About this blog

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.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Exchange UM vs Call Pilot

Sometimes I wonder how business decisions are made! One of those that baffle me is the choice between Call Pilot and Exchange UM. A little background on this - Nortel and Microsoft announced an alliance in July 0f 2006 agreeing amongst other things to do joint R&D and synergise their go-to-market program in the area of UC. Nortel has a very strong background in the areas of telephony, contact centre, messaging (including Unified Messaging, a market where Frost & Sullivan ranks them second in North America). Microsoft on the other hand has very high market share in e-mail and collaboration space. One of the areas of product overlaps for the Microsoft-Nortel alliance is Unified Messaging. Nortel's offer, the CallPilot has been in the market for at least 10 years. I know, one of my peers used CallPilot in his lab way back in 1997. Microsoft on the other hand introduced Unified Messaging capabilities in Exchange 2007.

Unified Messaging seems to have never taken off as expected. In these years, the industry evolved to offer Unified Communications with very little installed base on Unified Messaging. So, despite the long history and relative product maturity, CallPilot and its product peers didn't create the adoption curve, the markeeters so hoped to achieve. On the other hand, UM in Exchange 2007 seems to have caught the fancy of many. In the numerous discussions that I have had in recent months with user organisations and channel, there is a unanimous voice to try and test UM within Exchange. That said, the numbers are far lower than what CallPilot commands. Now I am sure if I had spoken to the market when CallPilot was launched, I might have encountered similar euphemism. So when I hear the buzz in the industry suggesting Nortel might reduce R&D activities on CallPilot, I wonder how such decisions are made!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm new to the question of Exchange UM v Call Pilot but I need to find some concrete answers as to the pros and cons of each one and whether it is best to choose one or the other and combine their functionality.