Nortel’s Fate Is Still in the Wind – but not for long

I have just returned from the Annual International Nortel Networks Users Association (INNUA) Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.  At the event, I was again struck by the loyalty of the Nortel customer base.  There were 1,500 some in attendance.  I saw Nortel customers and partners who hailed from Boston to San Francisco and  as far away as Denmark, India, and Brazil.  Nortel had a group of nearly 250 partners from the Carribean and Latin America in town for training as well.  Attendance was down considerably (nearly cut in half) compared to last year, but those who were in attendance were serious – considering their options and Nortel’s future.  While Nortel compared their history to Pittsburgh’s – a gritty town with staying power that has reinvented itself for the new economy – customers really wanted to know about the future. Nortel preferred to focus on comparisons to the six  time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers – customers wanted to compare then to the Pittsburgh Penguins wondering whether they could pull off one more win to take the Cup. 

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The end of the highly diversifed organization...

...represents a real opportunity for M&A services providers. While conducting my research into the M&A and broader corporate strategy services space, I observed that business intelligence and performance management (BI&PM) programs are still very high on the executive agenda. Increased investment in analytic capabilities, as well as moves to becoming more sophisticated and transparent, will lead to the end of the highly diversified organization. Why? With these new capabilities companies will have a better picture of their portfolio and will be able to more wisely invest/divest into core/non-core-related assets. In the next 4-5 years we will see -- induced/accelerated by the recession -- that companies will move closer again to their core business, and not only for cost reasons. Hence BI&PM will fuel M&A activity and also lead to better M&As. I am postulating that there is a positive correlation between "analytic maturity " and " M&A maturity".

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