Nortel has announced the general availability and customer deployments of their Converged Office solution to enhance business communications by providing customers with the option to integrate Nortel’s voice communications with Microsoft Office System business applications. Applications such as Outlook, Word and PowerPoint are integrated through Microsoft Office Live Communication Server.
The Nortel Converged Office is intended to streamline workflow, simplify communications, improve productivity and drive efficiency. It builds on the Microsoft-Nortel relationship to deliver real-time business communications previously announced in August, 2005.
“Integrating telephony, email and faxes into the desktop with instant messaging, and application sharing is critical to successful collaboration for improved productivity,” said Ettienne Reinecke, group CTO, Dimension Data. Dimension Data is a US$2.7 billion global IT solutions and services provider and Nortel channel partner. “The Converged Office solution makes it possible for employees to collaborate instantly, in real-time by choosing the most efficient application with one simple click of the mouse.”
The Converged Office solution integrates Nortel IP telephony systems with Microsoft Live Communication Server 2005 to provide SIP-based, business-grade desktop call control. The integration of Microsoft’s Office Communicator as the voice endpoint, Live Communications Server and Nortel’s Communication Server (CS) 1000 provides business-grade telephony with click-to-call convenience, application integrated presence and scheduling, as well as rich content sharing that allows employees literally to work from the same page, as if they were in the same office.
“Nortel’s goal in developing the Converged Office solution was to open up a world of new opportunities for businesses to communicate through the most effective means possible and we’ve been able to achieve that by collaborating with Microsoft,” said Alex Pierson, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Multimedia Solutions, Nortel. “Bringing voice functionality to the desktop environment allows communications on par with office-based capabilities, regardless of where users are located, such as when they are working from home or from a hotel room while traveling.”
“Voice functionality in the desktop environment helps to break down today’s silo’ed communications experiences and provides rich communication capabilities that allow tandems, teams and organizations to communicate simply and effectively while integrating seamlessly with business applications and processes,” said Marc Sanders, senior product manager in the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft Corp.
Nortel’s say their open SIP application interface allows customers choice as they build solution sets that meet their business needs. Customers driving converged communications from their desktop can take advantage of superior voice quality and service from the Nortel CS 1000 and Converged Office solution, while those who are expanding by way of their telecommunications infrastructure may choose to do so through Nortel’s Multimedia Communications Server (MCS) 5100/5200. In addition, the Nortel Application Switch provides application load balancing, security and enforcement of communications policies to ensure the solution remains available to users.