Nortel Steps Up Collaboration on Unified Communications for SMBs

Nortel is accelerating the development of unified communications solutions for small to medium businesses (SMB) by adding its IP telephony application to IBM’s new generation of Power Systems processors.

Today’s announcement expands on the two companies’ alliance in the area of unified communications and collaboration for SMBs with the integration of Nortel’s Software Communication System and IBM’s Power Systems processors culminating in a single, robust and highly-scalable offering.

For SMBs and enterprises with branch offices of 30 to 500+ employees, this represents a compelling solution for rich communications and collaboration between employees, customers, and suppliers. It features Nortel’s open source telephony capabilities and IBM Lotus Sametime, IBM Lotus Notes and Domino collaboration capabilities including customer relationship management, point-of-sale, email and calendaring – all on a single IBM platform.

Nortel’s unified communication software is based on a universal SIP standard that works on different hardware server platforms. An easy-to-use, plug-and-play interface makes installation, management, and maintenance of the solutions effortless. Users can create a personalized communications experience according to their individual preferences on whatever device they choose to enhance their productivity. The solutions can also help reduce capital and operational expenses by cutting down on IT, administration, service and conferencing costs.

“SMBs are emphatic about their desire to deploy unified communications to save costs, improve employee productivity, and serve customers better,” said Joel Hackney, president, Enterprise Solutions, Nortel. “The solutions available to SMBs in the marketplace today were developed for large organizations, and do not readily adapt to their needs. The expanded relationship between Nortel and IBM is squarely aimed at the unique requirements of SMBs.”

As with their collaboration on the Nortel and IBM System i unified communications solution, the two companies will leverage their complementary strengths – IBM in offering mission critical business solutions, and Nortel in providing multimedia communications to customers globally – having emerged a leader in the unified communications space.

“Unified communications demands reliable, always-available, real-time processing and IBM Power Systems provides one the fastest, most scalable platforms in the world,” said Mark Shearer, vice president of marketing and offerings, IBM Business Systems Division. “Pairing those capabilities with Nortel’s IP telephony applications, we’re delivering a valuable combination of offerings to our mutual customers.”

“IBM’s unified communication and collaboration vision is to make it easy for people to find, reach and collaborate with others through a unified user experience,” said Bruce Morse, vice president of unified communications and collaboration, IBM Lotus. “This unique combination of IBM hardware and software along with the leading telephony expertise from Nortel delivers an incredibly powerful solution to the SMB market.”

Beginning this month, the Nortel Software Communication System will be available on System i, then on Power Systems later in Q2. Further, Nortel and IBM intend to add SCS to IBM System x and Blades. The portfolio of Nortel and IBM unified communications solutions will be available through both companies’ authorized resellers.