Nortel Introduces Affordable, Sophisticated Communications Solutions For Small And Medium Businesses

By | June 12, 2006

Nortel today announced a new portfolio of voice, data and wireless products designed to help small and medium businesses (SMB) boost employee productivity and satisfaction, streamline business operations and costs, and deliver superior customer service.

For nearly 20 years, Nortel has provided voice communication solutions to more than 15 million small and medium business employees in more than 80 countries, and its award-winning Business Communication Manager (BCM) 50 sold more than 22,000 units globally during its first year of availability. Nortel is replicating that success with the expansion of its SMB portfolio and is increasing focus on programs, training and tools to support channel partners and to ultimately drive revenue in this critical, growing market segment.

Nortel’s expanded SMB portfolio brings the power of wireless LAN, Ethernet switching, security and converged voice and data to the SMB market. The portfolio will be available in August 2006 and consists of four new products that address unique requirements, challenges and budgets of smaller businesses. The new SMB portfolio also includes enhancements to Nortel’s BCM.

“We began to realize the power of communications technology last year when we installed Nortel’s BCM. It delivers big-system features and capabilities at affordable, small business owner pricing—giving us both big-company technology and small-company personal touch,” said Jim Pears, president, Metro Dodge Chrysler Jeep. “We are now using a complete SMB system from Nortel to deliver a superior service experience for our customers. We´re able to provide customers with IP phones and a wireless hotspot in the service waiting area and our service manager is never out of reach with his PDA and soft phone.”

”Nortel is delivering solutions that make new technologies relevant and beneficial to small and medium businesses,” said Alex Pierson, general manager, Enterprise and Small-Medium Business Communication Systems, Nortel. “The right business communications system can completely change the playing field for a smaller company, but solutions must be tailored for smaller businesses, affordable and easy to implement and use. With our new portfolio, small and medium businesses can now afford sophisticated communication technology that had only been available in the past to large companies with big budgets.”

“Nortel’s Business Communications Manager delivers the applications and features that enable our employees to be more effective and responsive at a price we can afford,” says Alyson Horn, president, Alyson Horn Casting. “The new management capabilities delivered in the BCM enhancements will make ongoing management simple. We´re also implementing the new contact centre application to help us better manage our increasing call volume; it´s a great tool for our business.”

According to a recent Nortel survey to more than 1,000 small and medium businesses around the world, data networking, wireless LAN and security software and devices are the top three technologies SMBs are most likely to purchase in 2006. Nortel’s SMB portfolio of products and enhancements include:

• Business Ethernet Switch 100 Family – Provides cost-effective, easy-to-use desktop connectivity and delivers power for devices such as IP phones and wireless access points. This reduces wiring requirements and costs, and simplifies employee moves now and into the future.

• Business Secure Router 222 – Delivers low-cost connectivity to the Internet or IP networks and enables greater employee flexibility for work locations and hours via secure connectivity from home or elsewhere.

• Business Access Point 120 – Provides simple, secure wireless data and voice connectivity from anywhere, at anytime to allow employees to be more productive and accessible.

• Business Element Manager – Provides a simple and consistent network management interface across the SMB portfolio to streamline repetitive tasks and simplify network operations.

• Business Communication Manager 4.0 – Software enhancements to the BCM 200 and BCM 400 deliver enhanced simplicity and ease of management, as well as ad-hoc conferencing for up to 40 participants, expanded IP set support, enhanced security and voice-enabled WAN support.

Smaller businesses want to partner with resellers who can provide end-to-end technical support and who clearly understand their business. With the launch of the new SMB portfolio, Nortel is introducing new SMB specific sales training and on-demand marketing tools to assist its North America channel partners. New channel programs include the SMB Connection Partner Community, an online community established to facilitate communication between Nortel and its SMB channel partners, and Blueprints for Success, a tool developed with input from Nortel channel partners to identify best practices used when selling Nortel solutions to SMBs.

“Nortel’s SMB Connection simplifies online access to the latest SMB-related news, events, programs and product information making it easier for our sales team to stay up-to-date and be more effective selling Nortel solutions,” said Barry Gerhardt, president, Barry Communications. “This new initiative for Nortel´s partner community facilitates two-way communication and will help strengthen the relationship between Nortel and its partners focused on SMB.”

In Europe, Nortel recently announced the addition of an SMB program to its Accelerate partner initiative for new and existing partners that sell to companies with up to 250 employees. The program is designed to accelerate the profitability of these partners and increase the adoption of Nortel technology in the SMB market throughout EMEA.

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