Nortel Networks continued to build product momentum behind its VOIP alliance with Microsoft when it announced on Dec. 5 the general availability of its promised Multimedia Conferencing 5.0 software.
The new MC 5.0 software, the latest deliverable in the Microsoft/Nortel Innovative Communications Alliance, spins out the multimedia conferencing capabilities in Nortel's Multimedia Communications Server 5100 into a standalone offering that integrates with Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005 and Office Communicator 2005.
The new conferencing software, initially promised in January, also builds on Nortel's October launch of a range of applications intended to offer the broadest range of Unified Communications products designed to take advantage of Microsoft's OCS 2007 and Office Communicator 2007.
"It was one of the highest value parts of the MCS applications suite that we had. The integration with LCS [Live Communications Server] adds conferencing to its [Instant Messaging] and presence capability [and allows] Nortel and Microsoft to bring something differentiated to the market," said Dave Murashige, vice president and general manager of multimedia applications at Nortel.
What is Nortel's role in Microsoft's OCS 2007 launch? Click here to read more.
It also represents Nortel's pitch to larger enterprise customers to bring conferencing in-house, rather than paying between three cents and 20 cents a minute for a third-party conferencing service provider service.
"At the top of our list are companies that continue to use a service bureau to deliver internal conference capabilities. Inertia has prevented them from (moving conferencing in-house). I think this is the proposition that gets them off that service bureau tack," said Murashige.
Nortel also intends to integrate the MC 5.0 software with Microsoft's new Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007 client in the first quarter of next year.
"OCS has conferencing, but it doesn't have the capabilities we have that are a part of the productivity savings associated with conferencing," he said.
It is already integrated with Nortel's flagship Communications Server 1000 IP PBX.
The software is priced at $35,000, and it requires server hardware that can be obtained from Nortel or from certified hardware partners such as IBM.
Check out eWEEK.com's VOIP & Telephony Center for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.