Microsoft and Canadian telecoms firm Nortel have announced a four-year strategic alliance to develop unified communications.
The two companies are aiming to break down the barriers between e-mail, instant messaging, telephony and other communications technologies in a move they believe could generate $1bn in new revenue.
The alliance is targeting the replacement of traditional business phone systems with software, using a Microsoft unified communications platform and Nortel products to provide advanced telephony.
Nortel will become Microsoft’s strategic partner for advanced unified communications solutions and systems integration. The company's solutions will include enterprise contact centre applications, mission-critical telephony functions, advanced mobility capabilities and data networking infrastructure.
The two companies will create joint product development teams, cross-license their intellectual property and deploy each other’s technologies in their enterprise networks.
They will also form the Innovative Communications Alliance as a market vehicle.
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said the team-up was sparked by the communications industry reaching “an inflection point”.
He added, “We will have deep collaboration in product development with Nortel, allowing us to rapidly deliver high-quality, highly reliable solutions that will support mission-critical communications.”
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