Nortel Enterprise Assets Now Belong to Avaya

Avaya Inc. is the official owner of Nortel Networks’ enterprise assets.

The $900 million deal, stemming from a September auction in which Siemens battled Avaya for control of the properties, closed on Friday. The challenge now for Avaya is to defy some telecom analysts’ predictions that integration will be messy and protracted. Some observers have even said Avaya will mishandle Nortel talent, putting even more pressure on Avaya to exceed expectations.

To that point, approximately 6,000 Nortel workers are joining Avaya, including 25 key managers. Joel Hackney is one of them. He served as president of Nortel’s enterprise division and now holds the title of senior vice president of the Avaya Executive Committee and president of Avaya’s government solutions and data unit.

Meanwhile, the addition of Nortel assets doesn’t just expand Avaya’s product portfolio – it also boosts its channel partner reach. Avaya has not yet announced which Nortel products it will keep and those it will toss, nor has it said much about how it will handle the partner aspect. The company said it will address those questions within the next 30 days.

In the interim, Avaya executives are expressing confidence over the Nortel takeover.

“The new Avaya will redefine business communications and help customers to reduce costs, simplify operations and increase their business agility,” Kevin Kennedy, Avaya’s president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

Bankrupt Nortel has spent much of 2009 auctioning off its various divisions as it tries to make enough money to pay off creditors.

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