Interop Las Vegas Update: 6 Trends to Watch
Last week, The VAR Guy outlined six trends he expected to generate some buzz at this week’s Interop conference in Las Vegas. Now that the show is in full swing, let’s take another look at those six trends to see how they’re shaping up.
In his April 24 entry, The VAR Guy pointed to the following trends. Here’s his updated view on each one.
1. Open source: The VAR Guy expected Asterisk, the open source IP PBX, to garner some interest at the event. But things have been mostly silent on the Asterisk front. Fast-growing Asterisk proponents like Digium are at the event. Yet, the bigger surprise involves closed-source companies like Microsoft announcing new tools to manage Linux and Unix systems, and Cisco quietly chatting up some open source ideas down on the trade show floor, according to friends of The VAR Guy.
2. TelePresence: The VAR Guy openly wondered if TelePresence prices are about to drop, in a bid by vendors to accelerate customer deployments. Big companies like Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard generate much of the TelePresence buzz. But up-and-comers like LifeSize Communications seem to be carving out a niche in the lower-cost TelePresence market.
3. Unified applications: So, you’re getting into the unified communications market. What independent software developers (ISVs) are writing to your platform? What applications are available? The VAR Guy hoped vendors would begin to answer those questions. But the unified hype seems to have died down a bit at the show. That may not be a bad thing.
Three Claims The VAR Guy Wanted Vendors to Avoid:
1. We just won [insert award name here]: Awards are nice. Pat yourself on the back (privately) if a magazine decides to honor you with a crystal trophy. But frankly, most bloggers don’t care. Still, vendors should start announcing their Interop award victories in the next few days. Old habits die hard.
2. We’re green: The VAR Guy told vendors to avoid “green” hype — unless they could actually share some metrics to back up their claims. Kudos to Nortel Networks, which hired a third-party firm to determine Nortel’s networking equipment was 50 percent more energy efficient than some rival products. Sure, it’s pretty easy to manipulate statistics and data. And Nortel did pay for the research. But Nortel’s aggressive evironment-friendly marketing at least had a unique twist: Numbers and specific data claims.
3. We’re channel-friendly: Plenty of vendors make the claim, but try to top this: Roughly 95 percent of Cisco’s revenue flows through partners. Beat that mark, and The VAR Guy will truly be impressed.
Still, some channel programs do deserve praise. Ted Cole, the guy who heads channel initiatives at Adtran, always seems to be running from one partner meeting to another. Solutions providers seem to genuinely like Cole — a good sign as Adtran seeks to undercut Cisco pricing in the unified market.
If anything else hot occurs at Interop, The VAR Guy will be sure to pounce on the news.