Saturday, August 11, 2007

Microsoft Vs. Cisco

For an unfortunately old telecom sort of guy, it really is something to watch the coming battle Cisco and Microsoft will be waging over voice services. If you've been around long enough, it seems discomforting that the key battles are not to be waged between Nortel and Lucent, or Avaya and Nortel.

In fact, it also is discomfiting that the coming battle won't even really be about voice per se. Instead, everything now hinges on capabilities in the unified communications or collaboration areas. Communications requires dumb pipes of high quality, to be sure. Beyond that, most of the heavy lifting now can be done by the applications.

So in some genuine sense, the whole global telecom business is about dumb pipes. Not completely, but largely.

Still, voice and real time communications remain challenging disciplines, though that generally is under appreciated by most people.

Microsoft probably is going to discover that, as Cisco has.


Anonymous said...

I laughed at the thoughts about an old telecom guy. As an old telecom girl, I feel its too bad the battle isn't about ROLM, AT&T, Northern Telecom, and Mitel.

Gary Kim said...

No kidding. I never even see any Rolm equipment these days. In fact, it's been many years...I used to say there is a difference between the people three years or less to retirement, who will simply leave the mess to "us" people who will be in the business another 20 years. Now I don't have the 20 years!!!!! Doesn't mean I'm not trying to do what I can to get the telecom ecosystem ready for the new world, though. I don't think it's a responsible attitude to simply take the easier route, whatever that might be, than to do the "right" thing by pushing every entity towards the different market that is emerging...

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