Nortel Expands Software Communication System Solution

Telecom company Nortel announces an expansion of its open-source unified communication solution, now available for use on the enterprise level.

Telecommunications equipment manufacturer Nortel announced it is expanding its Software Communication System solution to accommodate enterprises beyond small and medium-size businesses. Release 3.0 of SCS extends support to platforms from IBM, Dell and HP, including IBM Power Systems and System i, Dell Optiplex, and HP Proliant DL360, as well as the recently announced IBM x3350 and Dell PowerEdge R300 systems.

In addition to the supported platform expansion, the Nortel SCS Developer Program also offers a selection of interoperable third-party products such as desktop phones, soft phones, gateways, IP consoles, applications like call recording and call accounting and wireless mobility solutions. The solution is based on Session Initiation Protocol, the standard for universal communications and interoperability. SCS was developed in collaboration with Nortel and the open source community SIPfoundry.

Release 3.0 has also evolved to scale from midmarket businesses all the way up to large, distributed enterprise networks. Installation, use and administration remain user-friendly to help businesses avoid outsourcing expenses by enabling them to add new users and make other changes in-house, Nortel said.

"The ability to customize Nortel SCS quickly and cost effectively has allowed us to dramatically improve our customer service," said Joshua Van Buskirk, technology evangelist for Nortel SCS partner and customer PFW Systems. "We've developed an application (PFW VoIPLink) to integrate with Nortel SCS so our dealership customers have all the relevant details on their customers before a representative even answers the call. We believe in the benefits provided by VoIPLink, so we also use it internally to better serve our own customers - the dealers themselves."

Nortel said SCS also offers transparent pricing with an "all-in-one" approach. A base user license includes all applications such as voicemail and unified messaging, integrated voice conferencing, secure presence and instant messaging, desktop-based video conferencing, single number reachability, an "informal" call center, and integration with Microsoft Outlook, IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Sametime.

Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president of research firm Yankee Group, said the unified communications (UC) market is in a transition from hardware to software, and for vendors this transition requires conviction to software openness. "IP-only vendors will find this transition much more difficult. The winners in this market will be vendors who embrace open, software based solutions and who make software look like another application in the network," Kerravala said. "With SCS, Nortel is delivering a truly open, truly simple UC software solution."