Australian organizations are embracing unifed communications with two new customers this week signing up for Nortel and Microsoft's joint product offering.
The two companies have been involved in an Australia wide roadshow showcasing their jointly developed products that tie together Nortel's IP telephony technology with Microsoft software.
The vendors have also opened their first Asian unified communications collaboration centre in Australia.
Presenting at the roadshow, financial services group Austock gave an overview of the new integrated communications network across the company's Sydney and Melbourne offices using Microsoft's Live Communications Server and Office Communicator software alongside Nortel's Communication Server IP PBX.
Victorian water utility Wannon Water was also featured in a video testimonial on its new unified communications network, which creates a single collaboration environment for more than 200 staff across a dozen operational centres.
Every Nortel office in Australia and New Zealand has now been equipped with an alliance demo centre, joining demo centres at Microsoft sites in Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland.
Nortel's A/NZ president, Mark Stevens, said simplifying the way people connect with each other in the workplace is the overarching goal of the alliance.
"Since announcing the alliance in 2006 we've been working closely with Microsoft behind the scenes on staff and partner training, product familiarisation and strategic planning sessions," Stevens said.
"This has given us a framework to showcase real-world examples of our solutions through numerous demo centres, resulting in a number of new customer wins over the past few months."
While customers can get hands-on demonstrations of alliance solutions at the demo centres, the planned collaboration centre will be able to replicate an individual customer's operational environment.
Certified Nortel and Microsoft staff will then be available to workshop the design, implementation and deployment process to show the impact of the technology on the business.
Microsoft A/NZ managing director, Tracey Fellows, said as businesses become more interconnected, they face the challenge of empowering their people to collaborate and communicate more effectively across disparate locations and time zones.
"By integrating communication methods such as e-mail, conferencing, instant messenger, video and voice, Microsoft and Nortel are providing a unified platform that will enable individuals, teams and organisations to realise significant productivity benefits," Fellows said.
The final roadshow will be held on May 22 and will continue in New Zealand throughout June.
For the enterprise, unified communications is the next step in creating a more efficient, 'always on' business environment.
It means migrating from traditional communications to convergence, and finally unified comms, the tech ideal that takes collaboration to the next level.