Yesterday in Houston, a Nortel representative said to a customer that a Cisco acquisition of Nortel is in the works. He added that Nortel has been restructuring itself in anticipation to the acquisition.
Since I am at the Asterisk conference, I presented the above as a question to one of the conference speakers, who happens to be very knowledgeable about the two companies. His answer? "I have heard that claim before but I'll believe it when I see it... Nortel's hardware is excellent but its software sucks".
Well, I guess the question is: "What does nortel have that cisco would want?" The only answers I can come up with are: customers, and an aging TDM platform that nortel's been trying to move all their customers off of. There really isn't all that much left that cisco doesn't already have.
In article , Jeff Pratt wrote: :Well, I guess the question is: "What does nortel have that cisco would :want?" The only answers I can come up with are: customers, and an aging :TDM platform that nortel's been trying to move all their customers off of. :There really isn't all that much left that cisco doesn't already have.
The Baystack 5510 / 5520 switch series is faster than Cisco's corresponding offerings, and sells for about 40% of Cisco's street price.
Why aren't we hearing a lot more about the 5510/5520? I'm not sure, but I'd guess that in part it's because the current layer 3 capabilities and QoS services are pretty limited. Cisco's 3550/3750 and related devices are swiss army knives compared to the 5510/5520.... but still, there's plenty of times where one just needs fast layer 2 plus a small bit of static layer 3, and Cisco cannot currently compete in that market.
That sales rep wants you to buy Nortel products. His February trip to Cancun relies on it. Since you probably said to him that you had doubts about buying Nortel because you thought it was headed towards extinction, he just piped up that "don't worry, It'll be picked up by Cisco" to make you think that it would still be supported in the long run.
Sounds like another urban legend to me. Some years ago there was a rumor of Cisco looking to acquire Mitel. Most recently there was a rumor going around Houston that Houston-based HP might be wanting to put together a deal with Mitel. We've also heard stories of Foundry Networks looking at a Mitel acquisition. Houston is the rumor capitol of the free world. If you heard it in Houston it's got to be so. :-)
Personally I cannot imagine what Nortel might have that would interest Cisco. Maybe they'd want Nortel's old TDM technology so they could put together a hybrid (like the Mitel 3300) and thereby offer Nortel's legacy TDM customer base a less painful migration strategy to get to IP.
If there really were an acquisition in the works, I think that everyone in the know would be required by the SEC to keep silent about it. So anyone talking about it would either be passing on a rumor or violating insider information laws.
Frankly, Cisco's software blows pretty bad too in light of the premium we have to pay for their gear. I don't think anyone would argue that Cisco is best of breed in too much of anything - their hardware is slow compared to just about any vendor they go up against (perhaps the SUP
1440 will help in that area). The big boys (ISP's and carriers) use Juniper. Their add-on products are even worse. CiscoWorks (or doesn't!)
2000 is an example. CallManager is full of memory leaks and is almost impossible to keep at Microsoft's recommended patch level. One has to have a friggin' PhD to understand and follow their IOS trains. The quality of IOS, in particular, is downright maddening anymore. I have uncovered at least three bugs in the last two months, and only while cleaning up some EIGRP routing issues. We run VoIP and the quality and fragility (is that a word? hehe) of the IOS and it's relation to the hardware DSP's is nothing short of frustrating. Anyone every try to beat DSP's, IOS, and VoIP faxing into submission? Can I get a witness here? :-)
Despite my growing frustrating with Cisco, I still purchase their products and maintain my certification. Why? Well, I guess it's for two reasons. I get great support from our Cisco partner (SBC), and, Cisco has one thing that no other vendor has - a "soup to nuts" solution. I run a little of everything in my network - I've got an ONS15454 optical platform, 7200's, 1760's, 3700's, BGP, VoIP, PIX, MPLS, and all kinds of PSTN interfaces/H.323 gateway functionality. There is at least one other positive about their code - the featureset is indeed rich and support for diverse and demanding applications via QoS and other traffic control mechanisms is pretty darned good.
To be fair, I can only imagine what it would be like to try to support the chassis and module/line card combos in Cisco's portfolio. However, I still think they REALLY need to work on the quality of their software if they aren't going to make up for their other performance deficits, especially when compared to other vendors.
My question would be why? What does Nortel have that Cisco would want so desperately? Sure with the drop in Nortel's stock price it would be a relatively a cheap buy but again why? Cisco has usually been pretty smart in its buys but I don't know if buying Nortel would be considered smart. Do they want the base, their manufacturing capacity, engineering resources or their huge debt? Would they want Bay Networks portfolio? What hole in Cisco's offerings would the purchase fill? There has to be some kind of reason for a take over, Nortel is not exactly a small entity, they would still take a lot of money to purchase. You also have to remember the two cultures are completely different. Nortel is still from the old telco religion, everytime a data company has taken over a telco player it hasn't exactly been peachy. The data and telco worlds are still very differect mentalities.
Me, I don't see it. Also I doubt that a "Nortel rep" would yak somethng like that even if true. " Yeah Cisco is buying us so why don't you run out and buy our stock before it jumps in price due to this merger" I don't think so. Maybe I see it in the Wall Street Journal, I take it seriously.