Nortel partners have breathed a sigh of relief at Avaya’s planned purchase of the vendor’s enterprise arm.
Last week the two companies agreed an asset sale agreement covering Nortel’s EMEA Enterprise Solutions business, part of a wider $475m (£290m) global deal.
Enterprise solutions chief Joel Hackney has claimed the unit’s customer base is its most valuable asset. Some channel players have expressed doubts as to whether Avaya would plough significant money into Nortel’s proprietary technology.
Noises from the top have provided cautious assurances, with Nortel chief executive Mike Zafirovski claiming “the industry will continue to benefit from Nortel technology and innovation”.
His Avaya counterpart Kevin Kennedy claimed the deal would “strengthen our portfolio of products”.
Michael Lloyd, managing director of Nortel Gold Solutions partner Proximity Communications, claimed he felt assured Avaya would continue to invest in Nortel’s technology.
“Paying half a billion dollars shows it has got plans for the product,” he said. “True integration will take up to two years but we want to be able to give our customers more information within five weeks.”
Lloyd indicated his firm was eager to explore Avaya’s call centre portfolio, but admitted he had concerns about the channel becoming overpopulated.
“There are a number of Avaya resellers out there but not many that sell Avaya and Nortel, which is where we would like to be,” he said.
Laura Harman, business unit director at Nortel distributor Avnet Technology Solutions, was another to welcome the announcement. She added that her firm wanted to play a central role in maintaining continuity for Nortel VARs.
“The acquisition could provide Nortel with the stability, scale and breadth needed to help the channel compete,” she said. “Additionally, Nortel end users should now feel more comfortable about the firm’s future and can continue to invest in their solutions with confidence.”
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