Sun, Mitel to release turnkey telephony box

Eight months after revealing an OEM partnership to create a joint enterprise communications solution, Mitel Networks and Sun Microsystems are ready to put their efforts on sale.

The Mitel Communications Suite, an integrated version of the company’s flagship 3300 IP Communications Platform with an Intel Xeon quad-core Sun x4150 server will go on sale in the second quarter, the companies said Thursday.

Prices for the bundle start at US$9,000 depending on server configuration. In a cluster, the suite can scale up to 65,000 phone users.

Steven Beamish, Ottawa-based Mitel’s vice-president of business development and strategic alliances said the partnership will initially target existing Sun and Mitel customers who want to consolidate data centre applications, as well as companies looking to expand into voice over IP.

“If you take a look at what’s happening to the PBX world and where the world’s going in terms of data consolidation, we wanted to be one of the first to start delivering this type of integrated solution,” he said. “Both parties have high hopes for this.”

Since the partnership was announced last June, Sun and Mitel have been demonstrating the turnkey solution to potential customers. “As predicted we’re getting a substantial amount of interest,” Beamish said, so the partners are taking a phased approach to marketing.

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For the first several months potential buyers in Canada, the U.S, Britain and the Netherlands will be pitched. Later this summer that will be expanded to customers in the Caribbean, Germany, France and Australia, followed by Asia.

“We were conscious of not boiling the ocean and not doing everything at once,” he explained. The length of time it took to finally start selling was not related to product development, Beamish stressed, but developing the marketing plan. “It’s making sure we had all our T’s crossed and I’s dotted and ready to go to market as a strong team,” he said.

The initial products announced last June were a multi-tenant version of the Mitel platform for Sun servers, which is still under development, and a bundle built on Sun’s SunRay thin client workstation and Mitel IP phones. In a recent interview Mitel president Don Smith said that product will go on sale later this year.

The Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform has a Linux call control processing software base which supports up to 5,000 telephone users. It includes SIP application integration for unified messaging and conferencing as well as with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. It also has SIP trunking capability.

Also included in the x4150 bundle will be Mitel’s Applications Suite, allowing customers to consolidate applications such as Mitel’s NuPoint Messenger IP, Live Business Gateway, Teleworker Solution, Mobile Extension and Audio and Web Conferencing.

The package can be bought through systems integrators who are both Sun and Mitel partners, and Sun partners who pass a Mitel certification.

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