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NEC Restructures

NEC Unified Solutions, Inc. and NEC Infrontia, Inc. have merged to become a single corporate entity doing business as NEC Corporation of America (NEC). NEC Unified Solutions mostly focused on the higher end of the enterprise communications market; Infrontia was the company formed by the consolidation of the NEC Corporation and Nitsuko Corporation key telephone and POS terminal divisions.Takayuki Okada will lead the company as President and CEO. According to Mr. Okada the new entity will combine "the resources and capabilities across NEC's robust portfolio of technology and solutions [and] will provide our customers broader and innovative choices for their business and technology needs." He also went on to say that the North American market, the largest in the world, will be integral to NEC's global strategy and success and the merger is in keeping with NEC's global commitment.

* Unified Solutions Group--Will continue to offer network centric solutions to customers leveraging NEC's award-winning business communications solutions and third party product and applications. They also will focus on emerging technologies, such as wireless, collaboration and vertical market solutions for Healthcare, Higher Education, Government and Hospitality. Jeff Kane, the former President of NEC Unified Solutions, will head this group as its Senior Vice President.

* Communications Technology Group--Is responsible for the development, marketing and sale of NEC's broad suite of business communications products and solutions through NEC's extensive indirect sales channel.

* Carrier Solutions Group--Provides advanced optical network systems and microwave radio communications business units to carriers and service providers.

* IT Platform Group--Offers every element of an integrated IT infrastructure ranging from servers to storage, to virtualization and integrated services.

* IT Solutions Group--Provides specialized IT consulting, systems integration and managed services that enable businesses and industries to maximize business performance.

For the most part customers will be unaffected by the reorganization. The creation of the new Unified Solutions Group, though, should help drive sales of product through direct channel operations, it being a reincarnation of the old Business Network Systems (BNS) organization. Though the industry trend has been towards greater reliance on third party dealers and system integrators, there are significant customer opportunities for direct channel operations.

As one of the world's leading IT system and component suppliers NEC needs to leverage its resources to re-establish itself as a stronger North American competitor at the higher end of the market. SMB systems have sustained NEC's market position the past few years, almost exclusively through third party channels. Now is the time NEC must boost its presence among enterprise-level customers, while the Avaya/Nortel situation irons itself out and before Microsoft makes a big jump into the voice systems market space.