Friday, September 01, 2006


Keeping Nortel top of mind

NortelThere was a time that Nortel was the only equipment provider that a phone company needed. In those days, the major sales efforts were at CEO levels - Nortel was selected as the 'official supplier' to a telco and then sales people simply took care of order-input.

Those days are long gone.

Nortel can't be the supplier of everything to every carrier and it has to make choices.

Sometimes, it has chosen wrong (Nortel missed the DSL business).

It has now decided to exit the UMTS wireless access business and sell it off to Alcatel. Perhaps it will be easier for the larger company (Alcatel/Lucent) to make a go of it. On the conference call, Mike Zafirovski said that he did not see a way for Nortel to grow its participation in UMTS to profitability.

The challenge, of course, will be for Nortel to keep customers thinking of them as a full service solutions provider. It may increase the role of engineering and systems integration services.

With its competitors getting bigger through consolidation, Nortel will have to work harder to keep itself top of mind for its customers to call.

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