The Deconstruction of Nortel Continues

A stalking horse bid — one than comes from a business chosen by the bankrupt company – was made by Genband in an effort to gain control of Nortel’s Carrier VoIP and Applications Solutions (CVAS) business. (A stalking horse bid is aimed at avoiding a lowball offer.)

The bid is, in essence, is the next phase of the deconstruction of Nortel. The biggest news to date, of course, was Avaya’s acquisition of Nortel Enterprise Solutions business, which closed two weeks ago. The tie between NES, Avaya and UC was clear.

While it is a bit less obvious, there also is a tie between Genband, CVAS and UC. It may be a coincidence that a Nortel strategist served for a time as Genband’s CTO – or it may have provided insight that led Genband to makes it bid. The two companies worked together in 2007.

Genband supplies “IP gateways, session border controllers and FMC security solutions.” In other words, it provides the plumbing that supports the glitzy UC applications. In the press release announcing the bid, Genband CEO Charles Vogt said that the deal – if finalized – will accelerate service providers’ “migration to cutting-edge VoIP technology.” While UC isn’t singled out as a target for the business, it undoubtedly is where all this heading.

Indeed, Genband already is involved in UC plumbing, which is a colloquial way of saying that it provides underlying UC technology, but not applications seen by the subscribers of its service provider customer base. 

In June, Genband and IP software vendor BroadSoft said that they are working together on an approach that will migrate older time-division multiplexing (TDM) to VoIP. The companies are combining Genband G9 and G6 gateways, the C3 Signaling Controller and the S3 Session Border Controller with BroadSoft’s BroadWorks VoIP applications platform. The new platform can support hosted unified communications for service providers.

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