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3/17/2008
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VoiceCon: Nortel Adds Mobility To Unified Communications Mix

Networking vendor says a richer interplay of desktop phones, PCs, and mobile handsets will improve efficiency and decision making.

New communications server software from Nortel lets enterprises extend VoIP and unified communications features to cell phones and smartphones, improving decision making and productivity, the vendor said Monday at the VoiceCon tradeshow in Orlando, Fla.

Nortel's mobile unified communications solutions are embedded in Communication Server 1000 IP PBX 5.5, available in April, and the new Mobile Communication 3100 2.0, a fixed-mobile convergence system for enterprises that's available now. The vendor also unveiled IP Softphone 2050 3.0 for laptop PCs and a new high-capacity SIP DECT system for outside the United States.

Businesspeople use about six different communication devices and almost as many applications on those devices, but that's not helping people connect any more easily, Nortel said. By adding mobility to the unified communications mix, workers can eliminate wasted time and the frustration of managing multiple phone numbers and voice-mail boxes, the company said.

Now, mobile workers get access to the same voice calling features as the corporate network, like dialing by extension, conferencing, and call transferring. Nortel has also added single phone number and voice mail across multiple devices (desk phone, PC, and mobile). As with instant messaging, a presence indicator lets colleagues know an individual's availability and online status. A handoff key allows users to transfer calls from their mobile to their desktop phones.

Unified communications can help reduce mobile communications costs by up to 30% through more efficient handling of mobile calls using corporate dial plans, the vendor said.

Call completion rates increase anywhere from 30% to 50% with mobility and unified messaging, said Brent Kelly, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. "Companies can also trade savings from mobile phone charges for an increased spend in Wi-Fi networks, dual-mode phones, customer-based equipment, or licenses to support a mobile unified communications deployment," he added.

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