP telephony system.

There will be some degree of pre-work required for all customers, be it the IPT or wireless component, or a bit of both.

Lemay anticipates Canadian adoption of the router, will be “really good” in the next year or two. Among the drivers, he continued, will be the fact that the product’s prime target, small to medium-sized businesses, are migrating to IPT platforms.

In an e-mail to ComputerWorld Canada, Michael Rozender, principal with Grimbsy, Ont.-based Rozender Consultants International, said his primary concern with enterprise in-building Wi-Fi coverage is that it’s often “not sufficient for VoWiFi and as such needs upgrades to be useful.”

The offering, said Lemay, certainly aligns with trends in worker mobility and unified communications, and “it will make the wireless that we hear about go from a nice to have in the enterprise to a must have in the enterprise.”

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