Verizon is basing its managed Telepresence service on a partnership with Nortel. The service provides "complete setup and management of telepresence conferences, including pre-connected and configured video circuits, and the ability for users to make conference reservations online."
Makes sense to me. The service will leverage Nortel's extensive global infrastructure of Multimedia Network Operations Centers.
My guess is that Cisco didn't make the short list, because their solution is a closed system locking the customer and the service provider into Cisco, from cradle to grave. Why would anyone invest millions of dollars in a Cisco proprietary solution?
In contrast, Nortel's solution leverages partnerships with industry leading Polycom and Tandberg, to deliver a broad range of desktop and room video interworking. This is a much better fit with what customers really need.