Nortel Upgrades ACE Communications Platform

Nortel Networks is bringing single-number capabilities to its vendor-agnostic Agile Communication Environment platform, a move designed to improve worker productivity by making it easier for colleagues and customers to reach them. The Hot Desking application means that by using a single telephone number, people can reach employees whether they're in the office or on the road, and on any device.

Nortel Networks is enhancing its new vendor-agnostic communications platform, introduced earlier this year, with an application that enables users to give employees a single number that will reach them at any time on any device.

Nortel officials, who announced the enhancements to their ACE (Agile Communication Environment) June 9, said the Hot Desking application in Release 2 of their platform will particularly help businesses that have telecommunications environments from multiple vendors because it integrates with a number of third-party PBX systems.

The Hot Desking application is similar to capabilities offered by other vendors, such as Cisco Systems via its Unified Mobility and Unified Communications Manager software.

Using the Nortel Hot Desking tool, employees can use a Web browser interface to get their calls forwarded to any phone. They also can do that without having to log into a VPN (virtual private network) first, and they also don't need to remember commands for getting calls forwarded.

Nortel officials say Hot Desking can cut telecommunications costs for mobile workers by 10 percent and improve customer service and worker productivity because they no longer have to miss calls going to a different phone. The single number can enable colleagues and customers to reach the employee in the office or on the road.

ACE Release 2.0 offers deeper integration with IBM Lotus Sametime 8.0.2 and supports Microsoft Windows Server and remote call control features for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.

In addition, Nortel is expanding ACE's integration with third-party vendors. The platform already integrated with Cisco and Tandberg technologies, and now can integrate with Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer. Later this year, Nortel will offer new applications, telecom infrastructure adapters and features that will include expanded mobility support and integration with IBM's Lotus Notes.

"The announcements today reflect Nortel's continued dedication and drive to taking customers to the next level of business performance," Ravi Chauhan, general manager of communications-enabled business solutions at Nortel, said in a statement. "We understand that in today's environment, customers are seeking the highest possible value in their investments."