Officials with Nortel's VOIP business, which is in the process of being sold, will demonstrate their Hosted IP Communications solution at VoiceCon as the company looks to grow its customer base beyond service providers and into the enterprise space.
Nortel Networks' VOIP business, which is in the process of being bought
by Genband, will be showcasing its hosted communications offering at the
VoiceCon show in Orlando, Fla.,
Nortel CVAS (Carrier VOIP
and Applications Solutions) group's Hosted IP Communications solution will make
it easier for enterprises to put IP-based voice, UC (unified communications)
and collaboration services into a private cloud environment, and begin their
migration off legacy Centrex and TDM technologies.
The hosted IP solution, which is powered by Nortel's
Communications Server 2000 softswitch, can also integrate with existing legacy
networks, enabling enterprises to migrate off those networks at their own pace,
Mitch Simcoe, product marketing director for Nortel's carrier VOIP (voice over
IP) and application solutions business, said in an interview.
Businesses are beginning to show greater interest in hosted
communications environments, Simcoe said. Currently, about 15 percent of all
enterprises' communications are hosted, but that number is beginning to move
upward, driven in large part by the global recession that put greater demand on
IT departments to reduce capital expenses and the growth of IP communications
technologies, he said.
The growth of cloud computing also has played a significant
"Enterprises are certainly showing rich interest in hosted
solutions," Simcoe said.
Nortel traditionally has sold its VOIP products to service
providers. Now the company is aggressively pursuing enterprises, he said.
"We're trying to be a little more assertive in pursuing
enterprises," Simcoe said.
At VoiceCon, Nortel CVAS
will demonstrate several technologies, including its UC offerings that bring
together voice, e-mail, conferencing, presence and mobility applications into a
single, converged network. Included is the ability for enterprises to monitor
and manage their hosted UC solutions from their PC through Nortel's Personal
Communicator PC client.
Nortel officials also will show off advanced audio, video and
Web conferencing capabilities, and Web 2.0 customer service applications that
integrate such telecom functions as click-to-call, instant messaging and video
into the enterprise's Website to improve customer service.
Nortel's Mobile Extension application will enable any mobile phone
to become a hosted IP office extension. Users will be able to get the same
access to the corporate network call features from their mobile phones as they
do from their desk phones.
"This is a key differentiator for us because we really
understand networks," Simcoe said.
Nortel's Hosted IP Communications solution also includes a Web
portal that makes it possible for enterprises to make changes to their
communications services without having to make a request of their service
Nortel's CVAS unit was the
latest to be sold off over the past year, since the company first filed for
bankruptcy in January 2009.
Nortel officials decided that selling off the business
piecemeal, rather than trying to restructure, was the best way to preserve
their technologies and gave employees the best chance to keep their jobs.
Nortel announced in late February that it was selling the CVAS
unit to Genband, a small Texas
company, for $182 million. Courts in the United
States and Canada
have since approved the deal.
Simcoe said the last year hasn't been easy, and different parts
of Nortel have been sold off, but added that the company's VOIP business has
held up well. The company has "had some really good successes," he said, adding
that service providers have stood by the company. Now the push is on to start
growing the enterprise customer base.