By Niladri Sekhar Nath
TMCnet Contributing Editor
Nortel (News - Alert) and Microsoft Corp. are expanding their efforts to popularize unified communications among businesses around the world. Based on their existing Innovative Communications Alliance (News - Alert) (ICA), both the companies are set to offer solutions that will help service providers deliver comprehensive unified communications services to small and medium business (SMBs) and enterprises.
Through the Nortel and Microsoft (News - Alert) collaboration, carriers will be able to host unified business communication and collaboration services for their business customers, including e-mail, instant messaging, VoIP, click-to-call, video conferencing and other multimedia services. Thus, carriers can derive greater value from their existing network investments and resources, while allowing SMBs and enterprises to benefit from unified communications without installing and managing additional network infrastructure.
“We are experiencing a dynamic restructuring of the communication landscape, transforming it from disparate computing and infrastructure networks to an integrated communication experience,” said Tom Valovic, IDC’s (News - Alert) program director for VOIP Infrastructure, in a statement. “New and collaborative business models involving both IT and telecom suppliers will be a major element in this transformation going forward.”
According to the news release, Nortel will combine its Communication Server 2000 (CS 2000) softswitch with the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration, which incorporates hosted versions of Microsoft’s familiar, world-class enterprise products Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server and Windows SharePoint Services.
Furthermore, Nortel will provide a full range of convergence integration services from the Nortel Global Services portfolio capable of accelerating and expediting all stages of a unified communications deployment to unify disparate modes of communication into a seamless model integrating business processes at the applications level.
The integrated solutions will help service providers offer subscribers combined telephony, e-mail, collaboration, presence, instant messaging and desktop services. The hosted communications solutions will enable service providers to equip SMB and enterprise workers with advanced tools such as click- to-call, as well as traditional voice communications and in/outbound dialing from their Microsoft Office Communicator desktop client.
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Niladri Sekhar Nath is a contributing writer for TMCnet covering telecommunications, service providers and networking.