Telstra deploys giant Nortel system

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Telstra Business Services has rolled out an audio-conferencing system for the Australian Taxation Office that the vendor has claimed is the biggest such Nortel implementation in the world.

Telstra Business Services has rolled out an audio-conferencing system for the Australian Taxation Office that the vendor has claimed is the biggest such Nortel implementation in the world.

A spokesman for Nortel said reseller Telstra Business Services had won a deal to roll out a multimedia conferencing system for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The system -- which has given 25,000 staff instant access to conferencing facilities anywhere in Australia at any time -- was the biggest Nortel audio-conferencing deployment in the world, he said.

"It's a step up from what the ATO had previously, and shows how a government organisation is using converged technology to save money and improve productivity," the spokesman said.

Such a new system was likely to be more cost-effective for large organisations than rented services, which was what many large companies were still using, he said.

Colin McLean, assistant commissioner at the ATO, said Telstra Business Services had provided an "adequate" hosted teleconferencing service but the ATO had wanted better functionality.

"The Nortel solution gives individual users round-the-clock access to personalised multimedia conferencing, and gives us a system that, at the end of the current facilities management contract, we own," McLean said.

"We are looking for ways to save on travel costs through collaborative computing."

The ATO holds monthly teleconferences around Australia, a release from Nortel said.

Telstra Business Services had surveyed the market and recommended Nortel's MCS 5100 multimedia communications server. The new system was expected to pay for itself in nine months, Nortel said.

"Desktop integration provides feedback to the chairperson on when each participant joins and leaves the call and the number that they are calling from," the Nortel release said.

"The system also integrates with the Microsoft Outlook contacts list, allowing for ‘click-to-call’ capability. With the MCS Personal Agent, users have the ability to direct calls to multiple numbers simultaneously."

Nortel said the MCS 5100 was independent of the ATO’s PABX platform and it integrated with existing analogue, digital, or IP-based systems. Nortel installed the MCS 5100 and trained reseller support staff and ATO end-users. The system went live early July, the company said.

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