Nortel has unveiled a strategy that leverages SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) and Web Services for the simple, rapid and efficient delivery of communication-enabled applications and business processes. Through the use of SOA, customers can integrate advanced communications services into business applications, increasing productivity while reducing capital and operating expenditures.
Nortel’s Communications Enablement strategy, serving both enterprise and carrier customers and prospects, is based on four core components: enabling web services on selective products and solutions, the development of a software-based foundation environment to simplify the creation of customized communications-enabled applications and business processes, alliances with industry leaders like IBM, and the development of a global services practice to support these SOA-based applications and solutions.
“Businesses today are faced with too much complexity as they work to provide real time access to information and people across a growing number of devices and applications,” said Joel Hackney, president, Enterprise Solutions, Nortel. “In the near future, every application and business process that should have built-in communications capabilities will. Nortel is eliminating today’s complexity to make these communication-enabled applications a reality by integrating presence, location, identity, conferencing, and other communication and network capabilities within the Nortel portfolio into business process.”
“Nortel’s Communications Enablement strategy will help businesses accelerate by making every customer, consumer and person more productive, competitively agile, and more effective while leveraging existing communications and network investments,” said Hackney.
Nortel plans to make several existing products available as a Web Service, as well as introduce a new generation of products and solutions that are built specifically to meet the needs of SOA-based environments. Nortel recently unveiled Web Services enablement on the Application Server 5200 and Communication Server 2000 IP Multimedia Softswitch, which allow service providers to offer their enterprise and residential customers interactive multimedia communications tools for their websites based on functionalities such as instant messaging, videoconferencing and presence. Nortel has also rolled out extensive Web Services capabilities on its Contact Center and Advanced Speech platforms.
In addition to enabling Web Services on existing softswitches and SIP application servers, Nortel is developing a software-based foundation environment that enables network engaged applications (or services) across a customer’s multi-vendor communications infrastructure. This product, which is expected to be available to customers in 1Q08, provides orchestration of real-time services in a multi-vendor infrastructure environment across multiple domains (enterprise, carrier, wireless and wired) and will allow communications-enabled applications to be rapidly created and integrated to customers’ business processes for addressing specific business challenges and opportunities.
“Existing vendor communications enablement approaches, even if based loosely on SOA, include network-centric approaches or are narrowly focused platforms that only work with the vendor’s own products or are restricted to individual domains like the enterprise,” said Richard Tworek, general manager, SOA and Next Generation Platforms, Nortel. “Nortel’s breadth of experience across enterprise and carrier communications solutions such as in the wireless market will allow enterprises and service providers to create SOA-based communication-enabled applications that can be used across any kind of access network.”
Nortel is working directly with industry leaders such as IBM, as well as with the standards development community, to accelerate the development of Communications-Enabled Applications. In a separate announcement, Nortel and IBM detailed a new agreement to integrate IBM’s industry-leading WebSphere Application Server directly into Nortel’s foundation environment, enabling faster to market communications-enabled applications and business processes. IBM and Nortel will market communications-enabled solutions comprised of multiple hardware platforms, software, services and Nortel software-based foundation environment into select vertical markets. Together, Nortel and IBM are initially targeting companies in the healthcare and retail markets. IBM is the first partner in Nortel’s multi-partner approach to this market.
“ntl:Telewest Business sees Web Services as an important tool to simplify and speed the complex task of developing new communications-enabled applications,” said Stephen Beynon, managing director, ntl:Telewest Business. “We see tremendous value in Nortel’s approach of rapidly enabling and deploying communication-enabled applications to our customers in a simple and effective manner.”
To assist customers to truly understand the power of communications enabled applications, Nortel has created a Web Services “sandbox” testing environment that allows customers the flexibility to explore and test Web Services in a Nortel hosted environment.
Nortel can also help carriers and enterprises migrate to SOA and Web Services with network application design, development and integration from the Nortel Global Services portfolio. These services are available today in Europe and North America, and scheduled for availability in the Caribbean and the Asia Pacific region in 2008. Nortel also plans to offer application hosting beginning in 2008.