The Eye of the Storm

I’m looking forward to the Cisco Partner Collaboration Summit this week.  Not only for the technology, but also for the interaction with key Cisco Execs who are setting the vision and driving the strategy.  Cisco seems to be in an interesting place right now in Collaboration.  To be honest, it feels like we are in a lull, kind of like the eye of the storm knowing that things are about the change drastically just like they did in the past.

When Microsoft first entered the UC market a few years back, there was a lot of noise, positioning, and preparation for “The coming battle of platforms”. The initial hype and excitement seems to be behind us, and Microsoft looks to be positioning on several fronts.  Do they finally become a hardware company? Who is their new chief and what is the long term vision? How do they keep desktop relevance?  I continue to be interested in what their next move is because it is now a fact that they are in my accounts, positioning for the same platform as I am.  This is no longer “news” – it is simply the competitive landscape.  I’ve watched Lync give their best pitch and understand that it isn’t some magical software that is going to have my cake and eat it too.  The market seems to sense that Lync isn’t ready, but they still aren’t committed to Jabber.

Our clients continue to move forward in deployments, however all deployments wrestle with the “on prem or cloud” decision at some level.  This too is slowing the market down as manufacturers, partners, and organizations reassess the overall delivery of IT Services.  Talk about big questions for an IT Consultant.

As we exit the eye of the storm and move past this “reassess” stage, what do you think will be top priority for Cisco and others?  (Martin deBeers just walked past, and while I could have asked him, I figured he’d be badgered with questions starting soon enough, so I let him off the hook.)

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