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.
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.
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.)
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