Nortel <3 Microsoft 4 UC (and clap machine)

Howdy, it's IT Blogwatch, in which Nortel Networks partners with Microsoft over UC and VoIP. Not to mention how to turn the light off without getting out of bed...

MS and Nortel's alliance means a joint R&D team in Redmond, as Matt Hamblen reports:

Microsoft Corp. and Nortel Networks Corp. announced a strategic Innovation Communications Alliance today that aims to deliver unified communications products and services globally ... the two companies will partner immediately on research and development efforts. The companies will collaborate on development of products for large companies as well as for wireless and wire-line carriers ... the technologies will include products that complement the Microsoft Unified Communications Platform, including contact center applications, mission-critical telephony functions, advanced mobile capabilities and data networking infrastructure. Unified communications is a term used by analysts and vendors to describe the combination of communications modes such as wired and wireless and methods such as e-mail, voice, video and instant messaging (IM) ... Microsoft's vision for unified communications will be software-based and recognize the need to integrate PCs with desktop phones for functions such as recognizing a person's "presence" or availability. Presence can be indicated, for instance, by the ability to see an icon for someone working in a remote location who is available for contact through voice, e-mail, IM or other modes.
TMC's Tom Keating summarizes this as the companies co-developing an IP-PBX:

Nortel said it expects more than $1 billion in new revenue over the life of the four-year pact, under which the companies will work together on research and development and partner on sales and marketing ... goal is to combine Nortel's network quality and reliability with Microsoft software's ease of use and to accelerate the availability of unified communications ... they will jointly sell the advanced unified communications solution and integration services. The plan is to develop a training and incentive program for the companies' sales teams. Microsoft and Nortel will build a joint channel ecosystem using both companies' systems integrator, reseller, and service provider relationships. Microsoft has been looking for a hardware partner to go up against Cisco and their unified communications platform. Certainly Microsoft has chosen a strong hardware partner to offer a comprehensive unified communications suite ... It's worth mentioning however that Nortel has suffered from an accounting scandal in 2004 and the telecom downturn that started in 2001. It remains to be seen if Nortel's Zafirovski can turn around one of the largest telecom equipment manufacturers in the world when cheaper, open-source solutions such as Asterisk are nipping at the heels of all the IP-PBX manufacturers.
Does GMSV's John Paczkowski see Microsoft tossing an inflatable ring or a mint?

Since its share price hit a 52-week low of $1.94, Nortel's been in desperate need of a bit of investor good will, which it seems to have gotten today thanks to a new partnership with Microsoft ... For Nortel, which has been suffering amid the consolidation of its phone-company customers and a series of earnings restatements, the deal, which could generate $1 billion in revenue, may be a lifesaver. Shares of Nortel jumped 6 percent to $2.08 following the news.
VoIP Now's resident anonymous coward writes:

Microsoft is showing its intense interest in VoIP lately by partnering up with not just Nortel but Yahoo as well ... Nortel has proven itself to be an innovator in telephony hardware and software in the past. This is also a great step forward for Microsoft in the VoIP market. Can they do the unthinkable and make this unified communications thing open? You never know. They're at least trying to unify MSN Messenger IM with Yahoo! Messenger - both of which now have VoIP capabilities - in a new alliance. Between the two IMs, that's about 350 million users. Now what's the chances that they'll switch to SIP, thus making themselves compatible with true VoIP IMs such as Gizmo Project and Sightspeed?
Alec Saunders feels cursed by the Chinese:

Because it’s a research partnership, this will be a longer term play. However, public cloud presence plays, like Tello, are going to come under pressure as a result.  For now, the alliance’s focus on enterprise and carrier means that there is plenty of room to innovate, even though the stakes have just become higher. We live in interesting times.
Buffer overflow:

    Around the Net

    Around Computerworld

And finally... chain reaction

Richi Jennings is an independent technology and marketing consultant, specializing in email, blogging, Linux, and computer security. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. Contact Richi at blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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