Calling the Enterprise Over IP

Nortel rolls out new products and a new vision for converging voice and data on IP networks.

Nortel Networks Corp. has a new vision and several new products for enabling enterprises to deliver voice, data and multimedia over a converged IP network.

The goal of the Brampton, Ontario, companys "One Network, a World of Choice" campaign, unveiled Tuesday, will be to create a seamless experience for employees and customers whether they are accessing corporate information inside the company over a LAN or from outside the company over the WAN.

"Its not going to become one network, but for the user it seems like one network," said Marie Hattar, director of enterprise marketing at Nortel.

Nortel also stressed that by deploying its call switching hardware and "engaged applications" a company will drive up revenues, cut costs, increase productivity and enhance customer service, officials said. Engaged applications encompass unified messaging, contact centers and interactive voice centers to help a company anticipate its customer needs, Hattar said.

Todays announcement comes on the heels of Nortels recent release of new network security offerings and new VOIP (voice over IP) certifications.

To back up the vision, Nortel rolled out upgrades to an IP PBX device and networking switch, as well as enhanced unified messaging software.

The IP PBX, called the Succession Communications Server for the Enterprise 1000 Release 2.0, provides converged voice and data networking across both WANs and LANs. Release 2.0 supports services fully distributed across the WAN. It includes an operating system in its Call Server component, which reduces the cost of operations. CSE 1000 Release 2.0 also increases the number of call center end points supported to 1,000 from 640.

The next release of this server, due in 2003, will add support for the H.323 standard for video conferencing interoperability and for the Session Initiation Protocol standard for establishing interactive multimedia sessions over a network, officials said.

The second product, the BayStack 460-24T-PWR Power over Ethernet Switch, is a resilient, secure, stackable switch that provides power to devices that comply with the IEEEs 802.3af protocol. This means that it provides electricity to power wireless devices such as wireless access points, as well as to IP phones and network cameras. This version features up to 24 ports and supports split multi-link trunking, which makes voice connections more resilient, officials said.

Finally, Nortel introduced the CallPilot 2.0, a unified messaging platform with more than 40 new advanced features. The new capability to translate text to speech enables the system to read e-mail to a user. Other new features include Symposium Call Center server integration, a new mobility bundle and fully functional Web browser interfaces to competing platforms.