Had a really good meeting with the Nortel Carrier team on Wednesday – I’ve not really had a chance to write it up and post before now. The meeting was held to discuss their SIP/multimedia product roadmap. The Nortel Enterprise Division has been making a lot of noise in the multimedia/Unified Comms space (SCS500 – I’ll write a piece on it soon) but I had been afraid that the Carrier side had sold its soul to Microsoft.
This turns out not to be the case. The Nortel AS5200 platform, which is the SIP platform used by Timico, has been adopted by a number of major Tier 1 operators and is benefiting from what seems to be a large amount of attention and investment. This to me is a very sensible thing for Nortel to do as the 5200 represents a leading edge platform for them – one which is streets ahead of any competition in the hosted VoIP/Unified Comms space.
Timico has been selling services on the back of the 5200 for 2 – 3 years. We are talking hosted VoIP, video, IM, presence, collaboration – perfect for small offices and homeworkers. The Nortel developments look to be adding more PBX type features that fill in some holes in the 5200’s repertoire. Whats more it seems to me that this switch is moving in the direction of becoming Nortel’s main carrier play. After all the CS2k, which gives Nortel its huge lead in the market, is a platform designed to emulate legacy services but in a much cheaper way than its DMS 100 TDM swich.
What’s more, new features such as federated presence, FMC, links to external directories and better support for SIP Trunks will keep Nortel at the forefront of the business communications space and allow tight integration with its Enterprise products – something that we haven’t seen before.
This is reinforced by the movement of Enterprise staff to the Carrier to aid the process.
Lastly but by no means least Nortel is moving the 5200 to Linux which will have a huge impact on the cost of rolling out and supporting 5200 based services and which I whole heartedly welcome.
I look forward to growing our Nortel relationship.