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Time to Move On

September 30, 2009 10:42 PM

This is my last blog posting, two years to the day and 160+ postings after entering the blogsphere, and six months after retiring from Nortel, where I worked for 37 years. I left out the front door, but was saddened to leave a company that had entered bankruptcy and was being sold off.

Tony in Star.jpg

Having my own blog been fun and quite a learning experience!

Throughout I tried to educate, entertain and promote Nortel's cause in this exciting new medium.

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Hyperconnectivity: The Internet of Things

September 29, 2009 1:14 PM

Great set of articles crossed my desk on connecting a broad range of sensors in various forms.

We've all heard about and probably used toll-collection tags, security access key cards and retail tags, but many new apps are coming our way.

For example,
How about the first WiFi pacemaker that allows the doctor to monitor its performance? Could be life saving.

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Is Hyperconnectivity Broken?

September 28, 2009 5:01 PM

Certainly not.

But Larry Roberts, one of the founding fathers of the Internet, says that the Internet, the underlying fabric of Hyperconnectivity, is.

He suggests that traditional routers, such as those from Cisco and Juniper, just don't have the price/performance required to support Hyperconnectivity, the "exploding network of people, computing and things" (my term).

Larry suggests that you need flow-based routing to solve the problem, basically bringing back virtual circuits (introduced back in the mid-70s) to the packet world (and also visible in label switching or MPLS).

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Infoweek 500 's annual survey provides an industry-by-industry view of investment strategies.

Across most industries, the response to "What has been the most effective productivity push?", the answer is "new forms of collaboration software." This can take various forms, such as Unified Communications, social networking, and web conferencing.

There were a few noted exceptions. For example, in retail, Business Intelligence solutions are king, not surprising given that understanding customers is so important to the top and bottom lines.

This bodes well for UC suppliers, who need to sell the values of their solutions, with an eye on non-traditional suppliers of other forms of collaboration software, including those that deliver cloud computing solutions.

The US DoJ is apparently investigating whether there are any anti-trust aspects in the Avaya purchase of Nortel Enterprise.

When I visited the DoJ web site, I couldn't find anything on this, suggesting it's in very early stages, though my Nortel friends tell me that the DoJ is in an intensive data-gathering mode.

Here's my take.

This is a highly competitive market that is being transformed from a PBX-centric environment to one that is "UC as an application"-centric.

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The courts approved the acquisition of Nortel Enterprise by Avaya and dismissed any Verizon objectives.

My Nortel friends tell me that the acquisition is moving ahead, anticipating the the DoJ investigation will not impact these plans (my take on the DoJ in an upcoming blog).

Now execution begins towards long-awaited industry consolidation.

Sorell Slaymake
r does a good job describing what needs to be done.

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Nortel IPR a Key Asset

September 16, 2009 7:48 AM

While one can question the tactics of Research In Motion's co-CEO< Mike Lazaridis in challenging the sale of Nortel's Wireless business, there is a net benefit.

Nortel was a technology-driven company with many brilliant engineers. Over the decades, their collective work has moved the technology forward, created business opportunities, and established Nortel leadership.

It is now clearly understood that Nortel's key patents should not be sold outright with the business units and should be monetized in some other way: either sold on their own and or even established as an on-going revenue stream.

Nortel Avaya- It's Not a Done Deal

September 14, 2009 7:19 AM

After a marathon auction, Avaya has agreed to buy Nortel's Enterprise business for $900M, much better than the original $475M. Great selling job, Nortel!

A while back I blogged:
"It's good for Avaya-Nortel's VoIP market position globally." It's still so. Cisco watch out.
"It's good for Avaya-Nortel's Contact Center market position with two leading portfolios and opportunities for cross opportunities." It's still so, but antitrust concerns in this area may delay the purchase, which is bad all around.
"It's good for Avaya-Nortel's application and service business, which has been a strong emphasis of both entities." This is a huge opportunity, as it 's central to the new world of telecom.
It's good for Avaya-Nortel's UC position, if they can rationalize their positioning with MSFT and IBM." I see this as a major challenge, as Avaya has not been a leader in this space.

"It's bad for R&D and support effectiveness since there's a lot of product overlap (five call servers just from Nortel)." This is a huge challenge going forward.
"It's bad for Nortel's Data business unless Silver Lake Partners (private equity owner of Avaya) brings together their Cabletron assets with Nortel's to bring back Bay Networks (or something along those lines)." There has been no indication that this will happen.

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Photography-Mobility Convergence

September 10, 2009 7:21 AM

Let's not talk serious photography.

But consider that there are more cameras sold as as a feature on a cell phone than as stand-alone devices.

In fact, Telus, the second largest carrier in Canada, just bought over 100 Black's Camera stores, to get retail space.

The industry never ceases to amaze me.

iPhone lock-in

September 8, 2009 10:57 AM

Andrew raises some good points about iPhone apps and makes you wonder how lock-in can be avoided by enterprise IT.

Cisco Watch-Out

September 2, 2009 7:08 AM

Alan Sulkin, an experienced market watcher, has published his 2Q09 North American view on IP Telephony market shares, putting Cisco at #1 and Avaya and Nortel as #2 and #3 respectively.

According to Alan, Nortel + Avaya, if no other bidders submit bids by the end of the week, would be #1 with a combined 27% vs 21% share for Cisco.

A couple of other interesting points:

The market 'rebounded' by some 10%, a positive indicator of CIO mindsets on economic recovery.

This may be Alan's last IP Telephony share analysis as he argues that all PBXs support IP in some form and so the IP PBX designation is no longer relevant.

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$14 for a cell phone

August 31, 2009 7:22 AM

But not here.


The 'vergatario' was launched by Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela.

And it's not just a phone but also a cell phone, a WAP internet device, and MP3 player and an FM radio.

It is the result of a collaboration between a Chinese company, ZTE, the designer of the phone, and a Venezuelan manufacturer... o yes and some creative branding by the latter.

600,000 will be manufactured this year.

It demonstrates that extermely price sensitive mass markets (not just Venezuela, but India, China and many others) will be served by the likes of Vergatario and its cousins, rather than pricey iPhones and Blackberries of our part of the world.

UC Reality Check

August 28, 2009 7:27 AM

Brent Kelly from Wainhouse Research is a straight shooter and does a great job laying out the UC landscape.

In the first part of his article, he points out that Microsoft is winning the UC seat and perception war (Nortel was right in their alliance with Microsoft), and that UC costs are increasingly untrackable and very difficult to compare.

In the second part, he talks extensively of the prospects of UC as a Service, a scenario that is becoming really interesting.

I would add that CIOs are still very confused by what UC is and how they should justify the investments, and questioning particularly how UC relates to social networking and the consumer effect in enterprise.

How about an on-line database of 2500, correction 250,000, medieval soldiers from the 14 and 15 century Britain.

There you can find that "Robert Fishlake served on three successive expeditions in 1378, 1379 and 1380, presumably in each case as an archer, before going on to give further service in Scotland and elsewhere, showing that archers might be just as professional in attitude and outlook as knights and esquires."

Fascinating stuff.

With only 5% of music downloads resulting in any cash exchange, copyright owners (artists, musicians, record studios and so on) are rightfully concerned.

But what to do? The French Government is taking a rather unique approach.

In France, there has been a raging debate over what is called the proposed 'three strikes law', whereby any Internet user observed as undertaking what are deemed illegal file transfers would be disconnected (on the third incident), UNILATERALLY.

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