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Nortel Networks: How Innovation and Vision Created a Network Giant

MacDonald, Larry

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ISBN 10: 0471645427 / ISBN 13: 9780471645429
Published by John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd, Etobicoke, Ont., Canada, 2000
Condition: very good, very good
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259, endnotes, index, some sticker residue on rear DJ. MacDonald's book fills a critical gap in the history of Canadian telecommunications, and chronicles the remarkable transformation of Nortel from a sleepy telephone manufacturer into Canada's most valuable corporation. Bookseller Inventory # 43005

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Nortel Networks: How Innovation and Vision ...

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd, Etobicoke, Ont., Canada

Publication Date: 2000

Book Condition: very good, very good

Edition: First Printing.

About this title


Praise for Nortel Networks How Innovations and Vision Created a Network Giant "Nortel rising from Canadian industrial age corporation to a global network powerhouse is a fabulous story of determination and foresight, and new business modal innovation. MacDonald shows why Nortel will remain pre-eminent in the brutally competitive digital economy." -Don Tapscott, Chair, Digital 4Sight, and Author of Paradigm Shift, The Digital Economy, Growing Up Digital, and Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs "Few companies are changing the world today. Nortel is one of them-and has been for generations. This is a human adventure of corporate renewal-about visionary leaders who transform today's success into tomorrow's innovation." - E. F. Peter Newson, Associate Professor, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario "MacDonald's book fills a critical gap in the history of Canadian telecommunications. His Nortel Networks is a valuable and extremely readable chronicle of the remarkable transformation of a sleepy telephone manufacturer into Canada's most valuable corporation." -Lawrence Surtees, research analyst, IDC Canada Ltd., and former telecommunications reporter. The Globe and Mail Visit Our Companion Website at


Bang, bang: welcome to the culture of speed. Blur the Canadian origins. Ramp up international sales, especially to the U.S. Establish useful corporate alliances. Out go sluggish and dated product lines. Bye bye, redundant employees. Whoosh, grab companies with useful technologies like Bay Networks. Oops, down goes the stock price. Pull back, holding your breath. That's the story of Canada's Nortel Networks in a nutshell. More comprehensive detail about how Nortel established the groundwork for Internet-based corporate networks on wireless communications and fiber-optics connections is offered in Larry MacDonald's Nortel Networks: How Innovation and Vision Created a Network Giant.

Nortel started out in the late 19th century as the telephone-manufacturing arm of Bell Canada, originally building telephones based on the designs of a leading U.S. telecom manufacturer, Western Electric Co. For a time it also produced a host of consumer electrical products like fire alarms and radios, and served as a major supplier for the Canadian military during WW II. But by the late 1960s, Nortel began exploring digital telephone switches, long before other telecommunications companies, including U.S. behemoth AT&T, which became its eventual customer. In 2000, Nortel was spun off as an independent corporation by its parent company.

MacDonald, a technology writer for various newspapers, including the Ottawa Citizen and the Financial Post, and a former Canadian federal government economist, ably documents Nortel's history with a mixture of reportage and analysis. He calls the government's sanctioning of Nortel's monopolistic position as the preferred supplier for Bell Canada "a covert industrial policy"--one that allowed the company to grow into the international player that it is. What's in store for the future? MacDonald speculates that Nortel and its California-based competitor Cisco Systems will join forces. But then who would want to risk a bet on any predictions in the topsy-turvy world of technology? --Paul Weinberg

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