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Avaya and Siemens vying for Nortel's enterprise networking business?

Rumors are swirling that this could be the week Nortel sells off its enterprise networks business. Also in the roundup: Cisco and Avaya beef up their UC portfolios.

Avaya and Siemens may be vying for Nortel's enterprise networking business

Nortel Networks may draw bids for its corporate networks unit from both Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. The bids are due this week and could come in as high as $500 million. Nortel filed for Chapter 11 in January. Nortel partners have said a move by the company to dump its enterprise business would effectively crush the channel. Yet many partners hold out hope that Nortel won't make that move.

Cisco UC applications accessible through Microsoft Office Communicator

At VoiceCon this week, Cisco launched enhancements to its unified communications (UC) portfolio that extend interoperability between the company's UC applications and Microsoft Office Communicator, Cisco's WebEx Connect, Cisco Telepresence and the Apple iPhone.

Cisco's new Unified Communications Desktop Integration client enables Cisco's UC features -- including presence, messaging and call control -- to be integrated into desktop applications and used within business process applications.

Integration into Microsoft's Office Communicator allows Microsoft users to access Cisco call control and other UC applications through their client of choice.

"This is a good move. I can tell you that a lot of our customers that are putting in Microsoft Office Communications Server also have Cisco communications gear. We are doing a lot of integrations to Cisco products," said Terry Gold, CEO of Microsoft partner Gold Systems.

Cisco's WebEx Meeting Center, which now has Cisco Unified Video Conferencing, enables "any-to-any video interoperability," which basically means that video conferences can be launched between users on completely different systems. Cisco Mobile Supervisor for Apple iPhone enables contact-center supervisors to receive real-time reports and performance metrics on their phones.

Avaya unifies multi-vendor PBXs

Avaya this week launched a new server at VoiceCon in Orlando, Fla. It unifies disparate SIP-enabled PBXs into one manageable system.

The Avaya Aura Session Manager centralizes communications control and application integration, enabling users to access applications based on what they need and where they are.

But Avaya's sales pitch is cost savings, since the technology can be deployed in any environment and can unify existing PBXs, no matter the manufacturer.

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