Nortel maintains Aussie health

Networking vendor Nortel has continued to defend the health of its Australian and New Zealand operations, in the face of renewed international job cuts. Last week the Canadian vendor flagged plans to reduce its global workforce by some 2,900 positions, with the bulk of the retrenchments to come in 2007.

Networking vendor Nortel has continued to defend the health of its Australian and New Zealand operations, in the face of renewed international job cuts.

Last week the Canadian vendor flagged plans to reduce its global workforce by some 2,900 positions, with the bulk of the retrenchments to come in 2007. The move was part of a plan by Nortel's chief executive Mike Zafirovski to reverse the vendor's flagging fortunes.

But, as he did last June, Nortel's Australia and New Zealand president, Mark Stevens, last week maintained the new announcement had not forced his hand on job cuts, claiming it was business as usual locally.

"To be clear, we're always hiring, we're always losing staff, it's just the normal cycle of business," he said in response to a question from ZDNet Australia last week on whether the company was retrenching staff locally.

"As far as Australia goes ... there's no change in my business plans as a result of these announcements. We're not going through ... and making any dramatic changes to our business plans." Stevens added Nortel was currently hiring Down Under.

An anonymous and unverified e-mail sent to ZDNet Australia claimed Nortel's Melbourne office was set to lose substantial numbers of staff in the wake of the announcements, but Stevens roundly denied the accusation.

"That's not impacting the Melbourne office," he said of the global announcement.

Stevens said he was happy with Nortel's performance in 2006 locally. "It's been a good year, I'm pretty happy with '06. We've got a good team in place," he said. "I'm still very bullish about the enterprise market .... we've got new programs going in, we've got a broad base of carrier customers."

In 2006, Nortel was known to have won deals with the following local organisations, directly or through partners:

  • Western Australia's Department of Consumer and Employment Protection
  • Kleenmaid
  • Queensland Cotton
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Sydney Adventist Hospital
  • Toowoomba City Council
  • Macquarie University
  • Anglican Home
  • St George Bank