Nortels Return to Relevance

By eweek  |  Posted 2007-05-24 Print this article Print

We think we can become a very significant professional services organization to go to Unified Communications and broaden [Microsofts] communication-enabled applications. Being aligned with Microsoft will help in a significant way. Unified Communications is coming very fast. People want to make investments today and we can give them confidence that they can invest now in VOIP. And there will be many other applications. [IVR (Interactive Voice Response)] is becoming more and of a request, and [customers] want services [for it]. Read more here about the extension of Nortels VOIP partnership with Microsoft .
Its extremely difficult to grow a services business to become a major presence, and it takes a lot of time to do that. Where do you believe Nortel is at in that effort and what milestones have you set out for Nortels progress in becoming a significant professional services provider?
We want to be a thought leader, provide Unified Communications and provide SIP [Session Initiation Protocol] applications. We can really accomplish that with our innovation. In the carrier space, we have a strong base with next-generation convergence. If we execute we could be a significant player. Services and solutions is not a big percentage of the market. We dont want to be the next IBM. We have a great services organization. Weve been more reactive when asked by customers, as opposed to marketing to them. We do believe that by simply communicating with existing customers, we will be able to increase our penetration significantly. We think we can take a $2 billion business and double it in the next three or four years. To quote Bob Metcalfe, partnering with Microsoft is like mating with a black widow spider. How will Nortel ensure that it gets the most out of its partnership with Microsoft, rather than Microsoft getting the best of Nortel Networks? They have lots of respect for commercially minded companies. Nortel is becoming one of those. Unless we add significant value, no partnership will last forever. We are going from being a very irrelevant player in the hardware business to one thats becoming very relevant. We bring significant value to Microsoft. Doors are being opened. The work we did together on the secure router was fantastic. To have however many sales people Microsoft has selling our combined solution is pretty important. We provide lots of value to Microsoft, but its far from being a one-way relationship. So far weve both gotten meaningful value from each other. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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