78% of Nortel Users: UC by 2010

July 2, 2008 8:35 AM

This was one result of an independent survey of 800 Nortel customers.

Another interesting point is that 93% wanted Unified Communications (UC) to be closely integrated (not just bolted on) with their desktop environments, meaning predominantly Microsoft Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes.

This confirms our strategy of creating a unique Innovative Communications Alliance with Microsoft (almost 2 years ago and with over a million seat licenses), and integrating the Nortel Agile Communications Environment (ACE), our framework for Communications Enabled Applications, with Sametime and Lotus Notes under the Nortel-IBM alliance.

Another data point was the fact that 38% of respondents considered 'proven interoperability with existing IT investments' as one of their top three challenges.

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Results of a survey of more than 700 corporate managers and CIO and VP-of-IT-level executives provided some insights into the challenges these are facing. Asked "What do you see as the main opportunities before CIOs today?", the No. 1 answer is "improve and/or innovate new business processes."

That's why many are looking at unified communications as more than a personal productivity tool, but as a tool to streamline business processes.

How? you might ask. By leveraging SOA to communications enable business processes, which are slowed down by human latency. This delivers the agility for application innovation and business process acceleration.

Cisco just announced a four-year plan to make its business more environmentally friendly, but nothing specific to make its products more energy efficient. The Cisco energy tax will continue.

But Cisco IT doesn't have the option of saving a bundle by using Nortel data solutions. With over 65K employees and HQ'd in California, this is no small change: $10M and 40M KWH over 5 years.

Fortunately, unlike Cisco IT, you have a choice.

As did the Spring Independent School District in Houston, Texas, which is buying Nortel networking solutions, after assessing the Nortel's energy efficiency offer.

Watt should you do? Start by getting the facts.

LTE: WiMax for Incumbent Carriers

June 24, 2008 6:32 AM

You might have seen the news that Nortel was shifting more 4G wireless R&D into something called LTE- Long Term Evolution.

Up until recently, enterprises saw Nortel as championing WiMax as a "true broadband" solution for enterprise, with key technologies such as MIMO and OFDM coming from Nortel. WiMax really resonated with these customers:
- It has the right name which spells Internet economics
- It has the right name which spells IP-optimized application performance;
- It operates in both licensed and unlicensed bands;
- It was being integrated into handhelds, thanks to the likes of Intel;
- It was going to be offered soon by wireless service providers like Sprint and possibly by cablecos and new operators; and
- It brings more competition to the wireless marketplace.
Nortel is still championing WiMax as a here-and-now opportunity and has partnered with Alvarion to strengthen its position.

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One of the key topics at this year's Nortel Technology Conference is increased innovation acceleration.

P&G was given as an example of a company that is pioneering new approaches to innovation and R&D. Back in 2000 and faced with top line growth shortfalls, they made a strategic decision to shift how they innovate to more of a 'Connect and Develop C&D' approach. They went from a "not invented here- NIH" mentality ("from the labs") to a "proudly found elsewhere" mentality ("through the labs").

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Revolutionizing the User Experience

June 17, 2008 6:45 AM

I am here in Orlando at the Nortel Technical Conference, hosted by John Roese, our CTO, and attended by 350 of Nortel's brightest technologists.

The theme of the conference is 'Revolutionizing the User Experience', and I'm not just talking about the UC client.

When a customer enters your store or branch, you probably have a 1 in 3 chance of closing the deal, but not so on the web, where you're down to 1 in a 100. What if you could establish a web presence that could dramatically improve this ratio, for example by extending your presence to the consumer's preferred social networking environment, or having the customer enter a 3D world where they can explore your offers and interact with other customers and your service agents?

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You have probably read about Nortel's Software Communications System 500 (SCS500), a Unified Communications (UC) SIP-centric software solution for SMB (30-500 users), and that our go to market includes IBM and Dell.

What you may not know is that the SCS500 is based on open source from SIPfoundry, and blends the best of both the open source framework and Nortel's experience and expertise in voice, data, multimedia and unified communications. Why did we choose sipXecs from SIPfoundry as the basis for SCS500?

Four primary reasons:

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Cisco Motion Sickness

June 10, 2008 7:22 AM | 2 Comments

Sorry for the word choice, but Cisco Motion vision marketing can make you dizzy;)

The marketing folks at Cisco have been busy creating a mobility vision, in response to real enterprise challenges of Hyperconnectivity. The formula is all too familiar. Identify all the right user challenges... Spin a vision story around a not-so-exciting product announcement....

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Nortel is now talking about over 800 wins with Microsoft, with our suite of unified communications solutions and professional services. There are actually ten different solutions being delivered today, including our Converged Office, which integrates the Nortel IP PBX with LCS/OCS.

One of these customers is the Integrys Energy Group, headquartered in Chicago. I had an interesting lunch with Craig M. of Integrys at our User Conference in Dallas earlier this week.

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"Another factor (in our decision to go with Nortel data) included costs savings on electrical consumption alone. This, combined with ease of configuration, time tested resiliency capabilities, and absence of code security issues commonly found in other vendor products provided a compelling case for making a switch from the University's incumbent vendor." That comes from Michael Firsdon, Network Engineering team lead at the University of Toledo (Ohio).

In fact the savings are no small change: $1.5M over 5 years, a number referenced by Joel Hackney at his keynote at Nortel user conference.

Customers are getting the facts on Nortel vs Cisco solutions, a key tool being the Nortel Energy Efficiency Calculator.

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SSA on the road to transformation

June 4, 2008 8:59 AM

Tom Hughes, CIO of SSA, had a keynote at the Nortel User Conference, on his perspectives on VoIP and UC. SSA recently signed the largest single VoIP contract valued at $300M, across 64000 employees, 1600 field offices, and a massive contact center; all over 10 years. Tom sees this as putting SSA on the road to UC, a transformational opportunity.

When asked what his big challenges are, he responded: security and helping execs understand the business benefits of UC.

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Every year, Nortel’s User Group recognizes enterprises that demonstrate the most resourceful uses of developing technologies or service deployment strategies. For Sustained Excellence award went to Orlando Regional Health (yesterday’s blog tells you why).

This year the award for Enterprise Transformation for a company with over 1000 employees went to Barclays Bank, who are driving £200M in savings and efficiencies through their Contact Centre Transformation Program

Barclays has worked with Nortel to link 45 worldwide contact center locations. Substantial integration to Barclays own desktop screen pop applications and back end banking systems and workflow systems was also achieved.

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Unified Business Brought to Life

June 3, 2008 12:36 AM

I’m at the Nortel User Conference, a large international event in Dallas that stretches over 5 days.

The opening keynote was by Joel Hackney, the President of Nortel’s Enterprise division. He commented that it’s not really about Unified Communications, but about “Unified Business”. In his mind, that’s where the value prop lies.

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1. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
2. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don ' t have e-mail addresses.
3. Leaving the house without your cell phone is now a cause for panic.

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If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times….”Hyperconnectivity is a megatrend whereby everyone and everything that can benefit from being connected to the network will be connected.”

And that includes enterprises themselves!

After all, every enterprise has suppliers, customers, and partners, who are all part of an expanding ecosystem Increasingly, work will be performed wherever it can be most cost effectively done, with much less regard to the organization of the doer (employee, partner, contractor, open source contributor, whoever). This is very different than the vertically integrated industries of the last century.

What will help make this happen? One word: FEDERATIONS.

Federations are all about extending trust across domains.

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