Nortel has confirmed that Microsoft has recently qualified Nortel’s Communication Server 1000 as the world’s first IP-PBX tested to work seamlessly with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.
In October 2007, Microsoft formally introduced their Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program as part of their larger unified communications launch. This program was created to ensure that customers have a seamless experience with setup, support, and use of qualified telephony gateways and IP-PBXs with Microsoft’s unified communications software.
With Nortel’s official qualification the Nortel Communication Server (CS) 1000 is now the world’s first IP-PBX to be qualified Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program for enterprise telephony infrastructure. Not only that, but it has also been proven to support Dual Forking and Dual Forking with Remote Call Control (RCC).
Nortel say this is important because Dual Forking with RCC is the deepest level of integration possible as part of Microsoft’s qualification program. While multiple gateways have been qualified since the program’s inception, their level of integration can’t match that of Nortel’s CS 1000.
Dual Forking provides users with great flexibility in how they communicate by fully “twinning” their Nortel desk phone with the soft phone capabilities of the Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 client. For example, with an incoming call the user is alerted to the call on both the desk phone and Communicator 2007 client and has the choice of answering the call on the device most appropriate to the situation (i.e. a user in his hotel room would answer on the Communicator 2007 client).
Remote Call Control, which can be used in conjunction with Dual Forking, allows users to control their desk phone from Communicator 2007. In addition, RCC provides user call status to the Office Communications Server so that its presence information reflects the user’s on-phone/off-phone status, allowing a more integrated UC experience across Office Communications Server and non-Office Communications Server enabled phones.
“Nortel’s extensive testing and collaboration over the last year with Microsoft in their labs has enabled us to deliver the most seamless, feature-rich, and user friendly telephony integration with Microsoft’s unified communications solutions” said Ruchi Prasad, general manager, Innovative Communications Alliance, Nortel. “Our alliance with Microsoft provides tremendous value to Nortel and our customers, and we will continue to work closely with Microsoft to transform business communications.”
“Nortel’s software-centric and standards-based approach to Office Communications Server 2007 integration has led them to becoming the first unified communications vendor to achieve qualification of its IP-PBX,” said Craig Schuman, Director of Business Development & Strategy, Unified Communications Group, at Microsoft Corp. “Through Nortel’s commitment to product testing and interoperability, Microsoft customers are provided with VoIP solutions that work seamlessly with Microsoft’s unified communications tools.”
At the same time BT has been recognised as a ‘Lead Unified Communications Integrator’ for the Nortel and Microsoft Innovative Communications Alliance.
“We believe that the Innovative Communications Alliance offers customers the best opportunity to realise quickly and cost-effectively the benefits of Unified Communications. With BT as the lead integrator, we are bringing together the combined strength of all three companies.” said Gordon Frazer, Managing Director, Microsoft Ltd.
Tim Smart, Chief Executive of BT Global Services UK, commented: “Unified Communications is the logical next step in the move towards convergence, and represents an important and growing market. By working with Microsoft and Nortel we can offer a combination of networking, software and applications expertise to deliver a communications solution that will drive greater collaboration and new ways of working for business.”
“Unified Communications from BT, Microsoft and Nortel, liberates the enterprise by bringing communications and applications together to deliver information and interaction for improved business performance. It’s also about freeing people to work at their best from wherever they work best and that has implications for society as a whole,” said Peter Kelly, president, Enterprise Networks, Nortel EMEA.