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. The road map is the result of an alliance between Microsoft and Nortel announced in July 2006, and includes three new joint solutions to dramatically improve business communications by breaking down the barriers between voice, e-mail, instant messaging, multimedia conferencing and other forms of communication.
Speaking at an event at Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center to more than 100 customers along with reporters and analysts, Ballmer and Zafirovski outlined how companies can improve employee productivity and effectiveness and reduce the costs and complexity of communications. They also announced 11 new implementation services from Nortel and the opening of more than 20 joint demonstration centers where customers can experience the technology firsthand.
In just six months since the alliance was formed, the two companies have signed agreements with dozens of customers, and have developed a pipeline of hundreds of prospects who want to realize the benefits of unified communications.
“We are executing forcefully on the vision of this alliance and have made tremendous progress,” Zafirovski said. “We completed the planning stages and are now delivering unified communications solutions to businesses around the world. Our goal is to close the gap between the devices we use to communicate and the business applications we use to run our businesses, giving employees the power to use information more quickly and effectively.”
“The average employee gets more than 50 messages every day1 on up to seven different devices or applications,” Ballmer added. “Software can and will help address the ongoing challenge of managing communications and this challenge is the driving idea behind our alliance with Nortel. Together, we will evolve VoIP and unified communications to integrate all the ways we contact each other in a simple environment, using a single identity across phones, PCs and other devices.”