Nortel Enterprise and Chapter 11 Updates
Interesting week: Joel Hackney speaks out in No Jitter, while Tony Rybczynski speaks out at ITExpo. The ITExpo presentation by Tony was a 6-minute mini-presentation on the 'UC Shootout' attended by about 150 show attendees at the end of the first day. Participants on the panel, moderated by Greg Galitzine, included Interactive Intelligence, Communigate, Aspect, ObjectWorld and Nortel. No Cisco. No Microsoft. No IBM. No Avaya. No Siemens.
Panel participation speaks to the participants of the show overall – seemed like plenty of tier 2 service providers, VARs, Asterisk integrators, vendors and small medium business. Although not many large enterprises were there, there seemed to be plenty of innovation going on as entrepreneurs address the feature gaps of Asterisk and recruit channels to resell their open source-based offering. Solid show particularly considering the nasty economic conditions we are all living in.
To Tony's credit he did mention the Chapter 11 filing making the same points as Joel did, that this was a pre-emptive move, Nortel will emerge stronger afterwards and that the company is totally focused on serving customers well throughout this entire process. My suggestion to Tony was to identify companies that have been through Ch 11 successfully and ask what they had in common with Nortel. This would reduce the 'stigma' of being in Chapter 11 proceedings.
Of course, Joel's comments were more detailed and specific, since Tony only spent ~ 60 seconds discussing the state of the company.
My view is that only foolish competitors will jump on the filing as a reason to attack Nortel customers and channels. In most cases, they have already made their choices and are prepared to stick with it, so long as Nortel continues to deliver product when they ask for it, and deliver services when they need it. Besides, these are long life products that customers buy and operate over many years – usually 5-15 years. A little Chapter 11 restructuring ain't gonna' get in these customers' way.
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