House looks to strong Nortel future

After just three months into the $US9.1 million Nortel/Bay Networks merger, David House is feeling confident the two companies made the right decision, reporting growing customer acceptance.

"I'm happy to say that 90 days into this merger, we are yet to find a customer who is not happy," House said.

House, president of Nortel Networks and former CEO and president of Bay Networks, yesterday said users are looking to the new company to offer a migration path to converged voice and data networking solutions.

It is a challenge House is looking forward to, reporting the combined Nortel/Bay companies have a "unified direction going forward", particularly in the areas of product development and employee cultures.

Nortel Networks is currently developing call centres solutions and integrating telephony into its voice and data networks to meet the demand.

However, despite the optimism, House is realistic about Nortel Networks state of affairs. "It's not like it's been easy, it's been a lot of hard work," he said.

If the merger is to truly succeed, House said: "first of all, it's got to work at the top."

As such, he reports a healthy relationship is developing between himself and David Roth, chief executive of Nortel Networks.

Responding to ComputerWorld's suggestion the Bay Networks' line of business risks losing its identity following the merger, House said Bay intends to leverage the strength of Nortel Networks' channel.

He said maintaining a "special niche" is difficult, indicating that before the merger, Bay Networks faced the difficulty of fighting the enterprise networking battle alone. House said Bay Networks is not as traditionally strong as Cisco in wide area networking, but said the merger will alleviate this difficulty.

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