Nortel CTO Keynotes Convergence

NEW YORK — Nortel Networks chief technology officer preached the virtues of converging voice, data and applications solutions today at a technology conference in New York while shareholders were voicing their frustrations in Canada.

Phil Edholm, delivering a keynote address at the C3 Corporate & Channel Computing Expo, said VoIP has evolved from an early technology aimed at making free phone calls to an enterprise communication solution and a key area for Nortel.

“The challenge we face today is that IT, in the traditional sense, is becoming more and more a standard option,” he said.

“In the next five to 10 years, this industry is not going to be about information, it is going to be about integrating information with interaction,” Edholm added.

Nortel is combining the technology of information and communication so enterprise can integrate the front office better with the back office, he told the crowd.

A critical point to enterprise VoIP, he said, is that for each dollar spent on equipment, there are $3 to $4 going towards making network infrastructure capable of supporting it.

“Your ability to retain customers is driven more and more by IT systems, the processes and how you integrate them,” he said.

However, he said, it is the emerging transformation of communication that SIP and multimedia brings that will continue to shape the industry.

“The concept is that you don’t connect to me, you connect to my service. SIP and SIP servers are the beginning of that,” he said, referring to the concept of migrating to a common infrastructure and deploying it from any location.

“The real value in this is the capability of multimedia to transformation how people communicate,” he said.

“It’s all about how to deliver a strategic advantage,” he said.

The keynote comes on the same day that shareholders hit the company over recent management shakeups and accounting gaffes. Nortel is facing new competitive pressure from overseas networking vendors

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