Nortel eyes Asia-Pacific as revenue source

Nortel Networks has earmarked the Asia-Pacific region as a source of increased revenues in the next three years which is central to the networking vendor's ambitious plans to return to profit by July 2003.

The company's enterprise marketing VP Robert Burke estimates that by 2006 the Asia-Pacific region will account for one-third of the company's enterprise revenues worldwide.

Pointing to a rough 18-month period, which has seen Nortel revenues plummet, Burke said the company is "fighting mad" and has made some tough decisions in anticipation of a turn-around next year.

During this time Nortel has downsized by 60,000 employees, but the company does have $US4.9 billion in cash.

"The burn rate is getting less each quarter and we will break even by the middle of next year; we started resizing early," Burke said.

Attributing the fall to the optical market, Burke said the Internet fuelled huge demand for bandwidth in the late 90s, but now those pipes need to be filled so he is right behind Bill [Bill Gates] and the development of more video apps.

"The current market conditions are as bad as it's ever going to get; the bleeding has stopped and I think it has stabilised," he said, adding Nortel has been through the 'good, bad, and the ugly'.

Claiming that CIOs are "sweating their assets", Burke said IT spending has remained flat this year as IT professionals try to do more with less.

"The CIO has a lot on his plate; IT spending has to be tactical and strategic, and that means using IT to increase revenues, drive employee productivity and anticipate customer requirements," he said.

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