Siemens, BT Partner to Smooth Path to Converged Communications

Siemens Communications has been reinventing itself for the last couple of years or so – from a hardware-oriented to a software-oriented company, devoted largely to integrated IP communications applications.


This week, it formally announced a relationship with networking and telephony service provider BT that’s actually been coalescing for some time in joint ventures around the globe: a partnership to deliver what it characterizes as a one-stop converged communications solution for large enterprises and government organizations worldwide.


In non-marketing-speak, this is essentially a pairing of resources and expertise designed to help customers move from the jumble of multi-vendor, multi-technology data and communications systems typical of many large distributed organizations to a single, integrated platform with a single point of management – while continuing to utilize existing systems as long as desired.


“Through mergers and acquisitions, many of our customers have accumulated complex, usually multi-vendor voice and data infrastructures,” said Chris Ainslie, BT’s vice president for systems integrators and channel partners. “Our agreement with Siemens offers them a way to leverage their significant legacy investments while opening doors for greater collaboration and better execution.”


The solution combines Siemens’s OpenScape suite of communications applications (which we’ve written about here and its OpenScale integration services with BT’s MPLS{ network and management/billing facilities, which operate in about 170 countries, worldwide.


The solution aims at reducing costs, risk and complexity, while improving efficiency and collaboration and enhancing business processes through communications integration.


Another way of looking at the joint Siemens/BT offering is that it resolves a logistical nightmare facing CIOs in large organizations today: how to achieve the generally acknowledged advantages of converged, IP-based communication without introducing <I>more</I> complexity and expense.


Part of the Siemens OpenScape solution, in addition to a suite of communications application – voice, video, messaging, and mobility – is a middleware platform that, using Siemens’s sibling OpenScale integration services, can integrate with and support virtually any other communications platform, whether IP-based or not, and bring it under centralized management and control.


This relationship provides a vehicle for large national and multi-national corporations, as well as large public organizations to implement sophisticated, converged solutions globally,” said Siemens chief marketing operations officer, Gerhard Otterback. “It removes the complexity of separate vendor relationships in each country to manage the billing, customer service, and technology integration challenges associated with a large-scale deployment, while at the same time maintaining the value of their existing investment.”

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