Switching may not be a differentiator for Avaya either, after the Nortel deal. Due to the price sensitive and hotly competitive nature of the LAN switching business, Kerravala believes Avaya will look to part with its acquired Nortel data networking products.
Avaya says it will issue a Nortel/Avaya product road map 30 days after the deal's close.
"The best place for Nortel data is in HP/3Com or Brocade, a company looking to expand its customer base," he says.
The best place for everyone else is with a major OEM partner, according to CurrentAnalysis' Schuchart. And if they haven't had much success selling on price/performance, perhaps they should play the architectural road map card.
"For companies that don't have a deal or are not wholly owned by a compute vendor, next year's going to be tough sailing for them," Schuchart says. "There's also a fair amount of room out there for companies who have best-of-breed products, although in a data center moving towards virtualized automation, the standalone providers are going to have a harder time."