So Much For A Microsoft-Cisco Peace Accord

It hasn’t even been a month and there are already cracks in the much- vaunted peace accord between Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

The chief executives of the two companies, John Chambers and Steve Ballmer, got on stage last month — together with Charlie Rose, playing the role of peacemaker — and declared a truce.

The two giants of the tech industry assured their corporate customers that they would play ball and would ensure that their respective enterprise communications offerings — hardware and software — work together.

While we didn’t believe in this faux peace, we were happy to forget all about it. Until, that is, we came across this post by Joe Burton, chief technology officer of unified communications at Cisco.

Burton takes some not-so-subtle swipes at PC-based unified communication solutions. Now, he isn’t explicitly citing Microsoft, but…you decide for yourself.

* Can any business wait around to get outpaced by competitors while they experiment with PC- or email-client-based architecture for unified communications?
* Can they afford the 18-24 month wait for a software-client-based call control architecture that will be marginally mature and deployable?
* Can they really depend on PC “experts,” who are learning on-the-job to implement a business class unified communications solution that meets their communication requirements?

Burton points out that instead of desktop or PC-centric solutions (read Microsoft), unified communications have to be network-based (read Cisco).

For businesses waiting to evaluate PC (or email) client-based-software architecture for unified communications, the opportunity cost associated with this inertia is difficult to justify.

Allan Leinwand in this post had outlined why the so-called peace would be short-lived.