Avaya's Nortel Auction Win Boosts Its UC Portfolio

While much of the interest in the UC community is focused on the fate of

By Carl Weinschenk | Posted Dec 11, 2009
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While much of the interest in the UC community is focused on the fate of Cisco's close-to-complete acquisition of Tandberg, another vital deal – Avaya's auction win of Nortel assets, which was announced in September – is just as important to the immediate future of the sector and to its ever-interesting competitive dynamic.

Network World's Tim Greene lays out many of the challenges facing Avaya. The biggest, of course, is that the melding of two large organizations always is a hit or miss affair. There are matters of culture, product roadmaps and success in convincing clients that it is in their best interest to stay on a long-term basis.

Greene says a key decision facing Avaya is whether to introduce its call control features into Nortel switches. This is one of many strategic and tactical choices that the vendor must make in an effort to channel its energies in the right direction and take the right option in cases in which duplication exists.

Sanjeev Aggarwal, the founder and partner of The SMB Group and a partner at Hurwitz & Associates, told me earlier this week that Avaya's assumption of Nortel's UC assets will have a big impact on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) UC sector, as the second- and third-largest companies coalesce and take on the leader, Cisco. “I think the competition between Cisco and Avaya will become more intense” due to Avaya's auction win, he said.

Cisco, of course, is not standing still. It will benefit on the vital video conferencing side from the Tandberg deal. It also this week announced a potentially significant global initiative with BT and an infrastructure partnership with Savvis. The two companies will provide cloud infrastructure to enterprises. This infrastructure will improve the clients' UC capabilities.

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