The scoop from Nortel this week is that the company is planning to launch a major new enterprise networking solution encompassing WAN acceleration and a series of new routers. According to this report on CIO.com, the line was supposedly previewed to investors in Canada, although the company is mum -- most likely in anticipation of a big splash at Interop next week.
A WAN solution would mark Nortel's entry into what is proving to be a hot item this year, although it would be up against some established players like Juniper, Riverbed and Cisco, not to mention Microsoft, which recently signaled its entry into the market by linking up with Packeteer.
The new routers are likely to be based on technology acquired from Tasman Networks several years ago and integrated with Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS).
The move is in keeping with Nortel's drive for "hyper-connectivity" aimed at forging smoother communications between the various wired and wireless platforms that are springing up around the enterprise. When you have IP data mixing with IPTV and some WiMax jumbled in as well, it's going to take some extraordinarily sophisticated networking to keep it all sorted out.
Of course, one of the reasons enterprises are having trouble with this diaspora of technology is because telecom equipment makers like Nortel keep trying to lump them together onto 4G networks. And since there is very little profit margin in that sector at the moment, it certainly makes business sense to forge ahead into new enterprise solutions.
Still, I just can't help but wonder whether firms like Nortel and Cisco could work out some sort of communications platform commonality on the carrier level instead, so maybe the cost to make it all work together isn't continuously pushed onto the user.