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Microsoft, Nortel Transform How People and Businesses Interact with New Joint Unified Communications Solutions


Amid Global Customer Adoption, Companies Deliver on Joint Product Roadmap.

REDMOND, Wash. / TORONTO – Microsoft Corp. and Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] announced the availability of four new joint unified communications (UC) solutions designed to transform how people around the world connect, communicate and collaborate. The joint products include the Converged Office unified communications suite, Multimedia Conferencing, and solutions for branch offices and hosted service providers. Customer adoption continues to accelerate with more than 600 wins for the companies’ unified communications products since the formation of the alliance.

Research indicates that unified communications can improve business productivity by up to 18 percent1 with up to a 250 percent return on investment.2 With these new solutions, Nortel and Microsoft have now delivered 10 solutions to market as part of their Innovative Communications Alliance announced less than two years ago.

“With the availability of these latest solutions, Nortel and Microsoft have now delivered on the joint solutions that our two CEOs outlined in January 2007,” said Ruchi Prasad, vice president and general manager, Innovative Communications Alliance, Nortel. “With these solutions, enterprises can now choose to deploy unified communications via a customer premise solution, managed service solution, or hybrid of the two, helping accelerate the pace of unified communications adoption.”

“Customers and partners recognize the value of joint Microsoft and Nortel solutions and we expect to continue driving the adoption of software-based unified communications solutions in 2008,” said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president, Unified Communications Group, Microsoft. “In the coming year, we will extend the scope of our unified communications collaboration to include areas such as Contact Center integration and a mix of hybrid and fully hosted UC solutions.”

Gartner Inc, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, has positioned both Microsoft and Nortel in the Leaders quadrant in the ’2007 Unified Communications Magic Quadrant’ report. To view Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, 20073 click here.

New Solutions

Enterprises can now choose from a broad portfolio of unified communications software and supporting professional services that provide the following competitive differentiators: a single user experience through a common user interface; simplicity and cost-efficiency through a common architecture; flexibility through the ability to implement either on-premise, hosted, or hybrid solutions; and peace of mind through carrier-grade reliability and the ability to support UC capabilities for hundreds of thousands of users.

Since the beginning of the year, Nortel and Microsoft have brought four new unified communications solutions to market as a result of their close collaboration:

* Nortel Converged Office integrates the comprehensive voice functionality of Nortel’s Communication Server (CS) 1000 IP-PBX or CS 2100 IP-PBX with Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007. CS 1000 is the world’s first and only IP-PBX currently qualified by Microsoft’s Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program**, providing customers a seamless experience with setup, support, and use of Converged Office.
* UC Integrated Branch extends unified communications to branch office and remote sites. It combines Office Communications Server 2007 mediation server capabilities into the Nortel Secure Router 4134, while integrating WAN routing, Ethernet switching, security and high quality VoIP capabilities into a single cost-effective platform. SR 4134 has been qualified by Microsoft’s Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program, providing customers a seamless experience with setup, support, and use of the joint solution.
* With the Nortel and Microsoft Carrier Hosted Unified Communications Solution, service providers can offer hosted unified communications solutions to SMBs and enterprises using Nortel’s Communication Server 2000 softswitch with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging. The solution allows providers to equip workers with instant messaging, VoIP, click-to-call, video conferencing and other multimedia services through Microsoft Office Communicator 2007**.
* Nortel Multimedia Conferencing 5.0 for Office Communications Server 2007 provides a reservationless audio conferencing solution that enhances Office Communications Server 2007 conferencing with dial in audio bridge capabilities, enabling external non Communications Server 2007 users to dial into a conference.

Through its extensive investment of resources in 2007, Nortel can now provide a comprehensive portfolio of UC professional services that span consulting, assessment and design, testing, deployment and support services. This also includes new advanced services that enable the integration of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007** with existing business applications to create communications enabled business processes. For instance, an employee receiving a customer call on his Office Communicator client can be presented with the recent sales activity from that customer.

Global Customer Adoption

With more than 600 wins for the joint solutions from Nortel and Microsoft since the beginning of the alliance, customers are providing a strong endorsement of the two companies’ software-based approach to unified communications. New joint customers announced today include Ringier AG, Bosowa Corporation, FASA, KMITL and Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. (ST&R**) is an international trade and customs law firm concentrating on providing governments, manufacturers, importers, exporters, retailers, and trade and logistics service providers the information and support they require to meet the constantly changing demands of global trade. The company, which is headquartered in Miami, is deploying Office Communications Server 2007 and standardizing on Nortel VoIP with CS 1000 in 11 offices across the U.S. ST&R is also using Microsoft RoundTable to provide on-demand videoconferencing services.

“Communications is one of our core competencies - if we aren’t effectively communicating with our clients and each other, we can’t operate as business,” said Javier D Benvenuti, director of MIS, ST&R. “Microsoft and Nortel’s solution allowed us to address a multitude of productivity and cost reduction requirements with one solution. We will reduce costs by eliminating our third party conferencing service and most long distance fees, and will be able to pass these savings on to our clients. We have estimated a complete return on investment in 10 to 12 months.”

The Road Ahead

As the companies look ahead to the next phase of their alliance, they plan to focus attention on delivering solutions which will include:

Fully Hosted Unified Communications provide the same user experience as the on-premise Converged Office solution in a fully hosted environment for all he UC workloads including voice, presence/IM, conferencing and unified messaging.

Contact Center Integration: Integrating Nortel’s industry-leading Contact Center application with Office Communications Server to deliver real time multi-modal capabilities enabling new customer touch points, while leveraging rich presence and collaboration capabilities to improve first call resolution and as a result improving the efficiency of communications between agents, supervisors and subject matter experts.


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