Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

VoIP Planet on Microsoft’s Unified Communications Intentions

VoIP Planet talks about Microsoft's recent unified communications announcements, quoting a number of analysts along the way.  While some do seem to agree that some businesses (especially in the SMB space) may find Microsoft's offer too good to refuse, they also point out the many things enterprises need to take into consideration, such as how the solution stacks up against what people like Cisco or Avaya have to offer, what happens should you have to reboot your VoIP system as often as your PC, and of course all the other requirements that would come along with it.

One of the analysts quoted in the article is JupiterResearch analyst Joe Wilcox on the timing of the announcement vis-a-vis Sametime 7.5 (One correction to what's posted in the article - we didn't announce the release of the product that week, but rather new functionality that will be delivered as part of Sametime 7.5):

Still, as JupiterResearch analyst Joe Wilcox points out, most of the solutions that Microsoft announced last week aren't shipping yet. As a result, he says, the timing of Microsoft's announcement only makes sense when you look at what's going on competitively. "It's not unusual for Microsoft to make a bold announcement about something it's going to do someday as a tactic against competitors that might be shipping something new today," he says.

He also commented on what he sees as a big concern about Microsoft's plans:  the cost.

Wilcox says his biggest concern about Microsoft's plans is the potential cost for a business to deploy them. "We're looking at, minimum, Windows Server 2003 R2, Communications Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007—those three products, plus client access licenses—and that's at a minimum," he says. "That's a lot of money to spend to get this, whereas a business might be able to get something that's reasonably adequate, costs a lot less, and is available now."