Nortel Takes Cisco to Task
Although Cisco announced new efforts with IBM and Microsoft at today's event, Nortel promptly took Cisco to task. A Nortel source sent The VAR Guy an email alleging that:
Nortel and Cisco are sparring over unified communications at Voicecon in Orlando. Frankly, they are providing the best fireworks at a trade show since Cabletron attacked Cisco at Networld+Interop in the 1990s.
Although Cisco announced new efforts with IBM and Microsoft at today’s event, Nortel promptly took Cisco to task. A Nortel source sent The VAR Guy an email alleging that:
- Cisco apparently is repackaging news from last year’s VoiceCon show in demonstrating support for Lotus Notes in its UC products, the Nortel source says.
- Cisco is playing catch-up in the unified communications space. With Nortel’s Innovative Communications Alliance relationship with Microsoft showing “impressive customer adoption” in the first six monthsâ€”dozens of customers already with hundreds in the pipelineâ€”Cisco realized they couldn’t win the UC space on their own, the Nortel tipster alleges.
- The planned UC capabilities that Cisco is announcing with both IBM and Microsoft are available today through Nortel and Microsoft’s Converged Office solution, which become available last year, according to the tipster.
The VAR Guy is on the move at the show, so it has been difficult for him to secure an official response from Cisco. However, here’s a few observations based on his recent meetings with Cisco:
- First, Cisco has alleged that Nortel VARs are moving into Cisco’s camp, which apparently has forced Microsoft to hedge its relationship with Nortel and reach out to Cisco.
- Second, even The VAR Guy knows that more than 70 percent of organizations are running Cisco networks with Microsoft servers in place. It’s only natural for the vast majority of customers and VARs to demand more integration between Cisco and Microsoft.