NEC and Cisco Systems have formed a partnership to deliver converged voice and data solutions to Australian enterprises.
Under the deal, NEC's voice capabilities will be combined with Cisco's data solutions to deliver integrated voice and data solutions for companies migrating to the IP world.
The basis for the solutions will be Cisco's integrated technology AVVID (Architecture for the convergence of Voice, Video and Integrated Data).
David Haynes, NEC's general manager, operations and support division, said the alliance offers customers a single point of contact for sales, support, integration and a five-year technology roadmap showing a path to IP.
Working with Cisco Systems experts, NEC's current sales force will lead the sale of the solutions to corporate customers such as banks, retailers, mining companies and organisations with multiple sites and virtual private networks, Haynes said.
Several enterprises are currently beta testing solutions from NEC and Cisco. One unnamed organisation is expected to go live in six weeks, he said. "We are responding to the traditional tenders with the AVVID solution, showing a five-year migration to the new world of IP."
As part of the alliance, NEC is enlarging its voice technology centre with the establishment of a tech centre in Mulgrave, Victoria to focus on data solutions. The centre is equipped with Cisco's complete product range, including its AVVID products which will be integrated with NEC's products, Haynes said.
Both Cisco and NEC agreed that forming partnerships is the only way to deliver internet solutions to companies today.
"NEC identified strategic partnerships as the way of the future. No longer will we be deciding everything ourselves," Haynes said. "Eighty per cent of internet traffic is handled on Cisco platforms, making Cisco the ideal alliance partner."
According to Kip Cole, director of marketing and strategic alliances, Cisco Australia and New Zealand, the partnership with NEC, while only being Australian-based, is not exclusive. "This partnership is a very high hurdle to reach in Cisco's world," he stated. "This is not something we anticipate having hundreds of partnerships in . . . we may only have one."
Cole added that enterprises can expect to achieve TCO reductions of 30 per cent plus a 10-20 per cent saving from additional costs by migrating to IP.