Lenovo buys into Nortel virtual shopping app

Nortel hasit landed PC maker Lenovo as a customer for its virtual world business application.

Nortel last week said it landed PC maker Lenovo as a customer for its virtual world business application.

The win comes a little over a year after Nortel announced incubation efforts to develop web.alive, a collaborative, browser-based application for enterprises that provides an interactive 3D experience with voice, graphics and avatars. Web.alive is designed to facilitate internal collaboration and customer interactions over the Web and in real time.

Lenovo is using web.alive in an online virtual store as a way to give consumers a new avenue for e-commerce (and perhaps the system can help lessen the load on what will soon be a leaner Lenovo staff, with the company announcing an 11 percent workforce cutback. The Lenovo "eLounge" virtual store allows shoppers to create personalized avatars to walk around the store and browse through products while interacting with other globally dispersed shoppers and sales staff.

Shoppers can also attend product demonstrations or tutorials given by the virtual store staff, and users can build shopping communities and host online meetings with other participants.

For customer service, users walk up to a customer service representative or ask another customer with a high feedback rating, Nortel says. Businesses can use their online stores to test out new store designs or ideas, in a virtual setting.

A prototype of Lenovo's eLounge is located here.

Nortel licensed Epic Games' Unreal Engine platform as the basis for web.alive. The application is the result of an Incubation Program launched by Nortel in late 2007 to encourage the company's developers to think beyond incremental product improvements to the creation of new products, technologies, and business models that will have a "disruptive and transformative impact" on the market, according to the company.

Separately, Radware is reportedly looking to buy Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business for US$30 million to US$50 million. The unit, which Nortel put on the block in September, contributes about $2 billion annually to Nortel.

According to Israeli business site Globes, Radware has $137.4 million in cash to help fund the deal. Globes attributed its information to unnamed sources.

Nortel has said it is looking to get a fair deal for the unit but US$30 million to $50 million seems to be severely undercutting the value of MEN, even in the current economic downturn. Instead, Radware could be looking to purchase particular MEN assets, such as a product line, observers note.

Three companies, including Cisco, have reportedly made offers for the business.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags nortel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jim Duffy

Network World
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?