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March 29, 1996

VERSIT JOINT VENTURE OF APPLE, IBM, LUCENT, SIEMENS HAS COMPUTER-TELEPHONY SPECIFICATIONS

By CBR Staff Writer

Versit Inc, the organization established by Apple Computer Inc, Siemens AG, IBM Corp and the AT&T Corp equipment arm, Lucent Technologies Inc to develop interoperability in computer and telecommunications products, has announced a set of open cross- system specifications for computer-telephony integration. CTI Encyclopedia promises to enable compliant applications to be scalable from the desktop across the enterprise, by being compatible with any operating system or hardware system for switches, servers, clients and networks. The Encyclopedia enables development of applications that work consistently on any system in both client-server and direct-connect configurations. It combines a range of industry standards such as CSTA from the European Computer Manufacturers Association, AT&T and Novell Inc’s TSAPI Telephony Services Application Programming Interface, and IBM’s CallPath Normalization. Versit is currently working with Northern Telecom Ltd’s TMAP technology to develop a gateway between TSAPI and rival Microsoft Corp’s TAPI standard. Other organizations consulted on CTI Encyclopedia included the Enterprise Computer Telephony Forum and the Salutation consortium. The specifications address functions such as call control, device control, media services, capabilities exchange, monitoring, status reporting and routing, among others. It supports new integrated speech, facsimile and data Interactive Voice Response video and Web services, as well as personal productivity applications such as intelligent call handling and integrated speech, facsimile, electronic mail mailboxes. The specifications can be had by faxing a request to 49 89 722 31395 or dialing into https://www.versit.com. Versit has suffered a setback with the decision by Apple not to pursue the effort to get its GeoPort accepted as a standard in the iAPX-86 personal computer world (CI No 2,869). Apple insists it is still committed to GeoPort in the Macintosh world. Versit is now looking into alternatives for use in real-time telephony, such as the serial IEEE 1394 FireWire or the Universal Serial Bus. Versit is also in the final stages of gathering comments on the vCard specification, prior to releasing version 2.0. VCard is a collaborative effort between companies such as Netscape Communications Corp, Symantec Corp, IBM’s Lotus Development Corp and Claris Corp to define a format for exchange of electronic business cards containing name, address, electronic mail address and photograph.

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