Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Few professional challenges in life are as difficult as those faced by veteran employees whose company is being acquired by another. Just imagine how difficult the past year has been for workers who not only have had to deal with layoffs and economic turmoil inflicted by bankruptcy.

For Nortel’s Voice over Internet Protocol unit, business has continued to be strong with many new clients signing on worldwide. But that group, too, is being shed by Nortel as part of its liquidation process. And on Wednesday, Nortel said it had reached a “stalking horse” bid from Texas-based for its voice over Internet Protocol business unit, making Genband the early favorite to get the group through a competitive bidding process.

In a letter posted on Genband’s Web site, Chief Executive Officer Charlie Vogt reached out to the several hundred Nortel workers in the Carrier VoIP and Applications Solutions (CVAS) who could become part of his company.

Read the letter and ask yourself: How would you be feeling right now if you were a Nortel VoIP employee who was part of a group that was growing business even as the parent company was disintegrating and dismembering itself through bankruptcy.

The letter:

“On behalf of GENBAND, I would like to extend our warm greetings to all Nortel CVAS employees around the world. Although much remains to be determined as we navigate a challenging stalking horse process, we look forward to getting to know one another better in light of our interest in acquiring Nortel’s Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions business.

“In many ways, our two companies already know each other well as existing partners. For this reason, we believe we can offer Nortel customers a smooth transition to a company that shares synergies, has proven experience with Nortel assets and mutual customer knowledge in Carrier VoIP, TDM switching and services.

“This proposed transaction would create the most comprehensive portfolio of VoIP solutions. By melding your carrier VoIP and softswitch expertise with our highly successful IP gateway portfolio, we have a unique opportunity to fuel affordable network migration to cutting-edge VoIP technology.

“As believers in next generation networking, our aim will also be to empower service providers and their partners to use a range of leading softswitch solutions to interoperate with Nortel’s installed base without having to discard existing infrastructure. Our vision behind this proposed acquisition is to continue expanding a market approach to open standards, interoperability and best-in-class products.

“’Driving the Network Evolution’ is more than a company tagline for GENBAND. It defines our role in the transformation of today’s fixed and mobile networks to the all-IP future. We believe our vision for this acquisition is well aligned with the designed evolution path to IP shared by our customers and partners around the globe.

“Your successful market share gains in a difficult 2009 speak to your dedication, commitment and focus, and we believe CVAS is a strategic division with innovative technology and talent that would thrive at GENBAND.

“If this acquisition process is successful as we indeed hope, we look forward to meeting you and asking and answering many questions. For now, we wish all of you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.


“Charlie Vogt
President and CEO”

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