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Nortel Networks, Polycom team up

Multipoint Video Communication Services (June 25, 2004)

Nortel Networks and Polycomhave announced the companies will team up to promote to enterprises a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-based, rich video conferencing solution for next-generation IP (Internet Protocol) broadband networks.

The companies intend to offer a comprehensive, SIP-based solution for multipoint video communication services across multimedia desktop and group conferencing systems to the network core. The Polycom offering is in addition to the multipoint conferencing services currently enabled by Nortel Networks multimedia communications solutions.

Nortel Networks and Polycom's SIP-based solution allows heterogeneous enterprises to leverage existing network investments with the latest technology in a 'real world' environment that mixes H.323 and SIP protocols. With the seamless integration of real-time communications - including SIP-based video telephony, presence and instant messaging - enterprises can address the challenge of connecting personal desktop and mobile systems with conference rooms and the core telecommunications network.

According to a recent Nemertes Research benchmark, increased employee productivity is the top reason to deploy collaboration tools, cited by 42 percent of IT executives as a business driver. Other critical business drivers include quicker communications, speeding time-to-market, cost savings and increased sales.


This new endeavour will build on a long-standing relationship between Polycom and Nortel Networks, and provides further evidence of the importance both companies place in integrating voice and video devices and services to create a seamless user experience and simplify deployment and management. Nortel Networks and Polycom have executed an interim Letter of Agreement (LOA) covering the initial terms of the arrangement. The parties expect to replace this LOA with a long-term agreement within the next few months.

"We are always looking for ways we can help our customers meet their business needs through deployment of converged network solutions," said Malcolm Collins, president, Enterprise Networks, Nortel Networks. "The new services resulting from our relationship with Polycom will allow enterprise customers to reach new levels of productivity while providing a platform for many new and innovative applications in the future. By teaming with Polycom, we can offer our customers another way to increase productivity with highly innovative communications applications."

SIP, the next-generation IP protocol, is expected to generate a new set of rich media, real-time collaborative devices, applications and services with a view toward increased productivity and improvement of an organisation's ability to compete. SIP is a communication protocol ideal for all media types and devices, as well as instant messaging and presence-based applications and services. The potential of SIP lies in its ability to converge protocols and transport layers, merging previously disparate infrastructure silos for multimedia conferencing, telecommunications, Web services, wireless environments and collaboration.

"Polycom's success and the success of the collaborative communication industry depend on our ability to give customers what they need and demand - a way to leverage their current investments and seamlessly integrate our solutions into a converged communications platform," said Hans Schwarz, senior vice president and chief systems architect, Polycom. "Working with Nortel Networks will enable us to meet this requirement and leverage the tremendous capabilities of the Nortel Networks enterprise offerings."

Nortel Networks and Polycom will develop fully-interoperable multipoint video capabilities that will enable Polycom systems to take advantage of Nortel Networks multimedia features like voice call processing, forward, transfer, hold, presence and instant messaging. In addition, the companies are drafting and sponsoring SIP-based video standards in the Internet Engineering Task Force and the International Telecommunications Union.

Nortel Networks Multimedia Communications Portfolio, including Nortel Networks Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) 5200 and 5100, delivers advanced multimedia and collaborative applications through the same commercially available hardware and open-standards software. This portfolio delivers the scale and functionality necessary for both enterprises and service providers to address their target market segments.

It transforms the way users communicate by enabling next generation tools that improve productivity and facilitate ubiquitous access to communications services.

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Related Keywords:Nortel, Polycom, SIP, video conferencing


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