Nortel Networks announced Tuesday that it has won a seven-year, $US20 million managed services agreement with Rolls-Royce in London to provide voice-over-IP services for more than 26,000 users. Rolls-Royce, a provider of power systems and services, employs about 36,000 people worldwide.

“We selected Nortel for this important network and telephony infrastructure transformation because they truly understand our communication needs and how to simplify our network infrastructure,” Jim Reed, IT purchasing director at Rolls-Royce, said in a statement.

The new network will provide voice calling services, unified voice/fax/e-mail messaging and a platform for introducing advanced mobility communications services, Nortel said in a statement. The company will design, integrate and deploy IP telephony hardware and software, and will manage both an existing circuit-switched voice network and the new VoIP network, Nortel said.

The initial deployment to 26,500 users will take place in the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Norway, Germany and France.

Rolls-Royce had been using the services of Electronic Data Systems to manage its voice networks, said Curt Hopkins, vice president of Nortel services, sales and marketing. EDS will continue as the data services provider for Rolls-Royce, he said.

Rolls-Royce went through extensive trials with Nortel and liked the functionality of the company’s software and hardware, Hopkins said. The Rolls-Royce deal is within the top 10 largest managed services contracts Nortel holds, he added.

Services and applications provide less than 20 percent of all revenue at Nortel, but CEO Mike Zafirovski has said he wants the proportion of revenue from services to grow, a spokesman said.

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