Nortel Channel: What Now?

Now that bankrupt Nortel Networks is selling off its divisions, including its enterprise business, customers are not the only ones wondering how things are going to shake out. Channel partners are left hanging in the balance while Nortel seeks a buyer.

Many already have sought relationships with other vendors – Samsung Business Communications Systems and Avaya Inc. channel organizations, for example, have been courting Nortel dealers since the bankruptcy was announced.

Meanwhile they have to begin to prepare their customers for the transition and reassure them that the reseller will provide stability. Nortel notified customers it would honor contracts for the time being, but made no promises post-sale.

So, far the company has not said what would happen to its partners either. Analysts say whoever buys Nortel’s enterprise business has a vested interest in making sure the partners are taken care of so they, in turn, can keep customers happy. But there again the type of buyer — telephony or networking focused — might have an impact on partners for Nortel’s enterprise business, which includes both product sets.

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