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Nortel Targets SMBs With VoIP, Converged Network Appliance

Nortel Networks Ltd. has unveiled a new member of its Business Communications Manager (BCM) family of converged voice and data network appliances aimed at small offices with as few as three employees, but can scale to serve more than 40.

BCM 50 is designed to provide small businesses and branch offices with the advantages of converged communications services over IP networks. One of the main benefits, according to Nortel, is that by converging voice and data onto a single network stream, the device can help to substantially reduce operational costs. Moreover, the BCM 50 supports a wide range of digital and IP telephones, allowing companies to gradually phase in new technology and migrate to a total voice over IP system incrementally.

Available in a small form-factor that Nortel describes as "about the size of a package of printer paper," the device comes pre-loaded with a wide assortment of call management applications and supports unified messaging and third-party computer-telephony integration (CTI) software. It features four 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connections on the backplane, one designed specifically to support converged local area network connections, and a RJ-41 jack for up to four analog trunks or 12 digital stations.

Centrally administered through Nortel's Network Configuration Manager software, the BCM 50 can be quickly and easily deployed. In fact, according to Nortel, the Configuration Manager can manage a constellation of thousands of BCM systems of various models throughout the network.

"With the addition of BCM 50 to our award-winning BCM portfolio, Nortel now offers the broadest range of IP telephony products in the market," Nortel president, Enterprise Networks, Malcolm Collins said in a statement. "Nortel is developing more innovative solutions like the BCM 50 to help the small business sector ignite global commerce and enhance the business experience through communications."