Last year IBM and Nortel announced that it would collaborate on a Voice over IP product targeted for smaller customers — 1,000 users maximum. This would compete with 3Com’s IP telephony product on the i somewhat, although the only overlapping would be at the high-end of Nortel’s product and the low-end of 3Com’s.
Needless to say, about nine months after the initial announcement, Nortel will ship software for the IP telephony product starting Friday.
The software, called the Nortel Software Communication System (SCS) 500, runs on a Linux partition on the System i. The SCS500 provides its own Linux distribution, but it also requires that users have i5/OS V5R4 or IBM i 6.1 (i5/OS V6R1) as well. Customers can use the computer’s microphone and speakers, a headset plugged into the computer, one of four hard preconfigured hard phones provided by Nortel, or their own hard phones that have been configured to work in the IP telephony system. The system is connected to voicemail, email, instant messaging, and other computer programs, which is why IBM and Nortel are fond of calling it “unified communications.”
According to IT Jungle, licenses for the SCS500 will start at $220 each with maintenance costing $34 per user per year.