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Commentary: Sonoma buy will pump up Nortel's market share

The company's acquisition of Sonoma Systems rounds out its product line and should help the Canadian network-equipment supplier gain a bigger share of the market for small and midsize operations.

    By Jay Pultz, Gartner Analyst

    Nortel Networks' acquisition of Sonoma Systems rounds out Nortel's product line and should help the Canadian network-equipment supplier gain a bigger share of the market for small and midsize operations.

    In the past, Nortel has had some problems quickly integrating new acquisitions into its product lines. However, this should not be the case with Sonoma. The two companies have had an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement since May 2000, and some interoperability testing has already been done.

    See news story:
    Nortel leaps into Net services with acquisition

    Sonoma has developed technology that is essentially a "branch office in a box." This technology allows carriers to offer more cost-effective and efficient data, voice and video connections over a single line.

    Although other small suppliers such as Mariposa Technology, Merlot Communications and Vina Technologies have developed similar technologies, the Nortel acquisition represents the first time a major supplier has shown interest in this kind of offering.

    Having the Nortel name behind this branch-office-in-a-box technology should inspire more confidence among prospective customers, who might have balked at purchasing critical communications technology from a small vendor.

    (For related commentary on Nortel and IT staffing in Canada, see TechRepublic.com --free registration required.)

    Entire contents, Copyright © 2000 Gartner Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.