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4Ward Helps SMBS Improve Customer Care With Nortel And Microsoft Unified Communications


HONG KONG - 4ward, a Hong Kong IT and communications outsourcing company, will help small and medium businesses (SMBs) improve customer care and increase customer loyalty by providing an advanced unified communications solution from Microsoft and Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] as a hosted service.

The joint Nortel and Microsoft Innovative Communications Alliance solution will run from 4ward’s two resilient data centers, with SMBs paying a monthly fee to access unified communications applications including email, instant messaging, telephony, conferencing, video, web and file sharing. Employees can use the features from anywhere, on a wide variety of devices allowing them to focus less on technology and more on providing better customer service.

4ward recently implemented a joint Nortel and Microsoft unified communications platform within its own business to provide consistent management of customer contact via phone calls, the Internet, mobile phones, email, voicemail, and instant messaging. As a result of the deployment, the joint solution has enhanced 4ward’s resolution of customer queries, streamlined its business processes, and improved the efficiency of everyday communications among employees, customers, suppliers and partners.

“We selected this technology because Nortel’s close alliance with Microsoft on unified communications ties Nortel’s robust communications capabilities with Microsoft’s strong credentials in enterprise messaging software,” said Brad Pfeffer, managing director, Asia-Pacific, 4ward. “We tested solutions from various vendors and found that Nortel and Microsoft provided the most stable, mature and fully-featured equipment which is easily integrated and provides a seamless experience across products. Now that we have seen for ourselves how beneficial the solution is, we’re eager to help other SMBs realize the same benefits.”

“Unified communications breaks down the barriers between voice, email, conferencing, video, and instant messaging,” said David Wong, managing director, Hong Kong, Macau and South China, Nortel. “However, acquiring unified communications in-house requires a significant investment in applications and skilled staff. By offering this solution to SMBs as a hosted service, 4ward is helping businesses gain the benefits of unified communications, without the complexity of managing the services in-house.”

“Collaborating with Nortel has helped us encapsulate advanced unified communications functionality in a cost-effective solution that scales from the largest business down to the smallest,” said Adam Anger, senior director, Business and Marketing Organization, Microsoft Hong Kong. “We continue to work closely with Nortel to provide 4ward and its customers with solutions that deliver competitive advantage by simplifying and transforming their business communications.”

The Innovative Communications Alliance unified communications solution is based on Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and its client application, Microsoft Office Communicator 2005. Both integrate with the Nortel Communication Server 1000E and Call Pilot to deliver full-featured telephony and unified communications capabilities. 4ward also plans to upgrade the unified communications solution that integrates with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. Since the formation of the Innovative Communications Alliance in July 2006, customers have purchased and deployed more than 430,000 licenses of the joint technology. More information about the Innovative Communications Alliance is available at


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