Nortel joins forces with Microsoft to slash video conferencing bills

Nortel has joined forces with Microsoft to offer firms an in-house audio and video conferencing platform that is designed to cut external conferencing bills.

Nortel has joined forces with Microsoft to offer firms an in-house audio and video conferencing platform that is designed to cut external conferencing bills.

By giving every employee access to their own always-open desktop conference room, workers can quickly connect with anyone, anywhere in the world without the hassle of making a reservation, said Nortel.

Multimedia Conferencing 5.0, the newest product in Nortel's Unified Communications portfolio, cuts costs dramatically by eliminating third-party conference operator fees. With Nortel's latest system, companies can expect full payback in as few as six to 24 months, said the network supplier.

"Customers have told us that pressures to improve business performance and reduce travel costs are forcing more and more employees to meet virtually - the challenge is to do it without breaking the bank," said Dave Murashige, general manager for Multimedia Applications at Nortel.

"With Multimedia Conferencing 5.0, businesses get a low-cost software-based system that stems the pain of pay-as-you-go collaboration."

Multimedia Conferencing 5.0 is fully integrated with Nortel's flagship Communication Server 1000 as well as Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005 and Office Communicator 2005 systems.

The Nortel and Microsoft integration provides a single desktop environment for instant messaging, presence, audio/video conferencing and desktop communication.

Integration with Microsoft's Office Communications Server 2007 is expected in the first quarter of 2008.

The integration of Multimedia Conferencing 5.0 is the latest component of the Nortel and Microsoft Innovative Communications Alliance.

In October, Nortel unveiled plans to be first-to-market with the industry's broadest portfolio of Unified Communications solutions and applications built around Microsoft's new Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007.

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