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July 18, 2006

Microsoft and Nortel ally for unified communications

Posted by David Hunter at 11:44 AM ET.


Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday said it has set a communications alliance with Canada’s Nortel Networks Corp. the latest step in Microsoft’s drive to promote software as a way to simplify how workers communicate.

Nortel said it expects to reap more than $1 billion in new revenue over the life of the four-year pact, under which the companies will shift traditional business phone systems into software, allowing customers to cut costs.

“We believe we can capture well beyond $1 billion in new revenue, ramping up with increased momentum through 2009 via professional services, voice products and applications, as well as data pull-through in the enterprise,” Nortel chief executive Mike Zafirovski said in a statement.

Nortel (which is overcoming some recent troubles) has its fingers in a number of telecom pies, but traditionally has been a provider of business telephone systems. This is likely a win-win for both players as Nortel gets a leg up on new technologies and Microsoft gets an entry to the business phone system market. I would observe that Nortel also collaborates with other companies like IBM in other technical areas. The press release has more details on the four year agreement.

Update: John Dvorak has a more skeptical view:

Part of the lure here seems to be Microsoft’s much touted “Unified communications platform.” This is yet another one of those half-baked Microsoft sounds-good-on-paper-fix-all-problems ideas that eventually drifts off into an obscure nook, sputtering. Nobody is even sure what it is — as usual.

Let’s be honest here: Insofar as communications is concerned, specifically, Microsoft is a laggard and Nortel is too. Two laggards do not make a juggernaut.

Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Microsoft, Nortel

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2 Responses to “Microsoft and Nortel ally for unified communications”

  1. Deals, deals, deals -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Leaving broken Hollywood dreams behind for the mundane technical variety, if Microsoft did a big unified communications deal with Nortel why are they demoing with Mitel? [...]

  2. Microsoft and Nortel report on their Unified Communications alliance -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] When companies announce an alliance like Microsoft and Nortel did last July, it’s always a bit of a toss-up as to whether anything substantive will result. Last week the CEOs of Microsoft and Nortel jointly delivered a report that everything was moving along fine and to expect the first products of the alliance later this year: Today, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer and Nortel CEO and President Mike Zafirovski announced a joint road map to deliver their shared vision for unified communications. … Delivering on the vision they outlined in July, Microsoft and Nortel today introduced three new solutions: [...]

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