It’s official. Avaya has taken over Nortel’s Enterprise Business. Now the fun part begins

by Jeff Wiener on December 19, 2009

Picture 13An interesting day of mixed feelings.

On an optimistic note, the Avaya acquisition of Nortel’s Enterprise voice and data assets has been completed. So the old Nortel Meridian, Norstar, data products, CS1000 and BCM are now officially Avaya product. Digitcom has been an Avaya dealer since 2005, and we have established ourselves as the leading Avaya IP Office reseller in Canada having completed over 450 installations in the last 4 years. So needless to say this marks a tremendous opportunity for our company moving forward.

I suggested that this was a day of mixed feelings though, and that has more to do with nationalistic pride. Nortel was Canada’s Telecom company. People purchased Nortel product not only because Nortel made great product, but also because of Nortel’s Canadian roots. And to a great extent that legacy is now over. There was always a sense of pride when speaking with people outside of Canada when describing Nortel as a Canadian company. Hey, (or should I say AH), I’m Canadian. And yes, the company is in our backyard. I personally actively sold Nortel product for many years, and then beginning in 2005 they were a formidable competitor.

There is a sense of irony at the time of writing this though. It seems that Computer Dealer News, a Canadian Technical Publication, has awarded Nortel’s former CEO Mike Zafirovski as the number ONE newsmaker of the year. It of course doesn’t reference him as the number ONE CEO, or number ONE decision maker. It references him as the NUMBER ONE newsmaker. And yes, that he was.

Although I do have an excellent sense of the Nortel product road map moving forward I unfortunately can’t share that with you at this time. For those with Nortel product that are concerned about the migration plan moving forward, Avaya has committed to releasing a clear migration plan on January 19th, 2010.

Avaya at present is a private company, and the Nortel asset acquisition will better position Avaya for an IPO. I found these quotes from a Reuters article. The quotes are from Kevin Kennedy, CEO of Avaya:

“We believe the company will have greater market share, it’ll be more competitive, and from a multiple perspective, on exit, a greater opportunity for either greater gain or removal of risk,” he told Reuters in an interview.

“Would the sponsors consider that we will be poised earlier for the possibility of an IPO? That may be true,” he said. “But I really think that the efficacy of an IPO depends upon a lot of things that are happening in the industry, less so about what’s happening in the company.”

More depth in their product line-up and a better capitalization, or accretive acquisition in preparation for an IPO. These are obviously some of the motivating factors.

Now the fun part begins for Avaya. I say that “tounge-in-cheek” of course. Amalgamating the Nortel customer base, dealer base, distribution channels into Avaya’s already existing infrastructure, and at the same time, keeping the competitors at bay will require a deft hand in management.

Can Avaya transition successfully ? So far early indication is that they have their act together and that they do understand the market forces at play. Now customers and dealers have to buy into the strategy.

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

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