UPDATE: June 5, 2014 – NEWS: Teradici announces partnership to deliver UC to PCoIP Desktops!
Are you running VMware View on Zero Clients? If so, you’re using the Teradici PCoIP protocol to transmit these desktops.
Teradici has had the Tera1 Zero Clients for quite some time but recently released the Tera2 Zero Clients. Along with some other features, a much touted feature of the Tera2 is “Support for unified communications” (Teradici’s website). To a business like mine with a large call center and the desire to streamline the entire user experience, having a zero client with a USB soft-phone client on the virtual desktop would be a real winning situation.
BUT — there’s a BUT. A BIG BUT. (And no, I’m not talking Sir Mix-A-Lot).
VoIP or Unified Communications (UC) are only supported on Zero Clients if the UC provider (think Microsoft Lync, Avaya, Mitel, etc.) engineer a UC client that uses the API tie-ins provided by Teradici for the Tera2 Zero Client.
For the current vendors working with Teradici, there is no timeline or ETA on when this will be available, and furthermore, if you were to want a specialized UC/VoIP provider to make a client compatible, they’d be the ones ponying up the R&D costs.
I got this information straight from the horse’s mouth over at Teradici.
So what does this mean?
As our company is evaluating the future of our UC/Contact Center solutions, we have to exclude anything that requires USB softphone UC applications. It’s unsupported and there’s no ETA. So we’re a little lost. We have proprietary VoIP phones now, so if we go a different way, (one that supports say, a polycom phone), do we spend a few hundred bucks a seat on polycom phones?
Either way, I hope that VMware and Teradici will see how much of an issue this is for many VDI environments (ie, most call centers) and will come to the table with a better solution. Leaving the integration up to the UC Client is not the way to go.