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Microsoft and Nortel Tighten Unified Communications Ties

Microsoft and Nortel have made big news of their partnership, but product has been slow in coming. The relationship was announced in July 2006 with great fanfare, but no product. At the August VoiceCon, the two announced that the Nortel CS1000 had been integrated with Microsoft's Live Communications Server in an offering labeled the "Converged Office." In mid-January, the vendors shared more of their road map: Sometime in second quarter they would ship a unified messaging product that integrated the Nortel CS1000 and Microsoft's Exchange Server 2007, plus a branch-office box called the UC Integrated Branch, which would not be available until fourth quarter. This latest announcement discusses a carrier-based solution starting field trials the last half of this year. The two vendors have shared lots of visions and plans, but if they want customers to buy products they need to get off the road map and onto the road.
Frank Bulk
NWC Contributing Editor

Microsoft and Nortel Networks are closing ranks around unified communications with new details this week about plans to build on their existing alliance to create new carrier-class solutions delivering managed services for corporate customers.

The vendors said they are working together to develop hosted, IP-based services that will support a variety of collaborative applications, including e-mail, videoconferencing and IM.

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