Nortel enterprise exec on Bay watch

Nortel Networks likely will face the auctioning of its carrier networks business and other units later this month. At this point, the fate of the enterprise division is not known, though Avaya and a handful of other companies have been mentioned as possible buyers for the unit. Meanwhile, John McHugh, vice president and general manager for Nortel's Enterprise Data Networking Solutions, is hoping that the unit lands in a situation that can allow it to re-leverage the old Bay Networks name.

Nortel bought Bay Networks about 11 years ago, and it became the core of the the Canadian vendor's subsequent enterprise push. Some of the Bay Networks products eventually were spun off into a different company, Netgear. While Nortel hung onto the Bay Networks brand rights, the name mostly disappeared, though corporate enterprise customers and former employees who dispersed to join other firms always have professed strong feelings for the company, and I've personally talked to several over the years who were quick to lament the firm's absorption by Nortel (though as I remember it, Bay was financially hamstrung and needed a buyer).

Realistically, the chances of a Bay Networks return seem slim, given that many enterprise companies who might buy the Nortel enterprise unit are up to their elbows in unified communications strategies and other efforts far removed from the hardware focus of the old Bay. Is anyone using the name Wellfleet Communications? (inside joke)

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