Nortel, if it stays, will stay and grow in enterprise, contact center space

| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

Nortel, if it stays, will stay and grow in enterprise, contact center space

Rest assured customers and would-be buyers of Nortel's contact center and UC solutions.

The famed Canada-based communications solutions supplier is not going to hang up on you. If Canadian media reports are any indication, Nortel will increase its focus and presence on the enterprise--including contact center--markets. Which is not a bad thing given Nortel's excellent reputation for product engineering and innovation. Nortel has an alliance with Microsoft on UC that can be developed, overcoming its poor channel presence and marketing.

The (Toronto) Globe and Mail (and reported that Nortel will likely be spinning off its data and carrier divisions to avoid bankruptcy or disappearance, leaving it with enterprise solutions. There is too much competition especially offshore in these spaces, especially since the hardware and software can be produced cheaply abroad, which are also where the growth markets are--and these countries' cultures often prefer to deal with others in their regions rather than those outside.

Ironically, such a stripping down and repositioning would make Nortel's offerings akin to that of Avaya's: both firms share similar Bell manufacturing roots. Yet Nortel would be dependent on Microsoft to grow its space while Avaya has an excellent marketing arm. That makes for an interesting competitive triangle with Cisco. As Jon Arnold pointed out, in between is Microsoft that is not a big fan of Cisco, and Cisco is an arch-rival of Avaya. Avaya is also using increasing its use of open source, which is anathema to Microsoft.

Such an outcome with Nortel promises to be a richer, more competitive marketplace for business and contact center customers, what the cutting-edge open-source firms like Fonalty and aggressive carriers like UCN knocking on the door, and which wouldn't mind a piece of the enterprise pie.

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