Technology news in brief

Short takes on the week's technology news

BT finalises suppliers on 21st Century Network

BT has signed contracts with the remaining four preferred suppliers for its next generation 21st Century Network programme, an IP network for running flexible telecoms. Network hardware contracts have been signed with Alcatel, Cisco, Ericsson and Fujitsu. These deals follow contracts signed last December with Ciena, Huawei, Lucent and Siemens.

Cisco extends Sona offering with MS apps

Cisco has extended its Service-Oriented Network Architecture with a suite of voice, data and video products and applications, supported by Microsoft. The Cisco Unified Communications system is designed to help users integrate communications systems with IT infrastructure. Microsoft is integrating Office Communicator 2005with Cisco Unified Communications system, which the companies said would help businesses build simple, flexible real-time collaboration systems.

Salesforce.com offers outage info online

Salesforce.com has launched a website to inform users about outages on its hosted on-demand customer relationship management system. Users called for more timely information after recent outages. The Trust.salesforce.com website logs all outages, ranging from those lasting a few minutes to the most serious ones that last more than 30 minutes.

IT managers to assess convergence in 2006

Almost 60% of IT managers will consider reviewing existing systems in order to move to a converged voice and data network this year, research from Vanson Bourne has found. The survey of 3,000 IT managers sponsored by Zycko found that 73% of respondents would be prompted to review their systems to cut costs. However 57% of financial services companies said voice and data convergence, rather than cost cutting, was the most important reason for rethinking their voice and data strategies in 2006.

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