BlackBerry MVS

This morning we posted the RIM press release on the launch of Mobile Voice System (MVS) 5.0. We've talked about MVS in the past but what is MVS and how does it apply to the real world?

The quick and simple answer to what it is, MVS allows your Blackberry handheld to become one with your corporate desk phone giving you all the same options your deskphone offers you including dial by internal extension & transfers.

It also routes your calls through the PBX for long distance calls. If you're travelling outside your home city your wireless carrier can charge long distance rates that are less than desireable. MVS extends your corporate landline long distance rates to your Blackberry for all calls made with MVS.

What's New?

What's new in 5.0 is that it now supports WiFi. And how this is usefull in the real world is roaming. Many carriers charge obsense rates to user your phone in another country. For example, Rogers charges their customer $3.00 per minute in China. If your company deploys MVS, when you are in China at the hotel, client office or the local coffee shop you can make and receive MVS calls over Wi-Fi. That's right you're on the other side of the planet and are dialing 4 digit extensions for the cost of $0.00 per minute.

You must deploy a Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.1 or higher and the Blackberry Mobile Voice System; however the long term cost saving of roaming will more than justify the cost of rolling this out.

Another Great Reason to Deploy

RIM promotes the control and management of all your call details are recorded in the PBX (call type, incoming/outgoing number, length etc) but it's also valuable in a orgainization like a law firm.

Professional services charge their clients for phone calls. Most firms have an automatic billing system typed into their PBX for all calls by extension for automatic billing.
The revenue leak can be the mobile phone. There are some 3rd party apps out there that canc capture call data by offering the user a popup at the end of the call to classify the call by client or project and send this data back to the office in a flat file like excel or text file.

The companies accounting or data entry dept must take that data and tie it into the billing and that costs time which equals money. MVS can automate this process because the PBX system is already doing the billing in the background.

The Downside

Of course there is a cost to MVS and for the Wi-Fi MVS 5.0 currently is only supported on Cisco Unifed Communications Manager 6.1. So if you're not already rocking this system you must migrate over. That is not cheap.
As well, there is no seamless integration of the cellular and Wi-Fi so if you're on a Wi-Fi call and leave that WiFi zone the call will drop the call. There is a way through the menu to switch over to cellular network. Sadley unless you are aware of your surrounding and know that the W-Fi network is going to drop off you'll be out of luck and will need to reinitiate the call on cellular.


Overall, MVS is a very cool idea and the WiFi feature is very appealing. If you can justify the costs with a Return on Investment (ROI) than this may just be the solution for you. If you can't predict a ROI than it's just a cool concept.