Nortel, Siemens Grow Unified Communications Offerings

Nortel and Siemens are unveiling new software and services designed to make it easier and more affordable for enterprises to buy and deploy unified communications platforms. Nortel's CS 1000 Release 6.0 includes greater integration of communications technology into a business's network. Siemens not only rolled out its OpenScape UC Application, but also a services program aimed at easing the deployment and integration of the UC platform. Siemens also launched OpenScape Xpressions, an out-of-the-box UC platform.

Nortel Networks and Siemens Enterprise Communications are rolling out enhanced software and services aimed at easing enterprise deployment and management of unified communications technology.

Nortel March 25 unveiled the latest release of its Communications Server 1000, which offers greater integration and management capabilities.

Release 6.0 of CS 1000, which is a Linux-based solution that is hardware-agnostic, includes the MG 1010, a new high-density services gateway that enables enterprises to provision communications services and applications from a central location, enhanced SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), and enhancements to the Mobility MC 3100 that enable any mobile device with a Web browser-including the Apple iPhone and netbooks-to be integrated into the enterprise's network.

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The solution also comes with the CallPilot 202i, an integrated unified messaging technology, conferencing enhancements with the Nortel Multimedia Conferencing 6.0 software, new IT telephone handsets and integration with the Nortel Contact Center 7.0, which the vendor also rolled out March 25.

Included in Contact Center 7.0 are open application programming interfaces using SOA (service-oriented architecture), which enables enterprises to integrate the solution with their business applications ad processes, company officials said. In addition, combining Contact Center 7.0 with Microsoft's OSC (Optimization Sales Connection) lets customers interact with the business through myriad means, including voice, e-mail, Web chat and instant messaging.

Nortel also integrated its Predictive Outbound Dialing technology into Contact Center 7.0.

For its part, Siemens Enterprise Communications March 23 unveiled new services and an enhanced OpenScape UC Application, both of which are built on top of the vendor's OpenSOA approach to tighter integration of communications technologies with business applications.

OpenScape can be integrated into any IT environment, including those from IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems, and can be integrated with the open-source Openfire collaboration server, Outlook Calendar, Netviewer Web conferencing technology and multiparty instant messaging capabilities, according to company officials.

The OpenScale Professional Service and Integration Solutions are designed to make it easier to buy and deploy Siemens' UC offerings. The services include the OpenScape UC Integration Accessories toolbox for easier integration into widely used groupware applications such as Microsoft Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes. The UC Integration and Deployment solutions take a vendor-agnostic approach to helping customers integrate communications tools into such areas as UC-enabled business portals or applications.

Siemens' also announced OpenScape Xpressions, a prepackaged UC solution that is designed to be easily integrated into multivendor environments, company officials said.

Xpressions offers an out-of-the-box UC environment, including voice mail, unified messaging, instant messaging, presence, and audio and Web conferencing, they said. The goal is to help businesses easily and affordably deploy a unified communications platform, officials said.