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News and analysis of developments in the enterprise communication industry and market with primary focus on Europe.

The author aims to tap into ideas, insights and thoughts of the readers to get varied perspectives.

Views expressed in this blog are solely the author's opinion and in no way reflect those of his employer.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nortel partners with Microsoft

Microsoft is interested in unified communication. They propose to change the way enterprises communicate. They propose a people-centric model, which is markedly different from a network centric one that has been pervasive for the last 20 years if not more. But then the enterprise PBX market is saturated and most of the large vendors have strong relationships with their customers, why are they making a beeline to partner with Microsoft, who is unknown in the voice industry.

The reasons are deep rooted. While the market is owned by the traditional telephony vendors, the market is inherently hardware based. Microsoft believes that it can squeeze out some margins from these hardware products, thus forcing a bottom-line pressure on the telephony vendors.

From the announcement made jointly by Microsoft and Nortel, I feel that Nortel wanted to communicate its intention to move to the system integration space and leave the unified communication product gap to be filled by their partner. Like a move by IBM a few decades back.

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