Death and taxes are the only certainties in life, according to the old axiom, but Nortel Networks Corp. hopes to add to the list.

At the Supercomm 2001 trade show in Atlanta the telecommunications equipment maker said it has teamed with Microsoft Corp. to bring managed services to the mainstream. In and of itself this isn’t earth-shaking, but Anil Khatod said together they can guarantee uninterrupted service.

“The number one obstacle for enterprises to move towards managed services has been reliability,” said the chief marketing and strategy officer for Nortel. “We are linking Microsoft .Net software with Nortel Networks’ metro optical gear to develop an integrated data centre solution that will help services providers ensure highest level of network application and storage availability.”

“For the first time services providers can offer service level agreements, or SLAs, and be able to stand behind them. The new solution is called Continuously Available Managed Services solution. It will connect geographically distributed data centres eliminating single point of failures to guarantee availability for hosted services.”

Khatod said not only can service be guaranteed, but all involved will benefit financially. Enterprises save, he said, by no longer having to invest in infrastructure because things like e-commerce, e-mail and payroll have been outsourced, while service providers can generate new revenues from offering value-added, high margin services.

“We also intend to allow third parties to extend this offering with other types of applications so that we can continue to extend and have more offerings in the line of continuously available managed services,” said Pieter Knook, Microsfot vice-president of network service providers. “It’s very important for the service providers that these services offer a way for them to differentiate (themselves).”

To ease delivery of these services, Nortel introduced the Succession Interactive Multimedia Server. Khatod said it comes pre-loaded with a full suite of pre-programmed, user ready services like spontaneous video calling

Nortel also unveiled what it calls the first public demonstration of a tunable laser incorporated into a metropolitan optical dense wavelength division multiplexing communications system. Khatod said this will add flexibility to the metro optical network.

“Tunable lasers make it possible to isolate, route and manage individual wavelengths to serve customers’ specific traffic and services. Tunable lasers also alleviate costly inventory management associated with fixed wavelength lasers dramatically reducing operating costs,” he said.

Nortel also said Call-Net Enterprises Inc., parent company of Sprint Canada, has selected its OPTera metro solution for its recently launched network in Montreal.

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