Nortel Adds UC Capabilities to Business Communications Manager

Nortel adds features such as InTouch and FindMe/FollowMe to the latest version of its business communications software.

Business communications firm Nortel announced the release of the latest version of its Business Communications Manager (BCM) software, which includes new unified communications (UC) capabilities, including unified presence, and greater simplicity with the introduction of a common software stream for its BCM50 and BCM450 solutions. Nortel estimates that unified communications can help businesses realize cost-savings and an increase in productivity of up to 18 percent.

The Nortel BCM450 and BCM50 are Linux-based IP/TDM PBXs offering an "all-in-one solution" for converged voice and data communications. The BCM50 serves businesses with up to 50 users while the larger capacity BCM450 is aimed at growing medium to large businesses and branch offices with up to 300 users. Each supports a mix of IP and digital clients.

As part of the new BCM Rls 5.0 software, BCM450 and BCM50 provide SMBs with UC features like InTouch, which delivers federated presence, and integrated communications applications and capabilities. InTouch also helps businesses communicate with contacts in their personal directory - across Microsoft Outlook, Nortel BCM, MSN, and Skype for click-to-call, click-to-IM, and click-to-email.

Last year, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau (NCVB) leveraged its BCM450 solution to book more than 650,000 hotel rooms while marketing tourism on behalf of various partners. The NCVB is now trialing BCM Rls 5.0 and plans to roll out the InTouch application in the coming weeks. Kay Hopwood, NCVB's director of information technology, said he is looking forward to seeing real-time presence for everyone on the network. For now, NCVB is employing the first BCM Rls 5.0 feature it deployed, FindMe/FollowMe (FMFM), which enables simultaneous ringing of up to five additional external devices. "Every call is potential business," said Hopwood. "With BCM's FindMe/FollowMe capability, our sales team never has to miss another revenue-generating call again."

In addition to the InTouch and FMFM capabilities, BCM Rls 5.0 lets a user forward a voice message using a file so that it can be played or read by any mobile device in the world. Meet-Me Conferencing for BCM provides up to 125 ports with support for as many as 300 users. Professional Call Recording is also available as part of the latest BCM release.

Minitel, a premier Nortel partner providing service across Canada, also chose to trial BCM Rls 5.0 in its own office production system. Its Toronto vice president of operations, Dan Silverman, said he was so pleased with the progress of the in-house trial he convinced a large accounting firm client to deploy it as well. "The installation was as smooth as could be and the client is now rolling out both InTouch and FindMe/FollowMe to multiple users in their organization with ease," he said. "We were able to get our client up to speed on the interface and rolling the application out by themselves in less than an hour."