What is Viber?
Viber is a crossplatform VoIP solution for consumers developed by Viber Media Inc. It was first introduced to iOS in December 2010. Since then they have been increasing support for other smartphone platforms such as Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Nokia Symbian, and Samsung Bada. Their app does not cost anything but the initial registration requires an SMS to be sent for validating your phone number.
On May 7, 2013, Viber released software clients for Windows and Mac. So you are able to install the application on your computer or notebook and register with your phone number to synchronize contacts. When you are logged in with both your smartphone and a desktop client at the same time you can move any active call to the other device.
So what value does it add to your unified communications environment? Here are some of the new (and some old) features that might come in handy:
- VoIP calls based on data connection (usertouser only)
- Instant Messaging function (synchronized on all devices)
- Switch active calls between loggedin clients
- Contacts are based on your local phone book (and 3rd party directories if you are using any, e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Contacts, etc.)
The Viber solution is clearly positioned in the consumer market and gained wide popularity among users in that category. So far I have not come across enterprises utilizing Viber as part of their unified
communications strategy. If you are using Viber for professional purposes please feel invited to share your experiences in the comment section below.
As the Facebook Chat app is currently tested for possible VoIP features and beta tested, Viber seeks to increase their solution portfolio to maintain market share and this release seems to be the result of that. Other indirect competitors of consumerbased unified communication tools are solutions such as WhatsApp for instant messaging and Skype for video conferencing.
Possible Business Usage
If you and your social network connections list their smartphone number along with the social profile and install the apps of such on their smartphone they will see each other on Viber. Being completely synchronized they will be able to communicate via VoIP, video conference or instant message beyond their enterprise’s unified communications abilities. This should serve for noncritical communication only though, as consumer solutions might not be sufficient to match your organizations IT security policies.