Nortel Networks was a leading Canadian company providing telecommunication infrastructure including software, hardware and other networking equipment and accessories. It filed for bankruptcy in June, 2009 and serves as a major case study in success and in its later life failure and inefficiency.
Causes of Collapse
There is much speculation but a few theories have lead to Chinese hackers as having had a long-time backdoor into the company's private business operations including intellectual property, research & development projects, internal whitepapers, presentations, as well as sensitive business & marketing plans.. Tales of international espionage and cyber-attacks aside, what really brought down the Canadian juggernaut was an innate inability to focus on its core-competencies, namely "innovating in the telecommunications sector". Under Nortel's watch, Canadians somehow became the highest paying consumers of telecommunications services in the entire world.
Considering the fact that the telephone was invented in Canada, perhaps some further innovations could have gained new consumers rather than enabling the big telecommunications service providers who deployed Nortel equipment for the purpose of enslaving the Canadian public with single-option, inflexible, over-priced voice and data plans, requiring them to pay an average of $175+ per household (or 4th highest in the world) just to receive basic personal mobile and residential coverage, not to mention the outrageous prices for connecting a business. This might be why 13% of Canadians have abandoned having a landline phone. More consumer-focused, rather than enterprise-focused technologies could have saved the company, as at the end of the day, its the consumers who decide the profits of a particular company with their wallets. Particularly useful would have been small business-enabling technologies such as DIY VoIP and Mobile 4G hotspot products.
- Introducing Nortel VoIP: http://books.google.ca/books?id=T4Z3i7Ar1sAC&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=secrets+to+nortel%27s+success&source=bl&ots=Tq3PGTKuJK&sig=OA0PlorPB2BMkRE4k_Ej7XfLLEc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=K31cUIzeAsf30gHJhYHgBg&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=secrets%20to%20nortel%27s%20success&f=false
- Nortel VoIP Phone (USER GUIDE): http://umanitoba.ca/ist/telecommunications/media/1140userguide.pdf
- wikipedia: Nortel
- Nortel VoIP Phone: http://www.telephonemagic.com/nortel-voip-phone.htm
- Nortel Bankruptcy a Canadian Tragedy: http://www.internetnews.com/commentary/article.php/3796971/Nortel+Bankruptcy+a+Canadian+Tragedy.htm
- The steps to successful immersive telepresence: http://www.fsteurope.com/article/The-steps-to-successful-immersive-telepresence/
- TED Talk By Richard St. John (of Nortel Research Labs) on Secrets of Success: http://matthewalberto.com/2012/01/ted-talk-by-richard-st-john-on-secrets-of-success/
- Nortel hacked to pieces: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/02/25/nortel-hacked-to-pieces/
- Removing Telco Foreign Ownership Restrictions: My Appearance Before Senate Ctte on Transport & Comm: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6524/
- Did A Decade-Long Hack Trigger Nortel's Demise?: http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/decade-long-china-led-hack-may-have-triggered-nortels-demise-021512
- Nortel collapse linked to Chinese hackers: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/02/15/nortel-hacking-shields-as-it-happens.html
- Secret memo warns of Canadian cyber threat after Nortel attack: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/06/06/secret-memo-warns-of-canadian-cyber-threat-after-nortel-attack/
- Why are Canada's cell phone rates so high? Don't ask The New America Foundation: http://www.techvibes.com/blog/why-are-canadas-cell-phone-rates-so-high-dont-ask-the-new-america-foundation
- Canadian pay most for cell phone plans, by far: http://thecellularguru.com/2010/10/16/canadians-pay-most-for-cell-phone-plans-by-far/
- CRTC Communications Monitoring Report (2012): http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/PolicyMonitoring/2012/cmr6.htm
- Canadian cellphone rates among world's worst: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2009/08/11/canada-cellphone-rates-expensive-oecd.html
- Report finds Canadians pay more for wireless phone service: http://www.digitalhome.ca/2010/10/report-finds-canadians-pay-more-for-wireless-phone-service/
- International Telecommunications Price Comparisons: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/PolicyMonitoring/2012/cmr6.htm#t611
- 13% of Canadian households have abandoned landline phone service: http://www.digitalhome.ca/2011/04/13-of-canadian-households-have-abandoned-landline-phone-service/