Nortel Networks is defending the credibility of its Micom voice/data integration division in the face of customer criticism.
The row was sparked when integrator CSI attempted to use Micom kit to provide New Sadler's Wells Theatre with a VoIP system interconnecting PBXs with a Digital Private Network Signalling System (DPNSS).
According to George Zaremba, CSI's managing director, Micom sold V/IP - its voice interface card and version 1.0 of the V/IP software - in June last year, on the understanding that it would deliver a DPNSS version of the software within three months. The promised full upgrade, however, did not materialise.
Zaremba complained: "If the software wasn't going to have the capability then why did it sell the initial products to us?"
Dave Hill, former vice president of sales at Micom and now Nortel's UK managing director, hit back: "We never misled Zaremba with regard to the availability or functionality of the product. We advised him not to sell the product. By the time he bought version one he had already sold a product which had not yet been released."
Hill claimed: "We let him into a secret but you can't guarantee when products will be ready."
In November, three months after the anticipated availability date, Micom delivered a beta upgrade of V/IP, which it insisted worked in its test labs. CSI could not get the software to work on site. Since then Micom has withdrawn its DPNSS development for V/IP.
Hill admitted that it is a, "messy situation. He's castigating us for trying to help him."
"We are desperately sorry it has got to this stage but we don't feel it is Nortel's fault its credibility is on the line," said Hill. "Saying a product is in development doesn't mean it will be ready."
He claimed CSI should not have bought the technology, accusing the company of selling a solution that did not exist.
After the beta software failed, Micom offered its Marathon 5K Turbo Pro integration multiplexor instead. However, CSI rejected the proposal and returned the V/IP kit to Micom.
Hill stated there are currently sites running Marathon in DPNSS configuration.
For more stories see 24 February issue of Network News
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