Citrix has produced new software that makes phone calls on an IP phone from a PC interface.

The software, Citrix Application Gateway 6.0, now includes a Smart Agent client application that lets people click on a phone number in any application or Web page and dial the number from a desktop IP phone. Citrix says the software can help users be more productive with computer telephony integration (CTI), without expensive and complicated configuration.

To use the software, you download and install the Smart Agent software from an internal corporate server. This software interacts with the Citrix Application Gateway, an appliance that allows corporate applications to be converted for use on IP telephone interfaces. This could include data input applications or calendar software, with interfaces that are shrunken for viewing on an IP phone’s LCD, with dial pad-based controls.

When end users click on a phone number in any Web page, Web-based application or e-mail program, the number is dialed through the desktop IP phone. This eliminates the "inefficient process of flipping back and forth between your PC and telephone" according to general manager of Gateways Group, Murli Thirumale.

The software works with IP phones from Avaya, Cisco and Nortel. Each of these IP telephony vendors also offer the ability to interface their respective IP phones with desktop software for such features as click-to-dial - however, end-users must have both the IP handset and IP softphone software to do this. Avaya and Nortel also offer softphone software that allows digital desktop phones to interface with PC client software for CTI control.

The Citrix gateway product will be available in the fourth quarter and starts at $4,000, plus $40 per end user license.