17 October 2007

Microsoft knocks down pbx vendors

Microsoft's entry into the unified communication business was expected to shake the market, but their plan go beyond merely challenging the established leaders. As opposed to Cisco who challenged a few years ago the telecom manufacturers on VoIP with a bottom-up strategy (from the trunks to the unified app), Microsoft has a top-down strategy, which is quite understandable.

Microsoft's marketing campaign "voip as you are" is not as bold as it gets : the message it conveys clearly goes through. We can expect pretty much the same as what happened with Cisco in the early 2000's where their strong marketing & branding allowed them to enter the market with an offer that was not mature enough. All the more the unified app technology is not disruptive unlike VoIP.

Unlike the VoIP revolution that took them by surprise, all Pbx vendors are already prepared for the challenge: they all have a unified communication suite... but they just don't sell it! Why ? Because it's not quite open, not quite convergent, not quite useful either but damned expensive! So in the end they have left the door wide open for Microsoft! Cisco may be the one vendor who has the most to lose in this battle. And Google yet has to join the fray... the reshaping of the corporate communications market is under way.

Keep up to date with Microsoft's UC Group Team blog.