Despite it’s small version number increment, this is a BIG release. The what’s new list is a variety of items, so let’s take a quick look:
- Network Address Translation (NAT) support and firewall traversal for audio / video – this is something I’ve heard a few times as a deployment blocker, so great news.
- Audio / video in browser-based meeting rooms – Sametime 8.5 introduced the new style of persistent meeting rooms and provided rich client and browser-based access. Until now, audio / video was only available in the rich client.
- Mobile device support – a native Android client available and a meeting room client for the BlackBerry. And – wait for it – an Android-based SUT dialler client so that you can call via the SUT infrastructure rather than the mobile network.
- Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) improvements, including active speaker notification in conference calls. There’s also support for dual Telephone Conferencing Service Provider Interface (TCSPI) adapters, allowing simultaneous integration with multiple audio and video conferencing systems.
- SUT Lite – described as the first rung on the UC² ladder, this is a simplified deployment option requiring minimal infrastructure. It integrates with a number of SIP-based solutions, provides features like click-to-call and easy connection to SIP end-points. Please note that SUT Lite requires Sametime Standard or Advanced plus an additional SUT Lite license.
- Live text in chat – one of Notes 8’s most funky features comes to Sametime. You can do the useful clicking on names, postcodes, part numbers, order numbers, etc… and phone numbers to dial them.
One other thing you may notice… IBM Sametime 8.5.2 is missing the Lotus brand from it’s official product name. Make of that what you will.
Sametime 8.5.2 is scheduled to ship in June 2011.