What’s Avaya going to do with the Nortel product roadmap ?

by Jeff Wiener on December 11, 2009

question-markUpdate – January 2010. Since this post was written further announcements have been made. For the latest news on the Avaya Nortel integrated roadmap you can click here.

Things are clearly heating up in the Avaya take over of the Nortel Enterprise division with formal completion of the acquisition expected December 21st, 2009. Announcement of Avaya’s formal product roadmap is expected January 21st, 2010.

Quite a few clients and industry associates have asked my opinion of where things will net out and what Avaya might do with the Nortel product portfolio. Those same individuals have questioned why I have been somewhat quiet on the speculation / rumour in my writing of this BLOG.

Although I do obviously have an opinion, and would like to share my opinion of this transaction with my client base and associates, I am in a very precarious position. There is some information which I have gleaned through conversations on Avaya Council phone calls and with other executives which puts me in the rather awkward position of not really having an opinion based on “newspaper” public opinion, but rather some info based on more factual information. It is for this reason that I have chosen to error on the safe side and not state my opinion, or quite honestly, talk about where I think the product roadmap, direction, or any other issues related to the Avaya / Nortel transaction might go. There are plenty of other Telecom stories, information, product releases which I can discuss openly without repercussion.

Avaya-LogoIn the mean time, and until the merger is finalized and formal announcements made, I will error on the safe side and not discuss the Avaya / Nortel story.

The balance of Nortel in general is certainly fair game although that story is getting a little tiresome (but be sure to check out Jason’s story from today about Nortel / Ciena). Nortel is almost done, their assets almost completely sold off, and there isn’t much story left.

So, to answer the question: What’s Avaya going to do with the Nortel product roadmap ? You won’t get that answer here. Why am I writing about a Telecom story to say I can’t say anything ? Because I am being asked about this daily.

BUT, this much I can say …

Avaya seems to have their act together. They’re organized, especially considering they are working within a very tight time frame. They have set some very clear milestones, and have met those milestones. The task at hand is gargantuan – I believe they will be incorporating something in the order of almost 5,000 Nortel employees into the Avaya family. The product portfolio, dealer base, and overlap between the two companies is significant.

On the voice side Avaya has: Avaya Partner, Avaya IP Office, Communication Manager, Aura. There is obviously some overlap with the Nortel portfolio in both the SMB and Enterprise space.
Nortel has: Nortel Norstar, Business Communications Manager (BCM), Option 11, and Communication Server (1000, 1500, 2000, 2100 … )

On the data side Nortel is also bringing along their data portfolio including the Ethernet Routing Switch portfolio.

Will Avaya continue with these products ? What do you think ? What’s left of the BCM, CS1000 ?

Interested in reading how this story started ? Here’s the first blog post on this subject: Avaya to Buy Nortel’s Enterprise Business: A Sad Day for Canada

Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Liam December 11, 2009 at 8:26 am

It’s unlikely Avaya will continue with the BCM. It will be replaced with the IP Office. The Norstar will live. The CS1000, although much better, clearly runs in competition with Avaya’s Aura strategy moving forward.

Avaya will take the best of breed of these 2 products and morph them into their current product line-up.

The data products stand a much better chance of survival.

UCChangeAgent December 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

The conversation and future is about SIP (Session Initiated Protocol). If a Nortel product can add value to the SIP conversation, then some or all of that product is likely to be retained by Avaya in the future.

For currently installed Nortel product, I would expect support to continue for at least 3 to 5 years. Given that the Mumbai Internation Airport just signed a 5-year services agreement with Nortel for their Voice & Data infrastucture, this seems to be the appropriate direction.

It has already been stated by Avaya that they expect to continue with the Nortel Product Plan of Record for Data solutions. This makes sense.

For the Voice portfolio;

– Norstar – End of Life within a couple of years, since it has no ability to directly support SIP and can easily be replaced with BCM.
– BCM – This product has 2 main components. The Call Server component will move to SIP reusing the technology found in the SCS product. The Gateway component remains important to support the legacy devices. There is a good chance that the Avaya IP Office features will be included into BCM moving forward. BCM likely to become the primary Avaya SMB play.
– CS1000 – Moves towards the edge of the network where the Avaya Session Manager becomes the SIP Core and the CS1000 the Gateway and transition device for TDM devices.
– CS1500 – Carrier Voice only and not part of the Avaya acquisition.
– CS2000 – Carrier Voice only and not part of the Avaya acquisition.
– CS2100 – Very large scale Enterprise PBX with extensive use at US Military locations. It stays to play that role in the future.
– Contact Centre – Avaya Contact Centre is primary lead with the Nortel Contact Centre positioned as secondary until the feature set can be brought together.
– Avaya SIP Enablement / Nortel Agile Communications Environment – Nortel ACE becomes the primary SOA platform with the Avaya SIP Enablement components added to it.

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