Recently in Unified Communications Category

Shell: Cash on the OCS Telephony Barrel

October 24, 2008 7:48 AM

At his VoiceCon keynote in Amsterdam earlier in the month (Amsterdam), Royal Dutch Shell's Group IT Architect Johan Krebbers positioned UC (built on OCS) as a key element of Shell's global collaboration strategy (80% of teams in Shell are global!), tightly linked with their information sharing strategy and built around a single user experience.

He also stated that OCS was Shell's voice platform of the future, stressing that even today, the OCS feature set is adequate for many employees, many of whom are mobile and comfortable with soft phones.

Traditional PBX vendors should be worried by Microsoft's entry in the PBX market.

But Nortel is not among these.

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Nortel Embraces OCS 2007 Telephony

October 16, 2008 7:06 AM

The recent OCS 2007 R2 announcement by Microsoft highlights the growing set of telephony feature provided by OCS.

This includes for example,
> Attendant console and delegation
> SIP CO trunking
> "Response group", providing a simple-to-use basic engine for call treatment, routing and queuing, and
> Single-number reachability to mobile devices such as Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms.

So what is Nortel's response to user interest in OCS telephony, particularly for mobile and nomadic users?

Nortel is actively working with Microsoft, and our customers, to demonstrate the value of OCS, including its telephony features.

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Contact Centers As Precursors of UC

October 10, 2008 8:05 AM

I recently attended a Nortel Contact Center Customer Advisory Council, involving a number of leading edge customers.

This included companies from a diverse set of verticals: for example, a healthcare provider, a pharmaceutical, a retail bank, a global semiconductor tools vendor, an SI, a retailer, a food services firm. These folks get UC, because they have been doing it for years.

Why do I say this?

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Nortel's Business Communications Manager UC portfolio (including the just announced BCM 450) has been rated #1 by Dell'Oro.

Let me look under the UC covers as to how unified communications plays in the small medium business (SMB) market?

It certainly plays in companies that are communications intensive (e.g. real estate offices), have a high proportion of information or knowledge workers (professional offices), or are highly mobile (real estate agencies).

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Un-unified Communications From Cisco

October 1, 2008 11:14 PM | 1 Comment

Cisco UC box2-small.jpg

....and, given a chance, they'll box you in too!

UC without effective presence and IM is like telephony without dial-tone.

So here we have Cisco spending your contributions (remember the Cisco Energy Tax) to acquire Jabber to give them IM for their un-unified UC story. Does this result in a 41st server to deliver UC?

UC has to unify both the end user experience AND the underlying infrastructure, and I don't see Jabber moving Cisco towards the latter objective.

UC: You Can Be Booked

September 8, 2008 11:02 AM

If UC is in your future, you may be interested in this book and associated certification program.

It is targeted at IT professionals and decision makers in organizations considering UC deployments. It focuses on how UC deployments must be designed from a business process perspective, rather than as driven from a technology perspective.

The information provided is generic and applies to whatever supplier you have or are considering

You can review the first three chapters on-line, including a Forward by Nora Freedman of IDC.

If you go down the UC certification path, you will tangibly show increased value as an IT professional.

With its recent acquisition of PostPath, a maker of e-mail and calendaring software, the word on the street is that Cisco is positioning to strike at Microsoft's Exchange crown jewels.

This is not inconsequential for "Microsoft shops' looking for UC solutions.

Cisco has been telling enterprises to buy their UC now, and that interoperability with Exchange/OCS environments will come later.

The relationship between Cisco and Microsoft is already pretty precarious on the UC front with competing UC solutions.

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First, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, then the London 2012 Olympics chose Nortel technology.

One ... and then two golds.

Then General Motors Place in Vancouver, the home of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, decided to go with Nortel to deliver a UC experience to their fans.

That's a hat trick.

Now the New York Mets baseball club is loading up the bases in their new 42000-seat Citi Field stadium with Nortel technology , making it a technology showpiece.

That's a grand slam for Nortel and our customers.

If you're like me, the people with whom you work are all over the place. So how do you get the job done? You have some traditional tools: phone calls, email, audio and video conferencing, web presentation tools. You have new tools such as Unified Communications and telepresence if you're lucky enough and the people are in the right place.

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