Nortel expands services to carriers

Nortel expanded its Global Services offerings for carriers and enterprises.

Nortel Networks is putting extra effort behind not just selling gear to carriers and enterprises but helping them deploy and run their networks.

On Monday, the network technology vendor announced a simplification of its Global Services lineup along with several new offerings. The moves were part of an initiative by President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Zafirovski, who was appointed last year, to make Nortel's services business a strategic focus for growth. The company said it is likely to add more offerings in the coming months.

The services business will now stand apart from Nortel's enterprise, wireless and wireline product groups, said Curt Hopkins, vice president of marketing for global services. Previously, services were sold by those product groups, usually as an add-on to equipment sales. Now, Nortel wants sales of services to take the lead in its approach to carriers and enterprises in some cases.

The offerings introduced Monday include the following:

-- IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) Integration Services, in which Nortel will design multivendor networks, certify systems in a lab and do engineering, configuration and testing. The company has set up a multivendor IPTV integration lab at its campus in Ottawa.

-- VOIP (voice over IP) Integration Services, in which Nortel will deploy multivendor VOIP systems for enterprises or in carrier networks.

-- Security Consulting Services, including risk assessment, incident response, forensics and development of policies for both carriers and enterprises.

-- Hosted Services, in which Nortel will host call center, voice, multimedia and other services on Nortel-owned gear. Those services could be used by enterprises or offered by carriers for their business clients.

-- Subscriber Quality of Experience Service, which will measure actual subscriber data to benchmark and give recommendations for optimum performance of wireless data networks.

-- Multi-Vendor Repair and Managed Spares Services, providing one point of contact for service and spare parts on gear from Nortel and other vendors. This service is intended mainly for carriers, as Nortel's channel partners usually cover those needs for enterprises, Hopkins said.

One example of Nortel's Hosted Services offering was also announced on Monday: The company will create a network operations center in New Delhi for Bharti Tele-Ventures, one of India's major wireless and wireline carriers, and host contact center services for the service provider. At the heart of the deployment will be a "virtual storefront" based on a Nortel interactive voice response system.

That system will answer routine calls and service signups in English, Hindi and four other languages, all coming in from a single contact number, according to Nortel. More complex calls requiring conversations with live agents will be forwarded on to Bharti's business process outsourcing partner companies.

Also Monday, the company unveiled a service center in Buenos Aires from which Nortel will help carriers design and deploy wireless networks more quickly and then support and update them. It will include engineers with expertise in GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and WiMax, Nortel said.

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