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Businesses dial in to application delivery with Citrix EasyCall

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Citrix Systems has launched EasyCall, a new technology that provides the simplest and most intuitive way of integrating communications into any application as a core property of a company’s existing application delivery infrastructure.

Communication-enabling applications with EasyCall enable users to initiate instant click-to-call capabilities from any telephone number within any application using a company’s existing corporate phone system, thus increasing worker productivity and saving costs on phone charges for mobile workers.
The new EasyCall capability is included as a standard feature in the Platinum Editions of Citrix NetScaler for web applications and Citrix Presentation Server for Windows applications.
For many years, enterprises have treated their communications and application processes as independent silos. Recently, both vendors and IT departments have begun working to more tightly integrate communications and business applications in an effort to better align with the way users really work. Most of these attempts, however, have been focused on a narrow set of applications or users and often require deploying new telecommunications equipment or retrofitting applications to embed communications features.
Citrix breaks that barrier with its new EasyCall technology by automatically embedding communications capabilities into any application as a core property of a company’s existing application delivery infrastructure. The feature works with any corporate phone system and supports any telephone as the originating device.  
“The integration of communications and applications should be focused around making technology work for users instead of making users work around technology,” says William Stofega, senior research analyst at IDC. “When communications are a part of the application or application delivery system, users are able to communicate from within the context of the activity or business process in which they are involved.”
Integrating communication capabilities into the applications used by employees on an everyday basis makes it easy for users to initiate live conversations with people as an intuitive extension of their application experience.
When the EasyCall feature is active, any phone number in any application will be recognised with a small pop-up dialer when a user mouses over the number. When the user clicks on the dialer, EasyCall initiates a call between the user’s preferred telephone – office, mobile or home – and the destination number, using that user’s corporate telephone system.
As a result, all application users, including the ever-growing mobile workforce, have the ability to initiate calls intuitively from any application without stopping to dial a separate device. Because EasyCall initiates the call using the company’s existing corporate phone system, end-users also avoid expensive local phone rates and surcharges when traveling or working from home.
EasyCall provides a simple, click-to-call enabled corporate directory that automatically synchronises with an organisation’s main directory, as well as a call log that provides a simple way to redial commonly used numbers. It works with both legacy and IP-enabled telephone systems, providing advanced communication capabilities without the need to switch to IP telephony, saving companies thousands of dollars in unnecessary upgrade costs.
EasyCall also includes an XML web service, based on SOA (service-oriented architecture) that can be embedded directly into any web application or website to create a “Call Now” button for users. This approach is ideal for external facing vendor support or e-commerce sites, making it easy for customers to contact corporate call centers while also reducing the toll-free charges of those call centers.  
“As leading application providers such as Microsoft and IBM communications-enable popular productivity applications such as Outlook, SharePoint and Lotus Notes, users will expect the same functionality from their other critical applications,” says Nick Keene, country manager of Citrix Southern Africa. “Adding the new EasyCall feature to application delivery controllers like NetScaler and Presentation Server makes that vision a reality for the thousands of other applications businesses use, and does it in a way that is not only intuitive, but also consistent across all of those applications.”