Nortel cranks up Succession line

Nortel Networks Corp. is beefing up its Succession line with products that the vendor says will help telcos improve their revenues.

The Brampton, Ont.-based network equipment maker on Monday unveiled a new set of Succession services, starting with voice over IP (VoIP) virtual private networking (VPN), which could help carriers manage their clients’ enterprise networks.

An IP twist on established voice VPN services, Succession VoIP VPN connects disparate enterprise campuses together via VPNs managed by a service provider.

“It’s a way for carriers to increase their revenue per unit for enterprises, to tie a complex enterprise network together and offer integrated, single-pipe access to a customer’s site,” said John Egli, Nortel’s Ottawa-based director of marketing, Succession services.

Nortel says VoIP VPN rounds out its Succession line, which today includes Centrex IP and the Personal Communications Manager, a program that lets end users control call routing – have your boss’s calls directed to the office answering service and your spouse’s calls go to the mobile phone, for example.

The Succession line also includes Multimedia and Collaboration, an app that lets users communicate via voice, video and data all at once. As well, Nortel offers Succession Internet Voice (voice over broadband) and Succession Primary Voice, an IP alternative to Class-5-switched service.

Nortel wants carriers to mix and match Succession services. To that end, the firm added H.323 interfaces to Succession softswitches (Communications Server 2000 and CS 2000-Compact) for packet interchanges between IP PBXs. The company also expanded its use of the session initiation protocol (SIP) to facilitate integration between third-party application servers and its Succession softswitches, and to create solid connections for multimedia applications served across wide-area links.

“We’ve all along had an interface on the CS 2000, our softswitch, for inter-softswitch communication,” Egli said. “We’re expanding that, so we’ll not only be able to talk at the peer level, but also for the CS 2000 to talk to IP PBXs using SIP.”

According to a recent IDC Canada Ltd. study of carriers’ capital expenditures, service providers like Bell Canada and Telus Corp. are cutting back on purchases. Is this the right time for Nortel to unveil new products for that market?

Egli certainly seemed to think so.

“We think it’s exactly the right time. All of these guys are seeing business line erosion, and they’re all focused on increasing their top line (revenue). In the past, a lot of the big Succession deals we’ve had have been about cost savings. This initiative is all about generating top line revenue.”

For more information, visit Nortel’s Web site at