Nortel Launches SOA Initiative

The vendor extends its partnership with IBM with a WebSphere link and new services.

Nortel Networks is launching its first foray into SOA-based communications as it takes the wraps off its Raptor project Nov. 14 and announces an alliance with partner IBM.

Nortels strategy leverages service-oriented architecture and Web services technology to enable both enterprises and carriers to quickly integrate communications and business processes. Its work with IBM will focus on integrating IBMs WebSphere Web Application Server with Nortels new communications-enabling platform, as well as on services.

Nortels overall Communications Enablement strategy is based on four pillars: the implementation of Web services on specific products; its new software development foundation that speeds the integration of communications functions into applications and business processes; alliances with multiple partners, starting with IBM; and the formation of a Nortel global services practice to support the SOA-based applications and services.

The aim is to take the "black magic" out of computer-telephony integration and make it "drag and drop," said Richard Tworek, Nortels general manager of SOA and next-generation platforms.

"There are two silos, IT and communications silos, and its really hard to get the two to work together. Our Raptor foundation allows us to put into an environment this piece of software that allows people to bridge the applications, so that [adding] click-to-connect on a Web page [for a] supply chain management [system] becomes really easy," he said.

Raptor is a tool kit that allows developers to more easily integrate functions such as click-to-call, presence, location and context into applications and business processes. Developers dont have to know the details of the underlying communications technology that delivers the connectivity.

"They can write a piece of JavaScript and Nortel does the heavy lifting. They dont have to worry about whether [the communications technology is from] Cisco or Nortel. Its very powerful software," Tworek said.

The Raptor foundation will not only leverage IBMs WebSphere middleware, but also be integrated with IBMs Lotus Sametime communications and collaboration platform. Integration with Sametime will allow functions such as click-to-call, click-to-conference, presence and shared directory services to be added quickly. For example, a Sametime user could, from within the Sametime client, see if a contacts phone is in use.


Read more here about the Nortel-IBM alliance.

The agreement also calls for the two vendors to conduct joint sales, marketing and services engagements. "We will work together on go-to-market—specifically health care, retail and finance industries—with each providing services around that," said David Epstein, director of public sector solutions at IBM. "Each company will bring its various sets of additional integration capabilities and partner functionality to the table."

Nortel has already enabled Web services on its Application Server 5200 and Communications Server 2000 IP Multimedia Softswitch. It also has added a variety of Web services to its Contact Center and Advanced Speech platforms.

Raptor is due in the first quarter of 2008.


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