Merlin takes magic out of UC collaboration

No client software required

Australian start-up Azurn has developed a unified communications appliance, dubbed "Merlin", that takes the complexity out of voice and video collaboration across multiple types of end-points.

Azurn CEO and managing director Ananda Roa started the company with a view to finding a "solution to an interesting problem" as the biggest challenge to UC is "there are so many pieces".

Merlin can connect any call - landline, mobile, or VoIP - via Web browser with its Klik2Konnect service and can covert text to speech, or paper to Azurn's UnifiedXML format.

Most document translation is automated but there are some 400 people in India performing manual processes.

The appliance is called Merlin because "when technology works it's like magic".

Merlin can be used to share applications, edit documents, and initiate voice and video communications and conferencing without the need for client software. Videoconferencing, however, does require a desktop client.

Rao said Merlin does not require any additional IT infrastructure as it uses existing networks and services.

"For example, a large school of 3000 students and parents could have announcements sent to them via SMS by Merlin," Rao said.

Rao, who brought Infosys to Australia before moving on in 2006 to start Azurn, said the company is based in Australia and engineering is split between India and Melbourne.

Assembly is done in Australia and the software runs on Windows with Linux and Mac OS X ports in development.

Each 2U Merlin appliance can support 120 connections.

"We'll put in a box for a small monthly fee and a transaction fee," Rao said.

"Merlin helps CRM because you are making the Web work. If we can do this properly we can save a lot of travel money."

Merlin's data sheet [PDF] is available online.

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