Was Nortel Microsoft’s Second Choice?

Nortel’s been talking up its unified communications partnership with Microsoft in recent months – part of CEO Mike Zafirovski’s strategic partnership plan. Avaya, however, claims it was Microsoft’s first choice but turned down the opportunity because it didn’t want to license its content control technology to Microsoft. “They came to us to offer that deal and we turned them down, and now they’re coming back to try again,” said Karyn Mashima, senior VP of strategy and technology, told Computer Business Review. That said, it sounds like there’s some sour grapes between Avaya and Microsoft as Mashima adds that Microsoft was asking to license Avaya’s “crown jewels”, and that Microsoft has realized its alliance with Nortel isn’t strong enough to take on Avaya or Cisco. “It’s fine for the Nortel installed base, but Microsoft is getting asked a lot by its customers about the relationship with us.”

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4 Responses to “Was Nortel Microsoft’s Second Choice?”

  1. three's a crowd Says:

    Interestnig to hear an Avaya senior exec so obviously and explicitly concerned by a competitor. Nortel are obviously doing something right.

    It sounds like Avaya wishes it had got closer to MSFT originally… What a spectacular own goal.

    Avaya’s comms have been in pretty poor shape since everyone left last year. They need to sort it out fast if this is the sort of uncontrolled briefing that results.

  2. TechIQ » Archive » Cisco, Microsoft: Meeting March 7? Says:

    […] closely linked to Nortel. Not that Microsoft is playing favorites. Apparently, the software giant approached Avaya before giving Nortel a […]

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Similar to how Mike Z said in the WSJ in January that Nortel was a much tougher job than he originally thought, it looks like Microsoft looked under the hood of Nortel and hasn’t found much value to unlock in their coming war against Cisco. At some point, I would expect there to be huge consolidation in the industry with Microsoft being a large participant. Meanwhile Cisco continues to march forward on all fronts.

  4. Anonymous Says:


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