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My Last Siemens Blog

I began writing analyst reports in the enterprise communications space in 1990. The first such report, ACDs in the 1990s, had two sections relevant to Siemens Enteprise Communications: one on Siemens and one on ROLM Corporation. It was that year that IBM began transitioning the ROLM telecom group to ownership by Siemens AG's enterprise telecom business unit.

I remember being asked at the time by Siemens senior management if they should keep the ROLM brand or move to Siemens. My advice was that while the ROLM brand in the US had been strong in the 1980s, ROLM had failed to keep pace with its competitors of the day. The value of the brand was diminishing every day and moving to the global strength of Siemens was the right long-term answer.

My personal journey into the blog world began with the former print telecommunications trade magazine Business Communications Review in 2005. Having written articles for BCR, I was invited to post newsworthy stories on the site then known as VoIP Loop and later re-branded No Jitter. I have written hundreds of blogs for the site over the years, almost 20 of them about Siemens.

Sometimes those blogs were product-related, as in a 2008 story on the launch of OpenScape Voice. Later in 2008, I and several other No Jitter bloggers wrote about the investment of The Gores Group in Siemens Enteprise Communications. This past summer, my coverage of Siemens included the announcement of Project Ansible, the company's exciting next-generation platform.

In 2011, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Siemens Enterprise Communications CEO Hamid Akhavan in Munich, and I shared some of that discussion on No Jitter. At that time Akhavan outlined three priorities for the business. First was establishing fiscal strength for the company, the next was rationalizing the portfolio; both of these he felt at the time were well underway.

Part of that portfolio revitalization involved increasing the company's cloud-based solution portfolio. In June 2011 I wrote on No Jitter about a new technology partnership, in a post entitled, Siemens Enterprise Expands OpenScape Cloud with inContact. I spent part of this week at inContact's annual user event in Las Vegas, where Siemens was one of the Platinum sponsors of the event. Siemens is a key international reseller of inContact's cloud-based contact center solution.

I asked inContact CMO Mariann McDonagh her thoughts on the impending Siemens re-brand. "We need Siemens in the market," she said. "We want them to be the strongest company they can be. (But) they have a legacy and heritage that doesn't serve them anymore. This rebrand sends a powerful signal, at this moment in time. It is not just a rebrand but a relaunch, with a whole new set of solutions."

Back in 2011, Akhavan's third priority was improved marketing and brand revitalization. Under CMO Chris Hummel and Head of Corporate Marketing Torsten Raak, the company has been planning a rebrand for 18 months. On October 15, 2013, during a live video broadcast from Munich and New York, their efforts will be revealed. But as McDonagh said, it's not just a rebrand; it's a relaunch, complete with exciting new solutions. I'll be at launch headquarters in New York – plan to watch what promises to be an exciting event. And check No Jitter next week as I write about the newly- branded company.

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