Nortel to attack the enterprise

Nortel to attack the enterprise

Nortel Networks last week unveiled a marketing strategy focusing on enterprise customers, a move designed to carry the networking provider beyond the still-dreary market for networking gear sold to telecom carriers.

The announcement will include important revisions to three IP telephony products, including a standards-based switch that provides power over Ethernet capabilities to compliant devices such as IP phones and wireless access points, according to Nortel officials.

The announcements come after the October 3 appointment of Oscar Rodriguez as president of Nortel's enterprise networks division.

The enterprise customer move and Rodriguez's appointment show a new effort within Nortel to anticipate enterprise customer needs.

"The service provider business Nortel once had is bad today and this announcement shows an increased commitment to the enterprise front," said Mark Fabbi, an analyst at Gartner. "They had ignored the enterprise for a while and there were even rumours a year ago they'd get rid of the enterprise focus. But that's been put to bed."

Nortel's new marketing emphasis should help the company convince more enterprise IT managers to buy its gear, despite recent news reports about drastic layoffs. "Financially, Nortel is struggling, but they have a pretty decent cash position. With more focus on these enterprise areas, they will clearly survive and get back to cash-flow positive by next year," Fabbi said.

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