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Avaya, Aastra jump into the Nortel bankruptcy circus

Avaya and Aastra have made separate moves to get into the Nortel bankruptcy circus.  Avaya is offering cash for assets, while Aastra will offer migration incentives (i.e. a sale) to get customers to switch.

In a press release today, Avaya announced it has signed agreements to pick up Nortel’s enterprise solution business for $475 million.  The acquisition includes Nortel’s Enterprise Solutions voice, data and government systems businesses, but the transaction awaits clearing a competitive bidding process and approval by bankruptcy courts in Delaware and Ontario.

Avaya gets to scale a bit, expand its channel partner network, and add to its portfolio of products and services.   Nortel gets cash to pay off its creditors and some of its employees will land as Avaya employees.  Bell Canada and BT praised the move and BT went so far as to say it would “expand” its engagement with Avaya over the next year to offer a full unified communications portfolio.

Aastra’s move is less concrete, more ambulance-chasing.  For “a limited time” Aastra says it will offer “extraordinary incentives” to get Nortel large enterprise customers to move to its Clearspan UC solution. Discounts include free unlimited numbers of SIP integration trunks, “significant” discounts on Aastra 67ix SIP phones, free instructor-lead training for admins during the first year of deployment (up to 2 students per class) and free end user, web-based training for an unlimited number of users during the first two years of deployment.

Aastra says that a 3,000 user enterprise deploying 300 SIP integration trunks and 1500 new SIP phones to users can save $500,000.

Billy Mays, you passed too soon, my friend.  You could have made some serious coin off someone looking to rob Nortel of its customer base…

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