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Nortel Networks, Polycom team up to promote SIP-based video solution

  • 18 May, 2004 09:18

<p>Sydney, Australia - (May 18, 2004) Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSX: NT) and Polycom* [NASDAQ:PLCM] have announced the companies will team up to promote to enterprises a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-based, rich video conferencing solution for next-generation IP (Internet Protocol) broadband networks.</p>
<p>The companies intend to offer a comprehensive, SIP-based solution for multipoint video communication services across multimedia desktop and group conferencing systems to the network core. The Polycom offering is in addition to the multipoint conferencing services currently enabled by Nortel Networks multimedia communications solutions.</p>
<p>Nortel Networks and Polycom's SIP-based solution allows heterogeneous enterprises to leverage existing network investments with the latest technology in a 'real world' environment that mixes H.323 and SIP protocols. With the seamless integration of real-time communications - including SIP-based video telephony, presence and instant messaging - enterprises can address the challenge of connecting personal desktop and mobile systems with conference rooms and the core telecommunications network.</p>
<p>"The Nortel Networks-Polycom relationship is a prime example of bringing next generation collaboration solutions to market, and enterprises are beginning to catch on to the ways in which collaborative technologies can dramatically improve the bottom line," said Johna Till Johnson, president, Nemertes Research, a research firm that specialises in analysing the business value of emerging technology. "Collaboration is changing the way business is done. We expect SIP-based video conferencing to be standard in the majority of companies within three years."</p>
<p>According to a recent Nemertes Research benchmark, increased employee productivity is the top reason to deploy collaboration tools, cited by 42 percent of IT executives as a business driver. Other critical business drivers include quicker communications, speeding time-to-market, cost savings and increased sales.</p>
<p>This new endeavour will build on a long-standing relationship between Polycom and Nortel Networks, and provides further evidence of the importance both companies place in integrating voice and video devices and services to create a seamless user experience and simplify deployment and management. Nortel Networks and Polycom have executed an interim Letter of Agreement (LOA) covering the initial terms of the arrangement. The parties expect to replace this LOA with a long-term agreement within the next few months.</p>
<p>"We are always looking for ways we can help our customers meet their business needs through deployment of converged network solutions," said Malcolm Collins, president, Enterprise Networks, Nortel Networks. "The new services resulting from our relationship with Polycom will allow enterprise customers to reach new levels of productivity while providing a platform for many new and innovative applications in the future. By teaming with Polycom, we can offer our customers another way to increase productivity with highly innovative communications applications."</p>
<p>SIP, the next-generation IP protocol, is expected to generate a new set of rich media, real-time collaborative devices, applications and services with a view toward increased productivity and improvement of an organisation's ability to compete. SIP is a communication protocol ideal for all media types and devices, as well as instant messaging and presence-based applications and services. The potential of SIP lies in its ability to converge protocols and transport layers, merging previously disparate infrastructure silos for multimedia conferencing, telecommunications, Web services, wireless environments and collaboration.</p>
<p>"Polycom's success and the success of the collaborative communication industry depend on our ability to give customers what they need and demand - a way to leverage their current investments and seamlessly integrate our solutions into a converged communications platform," said Hans Schwarz, senior vice president and chief systems architect, Polycom. "Working with Nortel Networks will enable us to meet this requirement and leverage the tremendous capabilities of the Nortel Networks enterprise offerings."</p>
<p>Nortel Networks and Polycom will develop fully-interoperable multipoint video capabilities that will enable Polycom systems to take advantage of Nortel Networks multimedia features like voice call processing, forward, transfer, hold, presence and instant messaging. In addition, the companies are drafting and sponsoring SIP-based video standards in the Internet Engineering Task Force and the International Telecommunications Union.</p>
<p>Nortel Networks Multimedia Communications Portfolio, including Nortel Networks Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) 5200 and 5100, delivers advanced multimedia and collaborative applications through the same commercially available hardware and open-standards software. This portfolio delivers the scale and functionality necessary for both enterprises and service providers to address their target market segments.</p>
<p>It transforms the way users communicate by enabling next generation tools that improve productivity and facilitate ubiquitous access to communications services.</p>
<p>About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. is the world's technology leader of high-quality, easy-to-use video, voice, data and web conferencing and collaboration solutions. The Polycom Office is our continued commitment to make distance communications as natural and interactive as being there by providing best-in-class conferencing solutions that are interoperable, integrated and intuitive to the user. The Polycom Office is based on industry standards and supported by an open architecture that promotes interoperability in multi-vendor environments and complements leading network infrastructure platforms. The NASDAQ-listed company is based in Pleasanton, California, USA, and has Asia-Pacific offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. For additional information, visit the Polycom site at</p>
<p>Note: William Owens, named CEO of Nortel Networks on 28 April 2004, was formerly on the board of directors of Polycom, Inc.</p>
<p>About Nortel Networks
Nortel Networks is an industry leader and innovator focused on transforming how the world communicates and exchanges information. The Company is supplying its service provider and enterprise customers with communications technology and infrastructure to enable value-added IP data, voice and multimedia services spanning Wireless Networks, Wireline Networks, Enterprise Networks, and Optical Networks. As a global company, Nortel Networks does business in more than 150 countries. More information about Nortel Networks can be found on the Web at or</p>

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