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Jim Burton, UC Strategies: "IBM is way ahead of Microsoft"

I'm still working on my Lotusphere Wrap-Up posts, including assembling press and analyst reporting on the show and our Unified Communications and Collaboration products in particular, but this one I thought warranted posting sooner.

Analyst Jim Burton of CT-Link and UC summarizes his observations and takeaways from Lotusphere in this post.  Among other things, he relates his views on how IBM and Microsoft stack up from a UC standpoint (emphasis mine):

As I was listening to the announcements of new products and enhancements to existing products, and watching one demo after another, I had a recurring thought: IBM is way ahead of Microsoft. The IBM products have been around longer and offer more features and capabilities.

To get a reality check, I spoke with Brent Kelly, Senior Analyst and Partner with Wainhouse Research, who was also attending Lotusphere. Brent will be an instructor for a tutorial at VoiceCon Orlando called "Choices in Unified Communications Solutions: Comparing Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to IBM Lotus Sametime 8," so he knows both products well.

Brent told me, "If we compare IBM Lotus Sametime to Microsoft OCS, at a high level both deliver similar functionality to the user. Both provide IM, presence, web conferencing, audio and video, as well as integration with telephony systems. Wainhouse Research's data tell us that Microsoft is leading with respect to mindshare; however, if we look closer at the overall collaborative offering and strategy, including adjacent capabilities, I would have to say that the IBM offering is richer and much more flexible."

He goes on to talk about Lotus' products and services aimed at the next generation of knowledge workers as being another area where IBM has taken the lead.  See the full post for more.

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