Cisco launches new VoIP line for businesses

Cisco Systems Inc. has launched seven new IP (Internet Protocol) telephony products for businesses, based around its Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data network infrastructure.

As part of its aim to create a global voice-over IP (VoIP) network, Cisco announced three software products aimed at increasing personal productivity. The company also announced new call centre software, call processing software and a new hardware switch that can server up to 24 IP-based phones. The products expand on a VoIP portfolio Cisco has been building for the past four and a half years, said Elizabeth Ussher, vice-president of global network strategies at IT research firm Meta Group Inc. “We’re now starting to see the smoothing out of places that needed it,” she said.

Nortel spreads MPLS across product line

Nortel Networks Corp. said it will implement Multi-protocol Label Switching as a common signalling protocol across its entire optical, wireless and core IP product line.

Implementing MPLS and Generalized MPLS, standards that help steer traffic through IP networks, will reduce operating costs for service providers and facilitate delivery of new, differentiated services, such as optical VPNs and bandwidth on-demand, Nortel said. MPLS engineers traffic by “labelling” IP flows and then enabling switches and routers to steer those flows through the network by swapping labels. These “label switched paths” can be used to deliver quality-of-service guarantees, define and enforce service-level agreements and establish private user groups for VPNs.

Gartner sees bumpy road towards .Net

Pouring some water on the coals of Microsoft Corp.’s ambitious .Net initiative, research firm Gartner Group Inc. offered only fleeting hope this week for a swift evolution to Web-based computing as the software giant sees it.

Analysts speaking at Gartner’s annual Windows conference here extinguished much of the hype surrounding what they called a “remarkably confusing” marketing blitz around .Net, a broad project through which Microsoft hopes to provide tools, software and services that will help turn the Internet into a giant network for delivering applications and services to all kinds of devices from PCs to cell phones.