Avaya Tries to Counter Nortel Deal Concerns
As its partners continue to ponder the impact of the Nortel enterprise acquisition, Avaya is doing its best to quell fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about the deal. Problem is, Avaya can’t really say anything. Here’s why.
“From a legal perspective, we can’t say anything about what our plans are and we can’t say anything that would prevent Nortel [enterprise] from still doing business as a competitor,” said Carol Giles Neslund, vice president, North American Channel at Avaya. “What we’re trying to do for our partners and for the Nortel partners who have moved over to become Avaya partners – as well as the Nortel partners who haven’t moved over yet – is signal as best we can what our strategy is going to be.”
Avaya laid out a framework for the go-to-market strategy during the general session of the 2010 Global Sales and Americas Partner Conference, stating that Avaya partners would continue to sell Avaya products and would have to be certified to be able to sell Nortel products. Nortel partners, meanwhile, would only be able to sell Nortel products unless they obtain certification to sell Avaya products. Fewer toes to step on.
That strategy, along with pushing Avaya Aura and its SIP-based architecture as the product platform to sell moving forward, should temper some of the FUD, Neslund said.
“Our intention with channel community is to make the transition as smooth as possible, and to have that discussion just as soon as we are legally able to do that,” she said.
It’s difficult to imagine the folks at Avaya aren’t as frustrated as their partners over the time it’s taking for the Justice Department to approve the Nortel acquisition. Right now they expect a decision to come down in the first part of December. Until then, their hands are tied, and so it’s up to their partners to be patient just a little while longer.