Avaya Buys Nortel. What's that mean for Microsoft?

keep moving, nothing to see here...

After much hullabaloo, the actual Nortel auction was anti-climatic. Avaya was bid up by a bunch of other smaller players and ended up paying $900 million for Nortel's Enterprise assets. Did they overpay, maybe... But ebay-style sometimes it's hard to let something go once you've madeup your mind.

Bigger question for those reading the Microsoft Subnet is, What does it mean for Microsoft? Honestly, I don't think it means much. Microsoft has a foothold in the enterprise unified communications market. Not a huge player on the VoIP side yet, but they are integrated with all the major players. A large amount of the OCS voice rollouts I see are integrating with a PBX from one of the big 3-4 vendors. A smaller amount are using OCS as a standalone PBX and are pretty happy with it.

Much has been made of the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative Communications Alliance (ICA). Nortel hasn't had any money to fund this initiative in months and while I used to hear of deals regularly, I don't remember the last MS/Nortel joint press release around the ICA. As I said before, it's been dead awhile. I sincerely doubt MS expects any more fruit from that tree. MS also has a partnership agreement with Avaya. Though less formal than the ICA, Microsoft and Avaya seem to work well together. Avaya has even put together some great documents on integrating OCS with Avaya's various platforms.

I see one of two things happening. Either nothing... Or the new NorAvaya or AvayaTel will show a renewed partnership with MS. The latter makes for a very compelling go to market story. The only question is if there's too much pride to make it happen.

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