LAS VEGAS — The once proud but lately battered Nortel
Networks is back. At least that’s what Mike Zafirovski,
president and CEO of Nortel, would have attendees of
this week’s Interop show believe.
In a morning keynote address here, Zafirovski presented his
vision for Nortel and the broader networking
industry. For Nortel, the key trend is what Zafirovski
referred to as “hyperconnectivity,” which is a network where
everything is connected to everything.
A key part of Nortel’s hyperconnectivity
enablement, Zafirovski said, is that the company is viable once again. He admitted to the capacity crowd that Nortel
has a hundred-year history of being a relevant networking
company but has had a few problems in recent years.
Nortel’s CEO then pledged that Nortel has returned and is obsessed with achieving greatness.
Interoperability, which is the backbone of
hyperconnectivity, is a trend that has been around for a
long time, said Zafirovski. But now it’s more a reality than
ever before with the convergence of voice, data and video. That convergence is coming with a price though, and that price is complexity.
Complexity is a killer for most businesses, and a key part of Nortel’s renewed marketing push is a pledge to make hyperconnectivity easy for all.
Though hyperconenctivity poses challenges to network capacity,
security, reliability and cost, it could also create opportunities for productivity, profit and growth.
“Will hyperconnectivity steamroll you or will it propel your
business forward,” Zafirovski asked.
“We believe that the hyperconnectivity world will be as
different as the move from analog to digital — from wired to
wireless,” he said. “There are billions of
CPUs today that are not connected. Some estimates say that
there should be almost 1 trillion network-connected
devices in the next 15 years.”
Part of the hyperconnectivity message for Zafirovski is a
renewed emphasis on research and development, as well as
delivering on Nortel’s partnership with Microsoft, which is
intended to provide joint solutions to enterprises.
“More than 100 customers have signed with Nortel since the
Microsoft deal was signed and hundreds more in the
pipeline,” Zafirovski said.
Nortel has taken its Interop opportunity to roll out new hardware that
further takes advantage of its collaboration with Microsoft.
Nortel’s Secure Router 4134 integrates WAN routing, Ethernet switching, IP
telephony and Microsoft Mediation technology. The goal is
to simplify enterprise connectivity by reducing the number
of hardware appliances necessary to handle the need of
As speed is a critical component of hyperconnectivity, Nortel also announced its
Application Accelerator, which will accelerate both Microsoft and IBM applications over the WAN.
“A new Nortel is emerging,” Zafirovski said.
“Hyperconnectivity is a huge opportunity and we’re
committed to business made simple.”