Nortel’s Enterprise Customers Advised to be Wary of Avaya

Some of you will recall my recent post regarding the challenges Avaya will confront as it attempts to integrate its acquisition of Nortel’s enterprise business. The challenges are real and substantive.

As I said previously, acquisitions rarely play out as they do on a spreadsheet. It would be folly for any acquiring company to expect that it simply will be able to augment its own market share with that of its new possession. It rarely plays out so seamlessly or uneventfully.

That’s because people are involved. The outcome of an acquisition doesn’t only depend on how well products and technologies are integrated into their new home. They key to success is how the people are handled — not just the new employees, but also the new channel partners, the technology partners, and, most of all, the new customers.

In a Network World piece, Jim Duffy consults a few market analysts who advise Nortel customers to keep a watchful eye on how Avaya handles the post-acquisition integration.

Said Bob Hafner of Gartner:

“There may be some surprises there. These are going to be two large companies coming together. It’s not the easiest thing to do. These things never go without issues, problems or concerns.”

Indeed.

Henry Dewing of Forrester makes a related point:

“The biggest issue for users is, ‘Show me the [product] road map,.’ They want to see hardcore product plans [and] how they are going to actually consolidate product lines.”

Avaya got Nortel in the bankruptcy auction. Now the hard part begins. This is when we’ll find out whether Nortel’s enterprise business will become a fully realized asset or a partial liability for Avaya.

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