Avaya Buys Nortel — What’s it All Mean?

Avaya is the winning bidder for the Nortel enterprise business unit. $915 million later (plus another $15 million to try and keep key employees) and now what does it mean for the communications industry? Depends on what chair you’re sitting in.

  • If you are Cisco: Your primary competitor in this space just got a whole lot bigger (actually passing you up in market share percentage). Your focus on them intensifies (but don’t lose sight of Microsoft either).
  • If you are an existing Nortel customer: At least you now know your fate. Or part of it. You still have to wait until December to hear the Avaya integration story. The thing most people underestimate about you is that you, as an account, are not "owned" by Avaya. Nobody "owns" you. You’ll make your future planning and buying decisions based on what technology and relationships will be best for your business, not because of who-bought-who.
  • If you are an Avaya or Nortel reseller: Your territory is already crowded and now it just got twice as crowded. Once the Avaya and Nortel product lines get sorted out, there will be twice as many of you calling on the same number of prospects, selling the same products.
  • If you are Avaya: Good luck sorting all this out. You’re going to be at it awhile.
  • If you are an Avaya competitor (a.k.a. Interactive Intelligence): That Nortel base remains in a moving, examining, investigating state. As noted above, the Nortel base isn’t going to buy from Avaya, just because Avaya holds the maintenance agreement. The market opportunity is there for the best product and company to win a significant share as that Nortel installed base continues to turn over in the next 36 months.

One thing we know, this is going to keep life interesting!

Joe Staples — glad I’m in the chair I’m in