Nortel outlines new strategy for unified data communications

Nortel Networks will add two new devices in its product line and upgrade a third in an effort to solve what it calls the “hyperconnectivity” that’s fuelling large increases in bandwidth demands in organizations.

At Interop in Las Vegas this week the company announced an upcoming router and an application accelerator as it detailed out what it calls its Business Optimized Networking Strategy for enterprise-sized companies.

“With this new strategy our partners will have the tools and products to be able to provide (unified communications) solutions to customers,” Mike Segura, Nortel’s director of converged data networking marketing programs, said in an interview.

The strategy has what Nortel calls five building blocks channel partners can use to create a data and voice network that sustains an organization’s communications.

“There will be a staggering amount of loads on existing enterprise networks” as users not only stream data but voice and video through their desktops, laptops and handheld devices, he said.

As a result Nortel has re-thought how to build applications and networks to support the demand and fit its existing products into the framework. The framework will also guide the company in creating new products.

The so-called building blocks are:

converge the core through the use of IP/Ethernet-based devices. Products include Nortel’s Ethernet Routing Switch 2500 and 4500 announced in March at the Spring VoiceCon;

extend the enterprise to branch offices through units like the Secure Router 4134, announced this week, which integrates routing, WAN, L3 switching, security and VoIP. It helps reduce organization’s costs by cutting the number of network devices in remote offices, Segura said.

It’s also the first device that comes from Nortel’s alliance with Microsoft, announced last July, that use the software company’s mediation technology to work with applications like Microsoft SharePoint.

The unit, which starts at $13,493, will be available for sale in the late summer.

mobilize staff by giving them wireless access to data. The upcoming release 6.0 of Nortel’s Wireless LAN 2300 line, said to reduce jitter by up to 90 per cent, will be of help here, said Segura.

accelerate online applications to help productivity. Nortel’s entries in this field are the new Application Accelerator models 510 and 610, available now, which Segura said will improved response time of Web-based applications. The device can be optimized for IBM WebSphere Portal, and Microsoft’s Outlook Web Access and SharePoint Portal Server.

The 510 costs $18,995, while the 610 costs $29,995. Both need an additional $9,995 licence to get Web acceleration.

manage and secure the network through layered security products and services.

To help channel partners, Nortel will extend the marketing program announced at VoiceCon to include quoting tools to help VARs and solution providers assemble an IP telephony package for customers, Segura said.

The company will also help select partners to ensure they are successful in applying the strategy.

“It’s not about piling on new network layers,” company CEO Mike Zafirovski said in a news release in describing the strategy, “it’s about conserving legacy investments and powering new applications with simple solutions that bring new levels of consolidation, virtualization and more.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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