Nortel is to introduce a series of software upgrades and new voice switches and phones that incorporate the Session Initiation Protocol standard.
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With so many workers now assigned to jobs outside of corporate headquarters, the demand for efficient and secure communications is greater than ever, said Clent Richardson, vice-president of global marketing at Nortel.
The company plans to use SIP to support virtual enterprises, he said.
Among the new offerings is release 4.0 of its Communications Server 1000 voice switch, which was previously called the Succession 1000.
The CS 1000 upgrade will integrate the product's IP voice-switching capabilities with SIP-based voice, data and video applications supported by Nortel's Multimedia Communications Server 5100, Richardson said.
The MCS 5100 is being upgraded to a Release 3.0 that offers combined support for voice processing, call management, desktop video calling, and collaboration tools such as instant messaging software and web-based applications for sharing documents in real time.
Nortel also will announce a variety of other hardware and software products, including a new Communications Server 2100 voice switch that supports SIP and is designed for very large companies.
Franklin W Olin College of Engineering will upgrade to MCS 5100 3.0 next month and plans to add CS 1000 4.0 over the Christmas break or next summer to take advantage of the SIP interoperability, said its chief information officer, Joanne Kossuth.
The increased support for SIP should make it "as easy as possible" for end-users to connect to the school's network and reduce development demands as the college considers adding applications, Kossuth said.
She added that the upgraded MCS 5100 will also provide a single point of presence for end-user access to instant messaging tools.
The 225-student college has invested more than $2.5m (£1.39m) in data and voice communications products from Nortel, according to Kossuth.
Matt Hamblen writes for Computerworld