Nortel Nurtures Virtual Enterprise

Nortel Networks' virtual office tools suite enables users to work from any place at any time.

To help establish what it is calling the "virtual enterprise," Nortel Networks Ltd. this week will launch a suite of upgraded office tools that let users work from any place at any time.

At the heart of upgrades to its Communication Server 2100, Alteon operating system and Communication Server 1000 is the integration of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), according to officials at the Brampton, Ontario, company.

The new Communication Server 2100, for example, which is designed for very large enterprises, will work with third-party applications and gateways and enable call servers to be geographically dispersed.

Version 22.0 of the Alteon operating system will offer SIP load balancing for improved reliability of application delivery, better security and streamlined resource sharing.

The latest version of the companys call server software, Communication Server 1000 4.0, integrates its telephony functionality with SIP-based applications to deliver reliable voice, data and video services anytime, anywhere.

In addition to the SIP-enabled upgrades, Nortel will announce this week an update to its Multimedia Communication Server 5100. The MCS 5100 lets far-flung work forces make use of voice services, call management, desktop video calling and personalization, as well as instant messaging and Web collaboration.

The MCS 5100 works with Nortels legacy Business Communications Manager to bring SIP-enabled devices into unified communications.

Olin College of Engineering has been testing several of Nortels new tools this summer and has found the technologies helpful and reliable for the schools 225 students and 40 faculty members, according to Olin CIO Joanne Kossuth in Needham, Mass.

The schools IP network contains more than 2,000 devices, including phones, laptops, building control devices and security systems. The network is equipped with Nortels latest technologies, including its operating system and IP phones. Kossuth said students are particularly enthusiastic about the MCS 5100, which Olin is deploying on a 100-user license basis. The server and its latest tools allow students to collaborate on projects outside the classroom.

"Students were really excited about this level of convergence," Kossuth said. "They can be sitting on the lawn and decide that they want to get in touch with another student, and they can get in touch with someone immediately."


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