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Nortel Kicks UC Workers to the Curb

Nortel Networks Corp. (NT) appears to be dissolving its unified communications partnership with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)

Nortel isn’t commenting but media reports say the bankrupt, liquidating telecom equipment maker has laid off an unknown number of workers associated with the Innovative Communications Alliance (ICA) formed in 2006.

John Mann led that unit in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and according to his LinkedIn profile, he’s now looking for a new job. He was let go on Monday, as was Kevin McCarthy, global leader at Nortel’s Unified Communications Collaboration Center in the UK. Colleagues of Mann and McCarthy also were laid off.

For its part, Microsoft is holding off on assessing the impact to the ICA “until we understand Nortel’s plans for its enterprise division,” a spokesman told NetworkWorld.

Nortel is preparing to sell the enterprise unit, the division that includes the UC gear that provides the basis of the ICA. Perhaps this is Microsoft’s chance to get into the hardware business?

The news comes as the latest development in the quickly spiraling sage of Nortel. The company late last week confirmed it intends to sell most of its wireless assets to rival Nokia Siemens Networks. With that transaction apparently wrapped, Nortel now must decide what to do about its enterprise and Metro Ethernet Networks divisions.


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