Nortel (News - Alert) expands its Business Communications Manager (BCM) portfolio with the BCM450, a new, higher capacity and scalable version that targets medium-sized businesses with up to 300 employees. Like the earlier members of the BCM family (BCM50, BCM200 and BCM400), the new BCM450 is hybrid solution that combines circuit and packet switching to ease the migration from legacy equipment to IP telephony.
Nortel refers to BCM as a business in a box for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) since it provides an integrated voice and data solution with telephony features, data networking options, mobility solutions, embedded security and a range of integrated productivity applications. Most BCM applications, including voice messaging, unified messaging, fax messaging and contact center, are loaded on the system hard drive and are enabled via software keycodes. No additional servers or hardware are needed.
BCM450 Release 1.0 uses the same software as BCM50 R3.0 and supports some functionality not available with the earlier BCM200 and BCM400 models, including meet-me conferencing (BCM450 supports up to 120 participants and 60 simultaneous users), the IP Phone 1200 Series (1220 pictured), SIP trunking (for access to service providers) and new contact center features, APIs and reporting (six redesigned reports and four new reports). BCM450 customers can also take advantage of other recently–introduced Nortel functionality, including the Advanced Paging Productivity (APP) Pack and the T7406 2.4 GHz cordless digital phone (802.11a/b/g WLAN handsets 6120 and 6140 are also new). And, the Message Forwarding option, which sends an e-mail notification (to a PDA, Outlook Web Access, Mac OS Mail and more) when a voice or fax message arrives, is planned for the near future.
Nortel points out that its legacy Norstar key system on the market since 1994 can upgrade to BCM, retaining a significant portion of the equipment investment. Nortel estimates a 70% savings for Norstar customers since fiber-based trunk and station modules, digital and analog phones can be reused. Specifically, Nortel defines a migration strategy for its Norstar Modular ICS (MICS) key system to the new BCM450 and a migration strategy for Norstar 3x8 and Compact ICS (CICS) customers to the BCM50. BCM450 also provides a growth option for BCM200 and BCM400 deployments since phones, Media Bay Modules, the expansion cabinet and most software are compatible. And, Nortel can now reach a new set of SMB customers, headquarters locations and large branch offices, due to the scalability to 300 users (with the optional Capacity Expansion Card or CEC).
Also new for BCM are the Business Services Gateways (BSG8 and BSG12) that combine multiple hardware and software elements onto a single platform - a router, advanced security including firewall, VPN and intrusion detection, wired and wireless switching, a SIP gateway with integrated Analog Telephony Adapter and Quality of Service. These essential components are part of the robust data network needed behind a unified communications environment, and combined, are 45% less expensive than when purchased separately, according to Nortel. BSG is available initially in North America.
BCM450 is available globally as of October 14,2008 from Nortel or strategic partners, including AT&T (News - Alert). BCM is available in over 80 countries and fully localized in 15 countries. www.nortel.com
TelecomTactics Takeaway: Nortel targets the larger segment of the small and medium business (SMB) market with the Business Communications Manager 450 (BCM450), releasing this new model slightly ahead of time in all global markets (North America, EMEA, Asia and CALA). Nortel is covering several bases with this new release by defining a migration strategy for legacy Norstar customers, as well as current BCM customers who have reached maximum capacity, but also addressing greenfield opportunities with an SMB portfolio that scales from three to 300 users (BCM50 supports 3-30 users; BCM450 supports 30-300 users). And, due to feature parity with the BCM50 R3.0 (via the new Base Function Tray or BFT), BCM450 has some functionality beyond that of the earlier BCM200 and BCM400, including meet-me conferencing and support for the Nortel 1200 Series IP phones. Coinciding with the launch of BCM450, Nortel has supplied partners with new sales tools, training and support services such as the Enterprise Configurator quotation tool. Nortel also introduces the Business Services Gateways (BSG8 and BSG12) that combine multiple data, security and software elements onto a single platform. www.telecomtactics.com
Sandra M. Gustavsen
T3i Group LLC
Tarifica TelecomTactics TelecomWeb InfoTrack
Sandra M. Gustavsen, senior analyst for T3i Group, contributes her TelecomTactics column to TMCnet. To read more of Sandra’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jessica Kostek