Eric Krapf
Eric Krapf is General Manager and Program Co-Chair for Enterprise Connect, the leading conference/exhibition and online events brand in the...
Read Full Bio >>

Eric Krapf | March 22, 2010 |


Well, That Was Fun

Well, That Was Fun Microsoft and Avaya square off over the issue of interoperability in the show's first general session. Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, IBM and HP mixed it up too.

Microsoft and Avaya square off over the issue of interoperability in the show's first general session. Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, IBM and HP mixed it up too.

We just finished our first general session here at VoiceCon Orlando 2010, and the sparks flew.The issue was interoperability, and our panelists--from Alcatel-Lucent; Avaya; Cisco; HP; IBM; Microsoft; IBM; and Polycom--threw quite a few elbows. Mostly it was Phil Edholm of Avaya (who came over in the Nortel acquisition) squaring off with Warren Barkley of Microsoft over who was more proprietary. Phil asked why Microsoft's OCS client (Office Communicator) wouldn't work with anyone else's central system, to which Warren shot back, "Whose proprietary protocol do you want us to work with? Yours? Cisco's?"

I'll have a writeup with more detail on this session later today, but I think the fact that these guys came out swinging is significant. With hints of a turnaround in the economy, together with more than a hint of consolidation among the vendors in the industry--many of those onstage being living, breathing evidence of that consolidation--the stakes suddenly look pretty high. Even Jack Jachner of Alcatel-Lucent, who's always come across as more scholarly than combative in these VoiceCon sessions, pushed aggressively for the idea that you need a "communications company" (hint, hint)to build your communications around.

Everyone in the session agreed that the best way to plug-and-play interoperability of UC components would be to replicate the WiFi Alliance model of certification and compliance. But when the session closed, these guys looked much more like competitors than ever before.

And if the stakes are high for the vendors in the industry, they're nearly as high for the customers: Can you make a new generation of investments that captures the value and functionality that these guys are promising, and will retain that value? This is shaping up to be one of the core questions that I'm going to be asking at the show.Microsoft and Avaya square off over the issue of interoperability in the show's first general session. Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, IBM and HP mixed it up too.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

February 7, 2017

Securing voice communications used to be very simple since it was generally a closed system. However, with unified communications (UC) you no longer have the walled protection offered by a dedicate

February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.