Users of Nortel Networks’ Norstar phone system who want to upgrade to an Internet protocol-based system will be able to use a gateway built by a Canadian-American partnership.

“We’re introducing a new option that enables people to retain their existing investment in telephone and wiring,

avoid a spend on upgrading a LAN network, and yet still migrate to a superior telephony solution that delivers better architecture, lower operating cost, and better feature functionality,” said Michael Robinson, CEO of Citel Technologies of Seattle. Citel and Mitel Networks of Ottawa have developed the recently announced 3300 CITELlink Gateway, which is sold through Mitel resellers.

The gateway offers resellers “a very compelling option and supports our migration strategy for our customers, ” added Kevin Johnson, Mitel’s director of marketing. “It’s a very important element to our portfolio offering.”

Robinson said 14 million Norstar users will need to migrate to an IP telephony solution sometime in the next 10 years.

The 3300 provides investment protection, savings and an easy migration path to IP for Norstar users by allowing select Norstar phones to be re-deployed on Mitel 3300 integrated communications platform (ICP), said Johnson.

Nortel Norstar phones to be supported include Series M7100, 208, 208N, 310, 310N, and 324 as well as Series T7100, 208, 316, and 406 digital phones.

Benefits for Norstar customers include not only those gained from switching to an IP-based communications system, but also the ability to retain legacy phone sets and existing wiring, minimize user disruption, and deliver consistent service across the enterprise, Johnson added.

Customers can expect to see a return on investment of up to 65 per cent of their telecommunications costs when migrating to IP telephony, the company said.

Resellers who represent Norstar on the smaller end of the marketplace now have something to offer their customers, said John Drolet, Citel’s vice-president of worldwide sales.

“With the Citel product in their bag, they can go to the customer who has Norstar and give them a logical path of growth into the 3300 with compatible handsets that can grow as large as the 3300 can grow.”

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