Aussie customers monitoring Nortel

Summary:A number of Nortel's large Australian customers this week said they were closely monitoring the company following news it had filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.

update A number of Nortel's large Australian customers this week said they were closely monitoring the company following news it had filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.

IT nightmare number 4678 — VoIP supplier goes bankrupt.
(Cartoon by Christine Lee and Alex Serpo/ZDNet.com.au)

The news of Nortel's bankruptcy came after major job cuts and a very poor quarter at the end of 2008. Subsequent to the US fallout, Nortel UK went into administration.

Despite the international fallout, local vice president of Asian carrier sales, Anthony Mclachlan told ZDNet.com.au, that there would be "no change in day-to-day operations".

Nortel's current Australian customers include Macquarie University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Western Sydney, Queensland Cotton, Kleenmaid and St George bank, Austock, Wannon Water and law firm Middletons.

"We've been aware of the issues with Nortel for some time," said Allan Morris, executive director of IT service at RMIT. "It's a bit early to tell, but I would expect them to trade through this."

Likewise, a spokesperson for the University of Western Sydney said that the university was aware of the situation and was monitoring it. Macquarie University, whose North Ryde campus is adjacent to Nortel's Sydney headquarters, declined to comment.

A spokesperson for Optus said: "Nortel remains an important partner and supplier to Optus", and that the telco would "continue to monitor this matter closely over the coming weeks/months". The spokesperson added that Optus did not rely on Nortel as a key partner to maintain its networks, rather that "Optus works with a number of vendors, including Nortel, to ensure we have no complete reliance on a single provider for network equipment".

A Telstra spokesperson noted Nortel's comments that it would be business as usual for Nortel's Australian office and said the telco's current business arrangements with the troubled supplier would continue.

"Nortel is a valued provider that has delivered consistently over time for Telstra as we remain a strong supporter," they said, noting Telstra had "comprehensive contingency and network redundancy arrangements in place" to ensure its network suffered no hiccups.

"Telstra will monitor the Nortel situation closely and assess all options to ensure our customers are not inconvenienced in any way," the spokesperson added. "In the event of any changes or developments, we will keep you updated."

Topics: Telcos

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