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IBM exec leaves to head Avaya's Nortel integration?

IBM veteran exec Mohamad Ali will leave IBM after more than 13 years and join Avaya as a senior vice president of corporate development, focusing on M&As, he told his contacts in a personal email over the weekend.

Ali’s transition to Avaya is especially noteworthy now that Avaya intends to acquire Nortel’s enterprise business.

Ali said he will lead Avaya’s M&A activity as the company angles to gain market share on Cisco in the enterprise communications market, according to Xconomy, a Massachusetts business and technology journal that interviewed him over the weekend. Avaya, Nortel and Cisco have long battled for the top three spots in the Voice over IP market, with Nortel holding ground even amid its bankruptcy proceedings.

There appears to be a clear alignment between Ali’s new role at Avaya and Nortel’s current customer base. Ali said in his email that Avaya offers “an opportunity to participate in and shape a whole new era of intelligent communications for healthcare, financial services, government and other services.” Nortel counts numerous government and healthcare agencies among its largest customers.

Ali led IBM’s worldwide M&A activities and was behind IBM’s 2007 acquisition of Cognos. He also said in his email that he has joined the board of Ember Corp. a Boston-based ZigBee wireless technology company that enables smart meters and building systems for energy efficiency.

Ali did not respond to emails regarding his new role at Avaya.

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