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October 22, 2009

Nortel's 'ACE' Toolkit's Simplicity Helps Developers Create Great Applications

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor


From independent businesses to large corporations, there isn’t a business out there that doesn’t want to improve its communications technology to streamline operations.
 
As the market for communications enablement emerges, Nortel, which recently unveiled its “Agile (News - Alert) Communication Environment” software, better known as ACE, is now making a name for itself as a driver of communications-enabled business processes.
 
Nortel (News - Alert) engineers said they created ACE to simplify the development of communications applications for enterprise customers who want to improve agility, leverage their existing capital investments and yield higher productivity. In addition to ACE package applications like Hot Desking, ACE can be used as a simple toolkit by developers to design and create their own custom unified communications applications. Or, should an organization not have the capabilities to craft its own applications, Nortel can work with the organization directly.
 
Even with an easy-to-use toolkit such as ACE, a company will need to ask itself a few key questions to decide whether it’s more efficient to take the DIY route, or have the Nortel team that created ACE develop the apps for them.
 
For example, “is this a one-time development or do I foresee more potential applications that would leverage training my own employees?” Or “What is the timing of my deployment plans?”
 
A gradual deployment might suggest using Nortel’s professional staff to develop and test the application and then train internal resources as further opportunities arise, Scott Hanwell, ACE Product Marketing, told TMCnet.
 
Alternatively, if an enterprise is accustomed to creating its own in-house applications and has the expertise on site, the DIY approach might work better. For those who opt to do everything in-house, Nortel offers a “Discovery Workshop Service,” which provides the consultation needed to identify opportunities where communications-enabled applications can improve efficiency and effectiveness of a customer’s existing business process. Workshop services include business application assessment, application requirements analysis, solution recommendation and risk mitigation.
 
Should a company take the DIY route, the ACE software is intuitive and flexible enough that developers will be quickly up and running, according to Nortel. The customer will not have to rip and replace infrastructure, nor engage in months of training to understand proprietary technology.
 
“We have an extensive set of ROI calculators that put customers in the driver’s seat and allow them to enter the business parameters that make sense to them and to test those assumptions by changing the variables,” John Bednarek, the leader in alliances and business development for CEBP at Nortel, told TMCnet. “And we have the capabilities to support them every step of the way.”

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri



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