Yes it is unfortunately true but it’s not the end of the world, not today anyway.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a media frenzy over any company such as I’ve seen with Nortel. All kidding aside I’ve received no fewer than 25 e-mail messages today from folks outside my organization concerning the Nortel news (I won’t even mention how many messages were flying around internally). At first came the trade magazines with their “newsletters” and then came the vendor/reseller solicitations (as if my Nortel network was about to implode by 12:00PM noon if I didn’t contact them).
Just looking over at Network World I spotted approximately 14 stories related to the Nortel bankruptcy. Is there really that much news that we need 14 stories dedicated to the subject?
The real story here… how is Nortel’s current customer base going to react to the news. Is this the beginning of the end for Nortel or will it be the revitalizing step that Nortel needs to finally come out from under the haze that’s been hanging over it since the dot-com bust in 2001.
I’m sure a few folks have taken notice of the current poll on the left side of this page; What vendor would you use for Enterprise LAN/WAN switching if Nortel disappeared tomorrow?
Where do we as customers go from here… as if there wasn’t enough to-do now we need to tackle the larger question of what’s the risk to my organization if I’m using Nortel equipment and if I’m reliant on Nortel support.
It’s obvious that Cisco is the market leader but how’s does Cisco stand up on price and support compared to Hewlett Packard (HP), Juniper, Foundry, etc. These are all questions quite a few of us are going to be struggling with over the next few weeks and months.
Links of interest include;
Update: Thursday January 15, 2008
Now that the inital frenzy is over and the sugar kick has worn off Network World is now reporting “Nortel customers staying the course – for now“.
Yes, it is a feeding frenzy.
I’ve heard from a couple people opining that our organization should now buy Cisco hardware. I prefer to take a wait and see approach for the next 4-6 months to see what happens.
All our Nortel hardware is Enterprise Data, except for our PBX (CS 1000M) and VM (Call Pilot). We lucked out and instead of doing a mulit-year upgrade, upgraded all our old ES 8100s to new ERS 4500s in the summer of 2008. The 4500 is a newer routing switch. We also have many ES 470 switches. So from a currency standpoint, we are in pretty good shape.
Even *if* Nortel went away tomorrow, the technology is still good and there will be hardware available for purchase from resellers. Additionally, there are other firms which offer repair and support services for Nortel hardware.
But it’s disappointing that some people are essentially panicking. Nortel equipment that worked prior to bankruptcy will work after bankruptcy. Some rash comments that I’ve seen elsewhere Nortel hardware should be removed and a installed as soon as possible do not contribute to a thoughtful discussion.
Michael McNamara says
I have the same philosophy as you do Tom, let’s wait and see what if anything actually happens. Unfortunately there will always be those folks that believe the only solution is a Cisco solution, and this move by Nortel will only fuel that fire. In my case I will be inviting HP, Juniper and Cisco in to get a basic understanding of their LAN/WAN portfolios and pricing, however, this effort will be dedicated toward contingency planning should Nortel unexpectedly close shop.
I’m actually scheduled to deploy approximately $700,000 worth or Nortel equipment at a regional hospital in the next two months. This will be an all IP network infrastructure including 300+ i2002/i2004 IP phones, 50+ ERS5520-48T switches, and 2 ERS8600 switches.
Thanks for your input!