Cisco Calls In Reinforcements Against Microsoft
Cisco Systems is showing no mercy in the unified communications market. CEO John Chambers wants to bury Microsoft and Nortel. Now, he’s calling on a massive software partner to help knock out the competition.
Indeed, Cisco is partnering with SAP to develop network-aware SOA business applications. That’s jargon for “we’re ganging up against Microsoft and Nortel,” according to The VAR Guy.
Sure, Microsoft and Nortel are partnering to develop unified network applications. It’s a pretty compelling relationship. Microsoft picks Nortel’s brain about the networking market, Nortel potentially gains access to Microsoft’s channel partners and the two companies develop unified applications for Windows.
Wonderful. Except Cisco isn’t standing still. For several months now, Cisco has been working behind the scenes to line up its own application partners. During the Cisco Partner Summit earlier this month in Las Vegas, a few dozen software companies offered support for the networking giant. One noteworthy advocate included Salesforce.com. Nice win, Cisco … but where were Oracle and SAP, The VAR Guy wondered?
Now we have our answer. Cisco held off announcing the SAP partnership until this week’s big SAP conference in Atlanta. As part of the agreement, SAP will use Cisco’s TelePresence hardware and software for next-generation video conferencing in its offices. Soon, every big-name customer who visits SAP’s offices will see TelePresence in action.
Talk about priming CIOs and their bosses for a quick sale. Cisco Chief Development Officer Charles Giancarlo says it only takes five minutes for a CEO to decide to buy TelePresence. If SAP can cut its own travel expenses using TelePresence, SAP’s customers will surely follow suit.
What’s next? On the one hand, Cisco can’t jeopardize its relationship with SAP. But on the other hand, Cisco has to be weighing a similar relationship with Oracle. The chance to bury Microsoft? Now that’s a phone call Oracle CEO Larry Ellison would surely welcome.