Nortel's future focus, partnerships unclear

A day after filing for bankruptcy, Nortel Networks is of course the topic of much conversation and speculation. Industry observers are wondering if the company can keep it together; if it will lose its CEO; if it will lose some of it major partners, like Microsoft; how the bankruptcy will affect its smaller partners, like Airvana; how long it can hold onto skilled talent in places like Ottawa, Ontario, and Richardson, Tex., even in a down jobs market; and where the company should continue to focus its product energies as its fate plays out.

Analyst Jon Arnold told FierceTelecom that it will be hard to figure out where Nortel should continue to focus until more is known about whether or not its financial situation will remain an ongoing concern. "It's one thing if they remain an ongoing concern, but if they fall into another camp, a lot of that will dictate their fate," Arnold said. "For now, they can focus on their core customer base and keeping those relationships healthy. But, if there is a buyer who has a strong Web 2.0 focus, you can see the company going in that direction. For Nortel right now, it is too late to be switching to something else as a new focus." Arnold also speculated that job recruiters from other companies will have a "field day" exploiting the uncertainty about Nortel to lure Ottawa and Richardson talent.

For more:
- FierceVoIP covers Nortel's UCC partnership with Microsoft
- Jon Arnold accentuates the positive--Web.Alive--at his Analyst 2.0 blog
- Forbes has an Associated Press story covering the Airvana angle
- All About Nortel blogs about the sad occasion

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Nortel filed for bankruptcy yesterday
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Nortel reported a $3.4 billion loss in November
Nortel in September was looking at the Ethernet unit sale

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