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Nortel expands enterprise UC offerings
By Sarah Reedy

Jun 17, 2008 12:00 AM

Nortel, in partnership with Microsoft, today announced a fully hosted carrier solution for unified communications (UC) in the small and midsize businesses (SMB) sector. The platform leverages the Nortel Communications Server 2000, an IP multimedia softswitch, and Microsoft’s Hosted Messaging and Collaboration Version 4.5.

Previously confined to large enterprises deploying fully customer-premise equipment or hybrid models managed by the company itself, this platform allows SMBs without the money or resources to manage their own UC to use a model hosted entirely by the carrier. According to Sita Lowman, leader of converged core and application marketing for carrier networks at Nortel, the combined offering allows SMBs to integrate UC with the telephony services they may already be getting from the carrier. The PBX and collaboration tools can all be kept off-site.

“This new solution also allows SMBs to benefit from unified communications without having to purchase, install, manage and maintain additional network infrastructure, and complex in-house systems enables them to save operational costs and increase productivity,” Lowman said.

Through a partnership with competing software giant IBM, Nortel also today unveiled new carrier-enabled UC functions for IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime that will provide real-time presence and multimedia conferencing integrated with IBM Lotus applications. Designed for businesses of all sizes, the carrier-hosted platform can reduce travel costs through multimedia conferencing and improve productivity and employee response time.

“The fully hosted platform really helps,” Lowman said. “It is bringing the power of telephony with the power of the desktop. That is a really nice bundle together.”

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