Nortel has unveiled what it calls a “comprehensive communicationsenablement strategy” to link unified communications (UC) with businessprocess, using so-called “Service- Oriented Architecture” (SOA) and WebServices technologies. It’s also jumped into bed with IBM, whoseWebSphere Application Server will be the first software integrated intoNortel’s planned solution foundation environment.
“In the near future, every application and business process that shouldhave built-in communications capabilities will, said Nortel EnterpriseSolutions President Joel Hackney. “Nortel is eliminating today’scomplexity to make these communication-enabled applications a realityby integrating presence, location, identity, conferencing, and othercommunication and network capabilities within the Nortel portfolio intobusiness process.”
In plain terms what Nortel is doing is adding features such asclick-to-connect, presence, location and Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) to business applications. It said that it is targeting bothenterprise and carrier customers with the new SOA-based strategy.
To do that Nortel is developing is a tool kit to integrate the advancedcommunications services into business applications. Nortel said itsplan is to make several existing products available as a Web Service -existing softswitches and SIP application servers – as well as tointroduce a new generation of products and solutions that are builtspecifically to meet the needs of SOA-based environments. In additionNortel said it is developing a software-based foundation environmentthat enables network engaged applications (or services) across amulti-vendor communications infrastructure. That environment, it said,should be ready for market in the first quarter of next year.
The environment, Nortel continue, will orchestrate real-time servicesin a multi-vendor infrastructure environment across multiple domains(enterprise, carrier, wireless and wired) and allowcommunications-enabled applications to be rapidly created andintegrated to customers’ business processes.
“Existing vendor communications enablement approaches, even if basedloosely on SOA, include network-centric approaches or are narrowlyfocused platforms that only work with the vendor’s own products or arerestricted to individual domains like the enterprise,” said RichardTworek, Nortel’s general manager for SOA and Next Generation Platforms.
Nortel said that IBM is its first partner in the new SOA-basedstrategy, indicating it plans a “multi-partner approach to this market.
Under the deal IBM and Nortel will market communications-enabledsolutions comprised of services, the Nortel software based foundationenvironment, IBM software and services and multiple hardware platformsincluding IBM BladeCenter and System x servers. Nortel and IBM saidthat they are initially targeting companies in the healthcare andretail markets.
As part of the deal the Nortel software-based foundation environmentwill be integrated with IBM’s unified communications and collaborationplatform, Lotus Sametime, the two said.